Who was Harleen Quinzel?
Harleen Quinzel, daughter of Nick and Sharon Quinzel, was a notable scholar and acclaimed gymnast from Tricorner, Gotham City. Despite growing up in a dysfunctional family, she was a dedicated student who became valedictorian at Tricorner High.
She attended Gotham State University on a gymnastics scholarship and majored in psychiatry. In the third year of her doctorate, she was chosen for a prestigious internship at Arkham Asylum. She earned her Ph.D. and became Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel.
Dr. Harleen Quinzel continued to work as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, home to Gotham’s criminally insane. Being the badass that she is, she volunteered to treat The Joker. You can not get much more criminally insane than The Joker! However, she could not pull him to sanity—instead, he pusher her already fragile mind over the edge.
Unfortunately, Harleen fell for the wrong man. The Joker fed on her weaknesses and twister her mind into his plaything. Harleen Quinzel ceased to exist and was replaced by supervillain and abused lover, Harley Quinn.
In Batman: The Animated Series, The Joker was very cruel and abusive to Harley. He constantly put her down and smacked her around. This was not a great love story. Harley Quinn helped the audience see The Joker’s cruelty.
Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel was an intelligent and highly accomplished woman, with a fragile sense of self.
Predators, like Mista J, exist in the world. Harley and The Joker’s romance is a great comicbookization of real-life abusive relationships.