We should all thank Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. In a time when the Batman franchise was threatening to spiral ever deeper in Joel Schumacher's neon hellscape, they managed to keep the Dark Knight respectable. Their influence has been far-reaching, but probably never so evident as with the character of Harley Quinn.
Love for the Joker turned psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel from a law-abiding citizen into adrenaline junkie and two-bit criminal Harley Quinn!
Harley was created for the Batman cartoon, but proved so popular that she eventually graduated into the "real" DC Universe, which allowed Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee to put her in their best-selling "Hush" story and, by extension, allowed DC Direct to make an action figure of her.
Amazingly enough, this is only the second time Harley's had an action figure: the first was in Kenner's animated line, years ago. Yes, there was a 12" doll and a Japanese import (and, if you want to get technical, a few HeroClix), but those hardly count. For US releases, it was a 5" animated figure and this.
Even in her own comic, Harley's usually had a fairly cartoony look - Jim Lee's realistic style was a departure for the character. The figure stands just inder 6 1/2" tall and moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees. Like Series 1's Poison Ivy, Quinn can't stand on her own. Her pose is nice - up on the balls of her feet, she's got a strong contraposto stance - but there's no way for it to support her for long. Heck, even Huntress could stand up.
The sculpt is very nice, even if she doesn't have a good center of gravity. Her face is definitely based on Jim Lee's artwork, and while the tassles on her cap and the ruff around her neck are white, her face is just a little more yellow.
Though the designs of her quartered costume are not etched in, the paint apps don't spill onto one another. The only place it's a little sloppy is the big puffy bits on her wrists, where the thin black line and the light blue shading don't always line up. DCD's paint "errors" are still better than a lot of companies' final product.
Harl's got two accessories, both from the comic. The first, a molded part of her left hand [not much of an "accessory" then, is it? --ed.], is a large gray gun. Seriously large. Tremendously large. "Part of the reason she can't stand up straight" large. Her right hand is shaped to hold the handle of her huge mallet. The big hammer is 4 1/4" long and looks great with the figure.
Harley's looking pretty good in her first realistic appearance. The sculpt is excellent, with just enough exaggerated elements to suggest her animated origins. If this is the type of girl that a whacknut like the Joker gets, then brother, sign me up for a straitjacket.
Was bringing Harl into the "real" comics a good idea or bad? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.