Batman and Harley Quinn have had a long, tumultuous relationship, but now that she’s trying to turn over a new leaf, they’re becoming something more.
In DC Comics, Batman and Harley Quinn haven’t always had the best relationship, but as Harley tries her best to right her vast amount of past wrongs, the two are becoming something more than just budding allies. And while both have issues when it comes to having real friends or even a stable working relationship with those around them, it looks like Batman and Harley are headed for their own kind of friendship, one that makes them much more than allies and much better off than adversaries.
Seen in the first issue of Harley’s brand new ongoing series simply titled Harley Quinn, the creative team of writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Riley Rossmo immediately dive headfirst into Harley’s new status quo. Finally and definitively leaving her time with Joker behind, Harley has taken it upon herself to try and atone for her past misdeeds by making her rounds across Gotham City and doing her best to make amends where applicable – a process that isn’t exactly going well right off the bat.
So as Harley does what she can to fight this uphill battle in revamping her image, Batman, as he is wont to do, is still keeping tabs on her should she decide to backtrack into her evil ways. Claiming that she isn’t going to be falling off the wagon anytime soon, Harley follows Batman to an incident at Amusement Mile where civilians dressed as clowns are starting a ruckus and causing general unrest. Asking Batman to allow her this chance to not only help one of the clowns who is clearly confused and misled – but also use her actual skills as a psychiatrist to do so – Batman reluctantly agrees in his usual stoic and Batman-y way, the first telltale sign that his usual cynical outlook towards her is starting to crack.
And it’s here where their hopeful new friendship begins to see growth as Harley notices Batman’s slight change in tone towards her after she coherently and honestly expressed her want to be better. Returning to her rundown apartment, Harley is greeted with a present left by Batman that further gives fans hints that The Dark Knight might be warming up to his one-time adversary. Leaving a toaster with a bat-symbol on it as a sort of callback to this specific item Harley begged Batman to have should she start working with him, Bats not only found the time to get her the exact thing she asked for, but for Batman, this is the closest form of subtle acceptance you can get from the guy.
Not known to be very forthcoming with his emotions or his need to have those he cares about around him, Batman is a mysterious beast with his own restrained ways of showing appreciation and care, and with him going out of his way to procure such an odd item for Harley, it speaks volumes in his approval of her new way of life. Harley might have a long way to go, but Batman is already impressed with her new direction in his own little ways, a testament to his and Harley’s new dynamic.
So while Batman is beginning to tolerate Harley as a potential ally and possibly even friend, their relationship is going to need a lot more work before it becomes something worthy of Bat-Family levels of trust and camaraderie. And who knows? Having both been abused by the Joker’s specific brand of sadism in the past could be the connecting spark that keeps this new friendship alive, and if Harley Quinn is truly genuine in trying to turn over a new leaf, Batman is going to have to take notice.