You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. We’ve had to get some experts in though – there’s so much going on that needs to be explained!
We’re dealing with some of the residents of Gotham City at the moment, and how it responded to being wrecked by an earthquake. Sara Century cultivated some answers about Poison Ivy’s life and times, but mentioned someone else: Harley Quinn. Do Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn know each other? What kind of a relationship do they have? It’s time to have S.E. Fleenor hammer their answers home for us!
S.E.! Sara Century just told me all about Poison Ivy, who goes on from No Man’s Land and meets someone special: Harley Quinn. Who is Harley Quinn, though?
S.E. Fleenor: Ah Harley Quinn, the cupid of crime, Harls, Daddy’s little monster, Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
Harley is many things, but if I were to sum her up, I’d say that Harley is the physical embodiment of chaos, bisexuality, and not giving AF about societal norms. Created in 1992 by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, Harley’s story begins on Batman: The Animated Series. When she first appears onscreen in her classic red and black jester outfit, she’s by Joker’s side, cheering him on in his most recent plot against Commissioner Gordon. She spends the episode doing as Joker commands, ultimately getting arrested by Batman and abandoned by Mr. J. In later episodes, Harley is confined in Arkham Asylum, she and the Joker split ways, and she teams up with a certain verdant redhead to make Batsy’s life…let’s go with interesting.
Harley made her debut in comics in Batman Adventures #12, though it wasn’t until she meets Ivy in No Man’s Land, that Harley entered DC Universe continuity.
Regularly dismissed as “crazy” and a sidekick to the Joker, Harley has become a symbol of self-possessed queer characters for those of us who live outside of the mainstream. Harley is funny, unpredictable, sexy, and very much a lover. In fact, her romantic interests have gotten her into a lot of trouble over the years. From surviving the Joker’s abuse and her codependency with the crown prince of crime to trying to manipulate Power Girl into being her sidekick slash side chick, Harley has had her fair share of fumbles romantically.
But there’s one person who understands, respects, and demands the most of Harley: Poison Ivy, or as Harley first calls her… “Poison Oakey”.
How do she and Ivy get on? What do they have in common: what are they like as a dynamic duo?
Fleenor: Ivy is focused, determined, and serious. Harley is rambunctious, excitable, and always looking for the next laugh—while sprinkling in a healthy dose of shockingly insightful psychological advice. They make a perfect pair, one bringing much needed levity and the other providing a sense of purpose.
When Ivy discovers Harley in ‘No Man’s Land’, Harley has been blown up by the Joker, but lives. Ivy gives Harley a concoction that makes her immune to poisons and increases her agility – she literally makes Harley stronger. And, though Harley returns to the Joker at the end of this issue, she and Ivy become the best of friends in time. And that friendship blossoms into something truly beautiful.
If you ever find yourself facing down Harley and Ivy, run. Between Ivy’s intoxicating pheromones, searing intellect, and deep rage and Harley’s love of chaos, her creative weaponry, and her unwillingness to stay down, you’ve got very little chance of winning – even if your last name is Wayne.
Sara called them “ride and thrives”. Could you… expand on that?
Fleenor: Well, as usual, Sara is right. (She and Ivy have that in common.) Ivy is a huge part of Harley’s healing and recovery after being in an abusive relationship—in fact, Ivy is the one that tells Harley she deserves to control her own fate. In turn, Harley reminds Ivy of her connection to the human world and to human things like love; she reminds Ivy that in a world filled with greedy, self-centered humans, there are people who respect and honor plant and animal life. (No, seriously, their shared love of plants and animals is no small part of why they work as a couple.)
Together they navigate being queer women in a polyamorous relationship, making their love work even when they don’t live in the same city, even when one or the other finds a new babe to date, even when creators, companies, and critics try to keep them apart.
Thank you S.E.! Well, sounds like we’ve caught up on most of the main players in No Man’s Land… but how did the whole thing end? More specifically: how did it end for Jim Gordon? I know just the person to give us the lowdown!
S.E. has written for SyFyFanGrrlz, Buzzfeed and so many other places, and is an editor for Bella Books. Along with Sara they’re co-host of the Bitches on Comics podcast, and you can follow them on Twitter here!