Date: 2018-05-16 12:35 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
...You know, I haven't read this whole comic, but from these scans I get the impression the premise here is meant to be a Joker/Harley relationship which is healthier/less abusive than the one we've seen in mainstream conics/TV up to this point, or at least as much of that as you can have between two criminally insane people.

And.... I mean I appreciate the effort, but no. Just no. The Harley/Joker dynamic has been an demonstration of abusive/toxic relationships for ages and there's really no walking that back. Hell Harely's entire origin is based on being abused and manipulated by the Joker: The story of a brilliant up and coming, but also arrogant and overly trusting psychiatrist who got in way over her head with the Joker, and ended up getting essentially brainwashed by the guy to become his accomplish.

I mean, this seems well written by what little I've seen, but was anyone asking for this? I mean I suppose there are people who ship Joker/Harley (Trust me, I've been to the depths of shipping Hell, I've seen more fucked up ships. I know you don't believe me but I have). But I feel like this isn't something that most people wanted to see.

Or maybe I'm way off base here. Another interpretation of this could be "What if Harely was secretly the brains of the outfit and Joker was just the face." Which is another interesting take to be sure.

Its just.... I read this and the word "Problematic" keeps flashing in my brain in big neon letters.

Date: 2018-05-16 12:59 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
I was thinking more of Lapis and Jasper from Steven Universe, where the fusion between the two of them is literally a giant monster which is a representation of mutually toxic relationships, and even had an episode which had Lapis go "No! I don't want to be with you anymore, it was bad for both of us. Leave me alone." I mean, I never saw a show kill a ship harder than they killed that ship. (Both figuratively and literally, since this scene took place on a boat and Lapis kind of sank the boat).

Other bad ships I have seen include Syndrome and Violet from the Incredibles (Which.... ewww.) and Ulqiorra and Orihime from Bleach (Which.... fuck you. Just no).

Date: 2018-05-16 08:17 pm (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
I think the premise of this book is that this is Joker and Harley when they were more Sit Com Odd couple than out and out abusive and toxic, like, this was "fun" but all the signs of how bad it will be are here.

Date: 2018-05-16 10:36 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Yeah, but were they ever really _not_ "abusive and toxic" given she was always written with her origin in mind and the Joker was always abusive to her in the TV series.

Date: 2018-05-17 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
I remember reading some of the early bits of her origin (I *think* it was one of the tie ins to Batman: TAS) and it never really felt abusive there. (well, there's skeeviness dealing with patient/client stuff, but it never struck me as brainwashing) it was basically Harley in the doctor's chair with Joker talking about himself and her seemingly nodding sympatethically, then the next panel it's her on the couch and Joker talking to her.

It was shown more as Joker freeing the person she already was than gaslighting.

Date: 2018-05-17 12:37 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
The Origin was fully fleshed out and revealed in "Mad Love" both the episode and the comic one shot, and if you watch the whole thing, its actually very much the opposite, because its pretty much the first thing that fully flat out says Joker and Harely's relationship is abusive, and is the first one where its treated deadly seriously (where previously the abusive elements were treated semi humorously).

Date: 2018-05-18 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
As said, I don't think their relationship was portrayed as healthy or anything, just that the origin wasn't portrayed that way.

Date: 2018-05-18 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
Are you sure you *read* it? Because that sounds a *lot* like The Batman's Harley origin. That one basically portrayed Joker & Harley as two more-or-less equally awful people, though when push came to shove Joker still manages to cow her.

Date: 2018-05-18 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] arilou_skiff
Definitely read it. It was a panel switch, not a film cut.

Date: 2018-05-18 07:45 am (UTC)
lbd_nytetrayn: Star Force Dragonzord Power! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lbd_nytetrayn
Maybe it's meant to be a case in showing why she'd stick around and keep going back to him before she finally broke it off for good? To instill a sense of empathy for Harley in a way we haven't seen before?

Gotta be some appeal there, and by appealing to the reader -- who definitely knows better, at least in our case -- it makes it more understandable on some level as to why getting away would be hard for her.

She wants to make it work. On some level, we're supposed to want it to work. But ultimately, we know it's not going to work.

Date: 2018-05-16 05:22 pm (UTC)
skinrash: (Default)
From: [personal profile] skinrash
Joker seems much more friendlier and less abusive towards Harley here than in the animated series. Which is odd as it is written by Paul Dini who worked on that show.

Is this meant to be an official BTAS continuation BTW? Or is it simply it's own thing with stylistic similarities to that cartoon?

Date: 2018-05-17 01:20 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
That cover is bothering the hell out of me- he got hit withthe mallet? how? what angle? what is happening?

Also yea- seconding the whole "this is really weird to see a vaguely normal dynamic for this two."

Date: 2018-05-17 11:10 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tcampbell1000
She's trying to hit the bat, which is fluttering around wildly, and accidentally hits the Joker.

I don't disagree with the general sentiment here. The story as a whole revolves around Joker seeming to replace Harley with a new assistant, before he kicks said assistant to the curb just as Harley's about to head out the door, and that's a more familiar version of their dynamic. But it is true that this ending makes them look almost like a normal couple who just squabble really hard sometimes.

The idea seems to be that the Joker-Harley relationship, like a lot of awful relationships, had ebbs and flows: long periods where things were terrible and brief interludes where things were sort of okay. Harley kind of "earns" this ending in one of those interludes by thinking herself out of several disasters into which she'd almost stumbled, leaving the Joker a bit flummoxed that his flunky's suddenly on top of things. And this, it seems, is meant to foreshadow her future as an independent agent.

But it doesn't quite work for me, not least because the difference between abusive and healthy relationships is that in abusive ones, it's at best a flip of the coin whether working really hard will lead to a nice patch like this or somehow making things even worse (see MAD LOVE).

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