In Batman #107 and Man-Bat #3, Harley Quinn proves that she could be a better hero than Batman if Gotham and the Dark Knight allowed her.
Harley Quinn is proving she’s the cure that Gotham needs based on her dealings in the Suicide Squad and during her strange probation period as Batman’s sidekick.
Written by James Tynion IV with art by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Jorge Jimenez, Batman #107 finds Harley trying desperately to prove to Batman that she’s a reformed villain by taking down one of the many Arkham Asylum inmates who escaped during A-Day. One particular criminal, Stabbo, had been staying true to his name by stabbing three people during his short stint, and so Harley imparts her form of vigilante justice by whacking him in the head with her trusty bat. But when she learns that he’s suffering from a lack of meds that the asylum had been providing him, Harley attempts to help him, but not before she faces her own troubles. All she can do is leave a note with Stabbo for the police saying that he needs his medication.
Ironically, this incredible gesture will undoubtedly go to waste, as the police and the criminal justice system will likely not follow her advice as they still view Harley as Joker’s minion and, in turn, a criminal. All her actions achieve is to reveal that she is more capable of saving Gotham than Batman, and yet, tragically, will probably never be given that chance. Having never been a criminal, Batman is incapable of connecting with or understanding what criminals need, unlike Harley, who can. If Batman had apprehended Stabbo, then he would have most likely only left the criminal incapacitated for the police to take him in without leaving a note. It just goes to show that Harley could and would go above and beyond to help the criminally insane if given the chance, when Batman is ostensibly more concerned about justice, instead of treatment.
Similarly, Harley unofficially becomes Man-Bat’s therapist and psychiatrist in Man-Bat #3, written by Dave Wielgosz with art by Sumit Kumar. Even though she’s a member of the Suicide Squad and her mission is to apprehend Man-Bat, also known as Kirk Langstrom, she instead releases him so he can make things right, especially with his wife. As Harley reveals, she believes Kirk isn’t bad to the bone and just needs a chance to divert away from the destructive path he’s currently on.
This is particularly powerful as helping Man-Bat risks Harley’s life. As fans know, all Suicide Squad members have an explosive surgically implanted in them, and deviating from a Suicide Squad mission in any way can result in their heads getting blown off their shoulders. And yet, Harley still feels compelled to help a poor soul who many have given up on, including Batman. Interestingly, Harley could later take on a similar role if the events of Future State transpire as they did originally. Unlike in that incident where the former Scarecrow forces Harley to help him apprehend masked villains, Harley Quinn is currently trying to reform them voluntarily out of the goodness of her slowly rehabilitating heart.
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