"Harley Quinn": Poison Ivy is delivering the harvest from Robinson Park to Gotham City, but on her way she finds a wrecked rocket. She clears the way, and after a while Ivy hears a voice coming from inside of rubble. When Ivy has cleared away enough debris, a
- Over the past few weeks, I've felt some changes coming over me since you entered my life. I've been reminded of what's it like to be part of a couple, to care for someone who cares for me. It's the first time in recent memory I've had those feelings...and I hate having those feelings! They're upsetting, confusing and worse, distracting me from getting my share of Gotham now that the getting's good!
- — Joker
Batman: Harley Quinn is a one-shot with a cover date of October, 1999. It was published on August 11, 1999.
Synopsis for "Harley Quinn"
Poison Ivy is delivering the harvest from Robinson Park to Gotham City, but on her way she finds a wrecked rocket. She clears the way, and after a while Ivy hears a voice coming from inside of rubble. When Ivy has cleared away enough debris, a woman dressed as a clown emerges and faints before she can explain what happened. Ivy thinks about it for a while before taking the woman back to her hideout inside the park.
When she regains consciousness, she discovers that Ivy has tended her wounds and taken off her costume while she was looking after her. Poison Ivy recognizes her from Arkham Asylum, and the woman introduces herself as Harleen Quinzel. She worked at Arkham Asylum before the earthquake. Quinzel explains how she ended up in a rocket that crashed in Robinson Park.
During her first days as an Arkham orderly, Quinzel became attracted to the Joker, and they began a furtive relation inside Arkham. Quinzel helped the Joker on his may escapes from the Asylum and she was eventually discovered. Jeremiah Arkham was upset at Quinzel, and he decided to put her into solitary confinement in the asylum's basement. She didn't mind because she knew that Joker would come back for her.
As days passed she was starting to lose hope but suddenly, the doors of her cell opened up. Quinzel stepped out of the cell and found that the Asylum was heavily damaged as a result of the earthquake. She took up one of the asylum's vans and used it to reach Gotham until the van ran out of fuel. She was roaming the wrecked streets when she spotted police officers trying to save lives. The officers asked for her help, but she was overwhelmed by the sight of the victims. They were all smiling with the grim rictus caused by Joker Venom.
The victims weren't dead, so Quinzel asked one of them where it happened. It was in a store nearby. Quinzel ran away without helping the officers and entered a costume shop. She tried on some costumes so she could join the Joker, and in the end she decided on the black and red jester costume and started calling herself Harley Quinn. She then went looking for the Joker, knowing that he would be searching for weapons.
The Joker and his henchmen were at the improvised Iceberg Lounge where the Penguin was refusing to give them ammunition and weapons. When things were about to get messy, Harley arrived at the scene and attacked the Penguin and his henchmen. The Joker used the distraction to kill the Penguin's henchmen and force him to surrender his weapons. The Joker recognized Harley from Arkham, and they got out of there with the Penguin's weapons.
After some time on the road, Harley found a cave near an abandoned amusement park and decided to decorate it as their new hideout. She transformed the lifeless cave into the perfect hideout for her and the Joker.
Harley tells Ivy how wonderful were the days with Joker and how Joker managed to seize control of all the areas surrounding the amusement park. The Joker's activities attracted Batman to his territory, and Joker commanded Harley to go and deal with Batman. She was happy to help and when she faced the dark knight, she managed to attack him by surprise. In the end, Batman won the fight, but before leaving, Harley used a couple of bombs to distract Batman and make her escape.
The Joker and his henchmen were already leaving without Harley, but she managed to get to their car first and then all of them went to the secret cave. Harley tells Ivy that after what happened with Batman, that night she and Joker spent the night together. She was so overwhelmed with joy that Harley can't remember precisely what happened, but it was one of the happiest moments of her life. Ivy realizes that Joker might have drugged Harley without her knowledge.
Harley says that the next morning, Joker was nowhere nearby but that he'd left a message next to Harley. The message told her to meet him at the amusement park's old rocket ride. Harley stepped inside the rocket, and the door closed behind her. On a screen, Joker told Harley that he couldn't stand feeling the same as Harley and that he was disposing of her. He launched the rocket.
As the rocket lifted off, Harley destroyed the control panel in a fit of of rage and discovered that if she moved the cables she could actually direct the rocket. Harley tried to land on the trees but instead she fell to the pavement outside Robinson Park. That's when Ivy found her.
Harley is upset after telling her story, and Ivy gives her a drink that makes Harley feel sick. The drink is a potion to immunize Harley from Ivy's poisonous touch. The drink enhances Harley's strength and agility as well as making her completely invulnerable to toxins. Ivy repairs Harley's costume before asking Harley to exact revenge against Batman and Joker.
Harley uses a makeshift Bat-Signal to attract Batman's attention. When Batman arrives, she tells him about a plan Joker had that would kill many people. Batman gives her a tracking device and tells her to go to the Joker's hideout. He'll follow her. Harley tries to make her move on Batman, but he's already gone.
At the Joker's hideout, the clown prince of crime kills one of his henchmen because the man gave away too much information. Harley arrives and tosses the tracking device to the Joker's henchmen, and she is followed by Batman, who knocks all the henchmen down.
While Batman is busy, Harley attacks the Joker for trying to murder her. Joker is unable to land a punch on her, and he decides to use his joker gas. It has no effect on her because of Ivy's drink. When Harley is about to deliver the final blow, she is stopped by Batman. However, with her new strength, she manages to stand and fight him.
The Joker seizes the chance to escape, but Batman catches him a few moments later. They struggle for a while but then out of nowhere, Harley attacks Batman with a giant mallet. Batman is knocked out, and Harley goes after the Joker. The clown tries to escape using an old elevator from the amusing park but Harley gets inside and kicks Joker out of the elevator. Joker is hanging from a shaft, and Harley is ready to knock him off to his certain death when the Joker says he's sorry. That is enough for Harley, who helps Joker up. They reconcile.
Batman wakes up after being down for what seemed like hours. He walks out to the shore and finds the Joker and Harley in a boat on their way to freedom. Harley tells Batman there is a note attached to the shore. Batman reads it and realizes that the Joker's plan to kill many people was a ruse to lure him in, but they're using the plan anyway, only this time they mean to kill just one man: Batman. Batman jumps into the water just as the whole amusement park goes up in an explosion.
Later, in the Batcave below Arkham Asylum, Alfred tends Bruce's wounds. After resting a little bit, Batman decides to go back to Gotham to help as much as he can. He knows he can't rest until Gotham is a safe place for good people and not a haven for criminals and madmen.
Appearing in "Harley Quinn"
- Doctor Arkham (Cameo)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Marigold (Ivy's horse)
- Ernie (Only appearance; dies)
- This is the first canonical appearance of Harley Quinn. Harley was originally created as a recurring character on Batman: The Animated Series. Her first ever appearance in a comic book was Batman Adventures #12, albeit in the DC Animated Universe's continuity.
- This story is part of the No Man's Land crossover. The events of this issue take place between Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #121 and Nightwing (Volume 2) #35.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Harley Quinn and Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years.
- In Robinson Park, there is a statue of a man called General Gorfinkel. This is a reference to editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. The statue is destroyed by Joker's rocket with Harley inside it.
- The iconic cover of Batman: Harley Quinn was referenced in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, as well as in an 2019 episode of Gotham, "Legend of the Dark Knight: Ruin".
- Harley Quinn Recommended Reading