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To paraphrase Wreck-It Ralph...

...when did Harley Quinn become so violent and scary?

I remember when she first appeared, in Batman: The Animated Series. She was a slightly ditzy blond henchman of the Joker. Eventually she was written as being in love with her crazy boss. Even more eventually she somehow became a champion-class gymnast and also got a degree in psychology or psychiatry (I forget which and I know there's a difference), as though anyone ditzy could manage one of those, let alone both - those both take a lot of effort and time. I'll admit, it was better when she was just a blond who took up with the Joker rather than attend beauty school. She was funny.

Now she's interpreted as Sexy Joker. Still super gymnastic (yet somehow also now busty), but now she shows skin and knows she's sexy and uses it. She's extra violent now too. She's in just about everything - makes me think of when Marvel used to throw Wolverine into every comic to give it a temporary sales lift.

We got the Batman animated feature "Assault on Arkham" from the library and tried to watch it last night. There's so much edge in this it's a wonder it didn't cut itself. Exsanguinated dead bodies so a guy can bathe in blood! Headshots! Harley Quinn rips a woman's ear off with her teeth because the woman said stop playing on your phone! And that's just in the opening credits!

That's enough for us. Done. Admittedly, the Batman fight scene before the credits was well done and it made sense to have some blood there given Batman's beating people up - but it also reinforced the feeling of "why doesn't Batman just use guns at this point, he's crippling people for life and probably breaking their spines, and if he'd just shoot the bad guys instead of putting them back in Arkham's revolving door, it would stop a lot of these murderers/terrorists/psychotics. (Let's face it, the Joker is now a mass murderer/serial killer/terrorist, the way he's being written nowadays.)

...and I know why they don't do that. "Batman doesn't use guns" is part of his shtick even if he absolutely kills people in other ways. And if Batman just snapped and killed the Joker and other villains, then nobody could ever write those characters again. And DC knows where its money comes from.

And now there's Sexy Joker/Harley Quinn for all the fanservice. She's not funny any more, she's "edgy" and "Sexy" and hyper-violent.

/rant

This entry was originally posted at https://laridian.dreamwidth.org/2922810.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sammyfrog
Jul. 17th, 2018 04:33 pm (UTC)
Modern-day feminism! *thumbs up* They don't want to degrade women by portraying "stereotypes", so instead they make female characters what they think is "cool" and "tough" and "capable". What they're really doing is portraying women as mean and heartless at best and psychopathic at worst. Yeah, thanks for that!
laridian
Jul. 17th, 2018 07:21 pm (UTC)
And don't forget, "empowered" means "showing skin and owning your sexiness and using it to make men ogle you!"
sammyfrog
Jul. 19th, 2018 04:18 pm (UTC)
Right! And then pointing to your face and saying "I'm up here!" when they have the nerve to look at the flesh you've put on display.
laridian
Jul. 18th, 2018 12:34 am (UTC)
May I also present: Strong Female Characters!
http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311
sammyfrog
Jul. 19th, 2018 04:24 pm (UTC)
LOLOL! Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Female characters get to be in on the action, as long as they wear cute little costumes and kick their legs in the air so men can look between them. And that's. Somehow. Empowering. Not degrading at all! That's women finally taking control of their sexuality! ??? In the past, female characters have been portrayed as helpless victims, which was annoying and frustrating, but now they're the perpetrators. *sigh* Is there no middle ground? Really?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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