"Harley Quinn": Harleen Quinzel grew up in the suburbs of Brooklyn, the oldest of four kids, and the only girl. Her interests lay in criminal psychology even as an early teenager, and she used the things she learned through that interest in her daily life. T
- Although it was intriguing, I felt what I was doing was nothing extraordinary and found myself drawn back ta the subject that has always had my interest. The criminal mind.
- -- Harley Quinn
Appearing in "Harley Quinn"
- Bernie Bash (Dies)
- Bonnie Harper (Dies)
- Hugo Strange
- Killer Croc
- Mad Hatter
- Nick Quinzel
- Sharon Quinzel
- Riddler (In a photograph only)
Synopsis for "Harley Quinn"
Harleen Quinzel grew up in the suburbs of Brooklyn, the oldest of four kids, and the only girl. Her interests lay in criminal psychology even as an early teenager, and she used the things she learned through that interest in her daily life. This meant that she had a much greater sense of direction in her younger years than did her peers, in terms of her career. It was some time before she met anyone who was able to understand her at all. That person turned out to be Bernie Bash.
At a Halloween party, they sat together on a sofa watching the other people dance. Awkwardly, he wondered if she'd ever seen a real dead person, admitting that he had seen a guy drowning a woman at Rockland Lake one night. He had been to scared to do anything about it. After the murderer left, he'd snuck over to see the body, and the way she had stared had interested him. Harleen wondered what the motive for the murder might have been. Following from the morbid subject, he asked her who she would kill if she could kill one person in the room, and immediately, she began crushing on him.
She pointed to a girl dancing nearby and explained that she had been bullied by her. If she had the chance, she would toss her from a speeding car into the front of a Mack truck. She offered him the same question, and Bernie responded that he'd kill the same person, if only because she had bothered Harleen. Their romance was cut short, one day, when he made the romantic gesture of actually throwing the bully in front of a Mack truck. Harleen cut school to see him in court. A few weeks later, she broke into his parents' house to steal a memento of him. Bernie's father was a game hunter, who kept a number of taxidermied trophies, and when Harleen spotted a stuffed beaver, she decided that it would best serve in Bernie's place. She kept up correspondence with the real Bernie until he was stabbed to death in juvenile detention after a year.
Ever bright and hard working, Harleen earned scholarships to Gotham University, and focused on her studies until she graduated at the top of her class and won a position at a prominent hospital in Gotham. Still, she felt something was missing, and felt the need to go back to what interested her most: the criminal mind. She pursued that interest by taking a job at Arkham Asylum, intent on fixing the unfix-able patients therein.
When she realized that no doctor would ever have the chance to get into the inmates' confidences, she decided to go undercover, convincing the warden to let her conduct her experiment without telling the other staff. She changed her appearance to match that of the colourful characters who populated the asylum, gaining plenty of the wrong kind of attention on her first day.
The Joker saw through her disguise, but he didn't seem to care, opening up to her, if only to manipulate her. She fell for him, and he used it. Eventually, things went awry for her when someone killed the warden, and her ruse was revealed to the staff. Rather than allow herself to be escorted from the property and separated from the Joker, she took action to escape with him.
Afterwards, she placed her trust in him, and he led her to the Ace Chemical Processing Plant, explaining that in order to be free, she would have to become an entirely new person, free of the chains of normalcy. Unexpectedly, he tossed her into a vat of chemicals, and though she survived, she emerged with his same bleached skin. She emerged free to be anyone she wanted to be - but his favourite way for her to be was playing the fool.
Before long, though, their relationship fell apart, and she was on her own again - with the benefit of being able to choose who she wanted to be. So, she became everything, and in the process learned who she really was.
Appearing in "Green Arrow"
Synopsis for "Green Arrow"
Since a young age, Oliver Queen felt the pressure of what he had been born into. His father, Robert had been a great man, and Seattle had been in the palm of his hand. If Robert Queen had been Seattle's king, then Oliver was its prince.
