The Joker & Harley Quinn Go Way Back, Long Before 'Suicide Squad'

It's no secret that Harley Quinn and the Joker are the most highly anticipated characters in Suicide Squad. As the craziest of the bunch, they promise to be the most entertaining bad guys of the bunch. It probably helps that, unlike El Diablo or Killer Croc, Harley Quinn and the Joker are pretty well known, even to casual comic book lovers. The two are known as DC villain's first couple, a pair of crazy lovers intertwined throughout comic books, cartoon shows, and video games. Their story and relationship has changed over the years, and, since Suicide Squad isn't based on one specific iteration of the characters, the way Joker and Harley Quinn are connected in the movie could be something we've seen before or something brand new.

Over the years, the Joker and Harley Quinn have gotten new origin stories and new looks, but their stories have always crossed paths — at least, Harley Quinn's story has always been connected to the Joker. The Joker was created in 1940 as a villain in the first issue of Batman, while Harley didn't appear in the Batman world until 1992. And, her origin story has always been connected to the Joker. In other words, she's never really existed without him, a fact it looks like Suicide Squad will keep in tact. The question is which one of Harley's origin stories will be shown in the movie.

Harley has two known origin stories. In the first, she was a psychiatrist, Dr. Harleen Quinzel, who fell in love with the Joker and essentially decided to become a villain to be with him. In the second, however, it was the Joker who made the decision for her, by torturing her and throwing her into a vat of chemicals, turning her into Harley Quinn. It's unclear which version of the story will be represented in Suicide Squad. Clips from various trailers show the Joker threatening to torture Harley (when she was still Dr. Quinzel) and him lifting Harley's limp body out of a swirling vat of something — all suggesting that the film will be going for Harley Quinn's later origin story.

So, by the time we meet them in Suicide Squad, the Joker has turned Harley into the villain that she is, and she has gotten arrested. What for, we're not entirely sure, but it's clear from trailers that the Joker is not in jail with her. In a newly released character feature, the Joker appears to be going after Harley, asking, "Where is she?" So, the Joker and Harley don't start out together in Suicide Squad, which begs the question, what separated them in the first place? CinemaBlend reported a year ago that Harley and the Joker had been separated by the death of Jason Todd, aka Robin. (Those who saw Batman v. Superman will remember that the film alluded to the fact that the Joker had killed Robin.) Maybe the Joker used Harley to help him kill Batman's right hand man, and then also let her take the fall for it, which would explain why Harley is behind bars and the Joker isn't. (It would also explain Batman's cameo in the film.)

Regardless of what origin story is seen in Suicide Squad, an important thing to remember about the history of Harley Quinn's relationship with the Joker is that it has always been regarded as dark and abusive. The Joker isn't a nice guy, not even to bad girl. So, if you were hoping the Joker and Harley Quinn would bring a little romance to Suicide Squad, prepare to be disappointed.

Images: Warner Bros; Giphy (2)