Harley Quinn is often thought to be a pawn of the Joker, but more modern interpretations of her character in DC’s comics portray her as being much more. And with Harley preparing to jump to the big screen again in the upcoming Gotham City Sirens film, it seems that Harley Quinn actor Margot Robbie might be looking to bring her character into the 21st century.
Robbie, who portrayed the DC villainess in 2016’s Suicide Squad, was caught reading a comic book at what looks to be an airport. Predictably, the world freaked out a little bit, and Reddit went to work debunking what comic Robbie was perusing.
It was decided by Reddit user ArkOrb (and popular opinion) that the deep blue coloring of the page and flashes of red and black from Harley’s suit indicated it to be page 34 of the Harley Quinn Valentine’s Day Special from 2015.
Upon viewing the two pages Reddit theorized to be visible in the photo of Robbie, the theory holds up remarkably well.
Reddit also helpfully pointed out that the size of the issue Robbie was holding might indicate that it’s actually Harley Quinn, Vol 3., “Kiss Kiss Bang Stab,”, which includes the Valentine’s Day Special as well as several other Harley stories.
This proof (however vague and theorized) that Robbie is reading more modern Harley Quinn stories can only be a good thing. And if Reddit is wrong and she’s not, then she should probably get on that.
Since Suicide Squad, the Joker and Harley’s relationship has re-entered popular media as both a problematic ideal (mostly for the more ignorant tweens out there) and the perfect example of what not to do in a relationship. “Don’t abuse your significant other emotionally or physically” seems like a no-brainer, but sadly, that’s not always the case.
In the past, Harley was nothing more than a sidekick and love interest for the Joker. Modern Harley comics — mainly written by husband-wife team Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti — give Harley Quinn autonomy as she tries to recover from her abusive relationship with the Joker. Much like in real life instances of abuse, Harley gets help from various friends and loved ones along the way who are always pushing her to better herself and to be happy and healthy.
A large part of Harley’s storyline in the Gotham City Sirens comic series — which the upcoming film of the same name is assumed to be based off of — involves her struggle to recover from the Joker. There are a couple instances where she almost gets dragged back into his clutches, but Harley is usually saved from returning to her abuser by Poison Ivy and Catwoman stepping in to remind her why she left in the first place.
With the help of her friends — and on-again, off-again girlfriend Poison Ivy — Harley is able to begin recovering from her decades-long stint as the Joker’s girlfriend. She becomes stronger and smarter for it, though this change certainly doesn’t cut down on her wacky personality, random tangents, and split-second (usually disastrous) decisions. Harley is still very much herself, but she’s a much healthier version. And that’s the kind of Harley DC fans deserve to see in any Gotham City Sirens movie, not a tool or a possession of Jared Leto’s Joker.
No date has been set yet for the release of Gotham City Sirens.