When he was a boy, Oliver spent a morning building ramps to do jumps on his bike, but when he failed to make the jump and hurt himself he crumpled, telling his father he couldn't do it. Robert couldn't stand to see his son's efforts go to waste and reminded that life is pain, and that is what makes people stronger. He was never to give up, and never to stop fighting.
Oliver learned not to be a quitter. He had many opportunities as he grew older, and seized them all, excelling in academics and any other pursuit his father pushed him to. While he may not have liked everything he tried, he was a natural. Even so, he never really fit the role he'd been cast to from birth. He fought his natural gifts, and rejected his father's legacy, growing more independent and butting heads with Robert in the company boardroom constantly. In order to anger his father, Oliver began to let opportunities pass him by, and coasted by on his name and fortune. He squandered his gifts, and let his talents grow rusty.
While partying on one of his father's oil rigs, some of Robert Queen's enemies sought to strike at Queen Industries through Oliver. They attacked the rig and it was Oliver's own folly that got him knocked into the water, and stranded on a desert isle. For the first time in his life, Oliver was free from his father's expectations. He treated the island as a crucible, knowing that if he could survive there, he could become something better. However, he did not realize that he wasn't alone on the island.
He was captured by mercenaries who tortured him, and as they did, he realized that he could either die there, or be reborn. He broke free and escaped his captors and killing their leader, remembering his father's warnings that the Queens never quit, and never give up fighting. However, even as he fought, he began to wonder what he was really fighting for.
When a ship appeared on the horizon, he flagged it, and was soon on his way home. After everything he'd survived, though, the modern world held nothing for him. He had learned to be a hunter, and he couldn't shake that identity off. So, he became the Green Arrow. That entity, however, necessarily belonged to the night. By day, he had to keep up the very role his father had desperately wanted him to play at Queen Industries. He unveiled QCorp; a cutting-edge technological subsidiary, funding his own secret war on crime with the profits and the help of John Diggle and Naomi Singh.
Even now, years later, Oliver still protects Seattle, one arrow at a time.
Appearing in "A Boy's Life"
Synopsis for "A Boy's Life"
After Batman died, his son Damian could no longer stand by and watch Gotham City deteriorate without him. Against Alfred Pennyworth's wishes, he went out on patrol, ignoring all of his warden's communiqués, as he brutally beat down on Gotham's thugs - a boy of only ten.
Annoyed, Alfred enlisted Nightwing to persuade Damian to listen to reason, and keep his emotions in check. Dick knew little about the boy, and tried to beg off the task, but Alfred insisted, filling him in on the boy's history.
Due to a lapse in Batman's judgment, he and Talia al Ghul fell into what he had thought was love. It had turned out that she was using him. It was a truce in a long drawn out war that would see the Wayne and al Ghul bloodlines merged. Batman had failed to foresee that a son would come of it.
Talia raised Damian alone and indoctrinated him with the ideology of the League of Assassins. However, it soon became clear to Talia that if Damian was to become all that she expected of him, he would have to be trained by the best of the best and exposed to a multitude of experiences. It came to pass, eventually, that Talia felt it was time to introduce him to his father. Both Bruce and Alfred had found Damian to be quite unlikable, though he sought his father's approval - and found it was not easily granted. Just as the pair were finally beginning to connect, Batman was gone.
Educated, Dick caught up with Damian in the sewer, noticing that the boy certainly didn't need his help in defeating even the dangerous Killer Croc. Damian had known Dick was watching him all night, and scoffed at the idea that he would kill rather than merely maiming. Even so, Dick had come for more than just to babysit. He delivered a message from Alfred explaining that something had been left at the Batcave for Damian from Batman.
At the cave, Alfred passed Damian a letter from his father with instructions and an affirmation that Damian had earned what was to come. Following the directions, Damian discovered a Robin uniform, just for him. Pleased, Damian put it on and prepared to go out on patrol with Dick in the role of Batman. Little did Damian known that the letter was written by Alfred, who had engineered the situation because Gotham would always need a Batman and a Robin.
- This book was first published on July 23, 2014.
- "A Boy's Life" is reprinted in the Batman and Robin: Robin Rises collection.
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