The Batman Animated Series: “Mad Love”
Writer: Paul Dini
Director: Butch Lukic
The Batman Animated Series holds a special place in my heart, not only is it the first animated series that was centred around Batman. Not only did it make me care about the villains and how circumstances pushed them to be the people they are. It also responsible for introducing one of my favourite characters, who is without a doubt one of the most insane, who’s “origin” was not cover until the last season of the show, that’s right, I’m on about none other than Harley Quinn!
The episode “Mad Love” is an animated adaption of the critically acclaimed issue, which in 1994 won an Either award for Best Single Issue, so right from the start DC were onto a winner! The Mad Love story centres on Harley Quinn and takes the viewers for a spin around her head, her constant (and failed) attempts to please the Joker. After an attempt at defeating Batman doesn’t turn out how it should, with the Joker having no time for her, Harley comes to the conclusion that if Batman is killed, then the Joker will have more time for her.
A classic tale of a woman wanting to be loved in my book! One thing I will never understand is why Harley stays with the Joker, even though he shoves her around. So is the love that Harley and Joker have true love?
Harley’s repeated attempts to try and get rid of Batman for the Joker is the first piece to the puzzle, she wrangles her way into a position at Arkham Asylum to make herself famous from getting a rub from the inmates. She takes a liking to the craziest of them all and has sympathy for him due to his encounters and tales of being viciously beaten at the hands of Batman. She sees that her beloved is constantly trying to get rid of Batman anyway possible and chooses to take it in her hands to do what the Joker has failed to do.
You cannot help but feel sorry for Harley, she took pity on a crazed and deranged maniac, let herself be pushed around by Joker and become second to his plans. With Batman rubbing salt into the wounds of the Joker, that Harley had got closer to killing him than Joker ever did, maybe it snapped something in him. Due to the final scene in the episode, Harley is put into a cell at Arkham only for her to realise a flower left for her from the Joker. With that being said, in his own pre-New 52 ways the Joker does love Harley.