Last nights episode of Arrow (atleast in the UK) was entitled ‘Suicide Squad’ and aside from giving us the first real look at the afore mentioned squad in action, and officially naming ‘Deathstroke’ it also gave us a huge character that has massive implications for not only the show but the entire DC television universe in the form of Harley Quinn. Now we didnt get to see Harley last night, unfortunately, but we get too hear he ever so famous high Brooklyn voice drop a great line in a vital scene- and this single 10seconds may be one of the biggest changes to the television universe this season and heres why.
The inclusion of Harley Quinn into the television universe opens up a multitude of new opportunities for character appearances of links to the bigger DC film universe, but before we discuss each of these here’s the clip im referring too.
Now this may be a very short first appearance from Harley- but it not only signifies that there is more of her too come, as we all know she is an integral part of the ‘Suicide Squad’ but it also adds a plethora of opportunities for the writers, and confirms several things about the ‘Arrow-vere’:
1/ Joker exists
Its impossible to have the existence of Harley Quinn without the existence of the Joker- as without everyone’s favourite psychotic villain there would be no possibly way Harley Quinn could have ever come into existence. For those who arent familiar with the origin tale of Harley Quinn, she is basically a trained psychiatrist who undertakes some training in Arkham Asylum and gets the role of working with the Joker (actually volunterrs). However as with everything he is involved in nothing is as it seems, as he spends there session working on the psyche of Dr Harleen Quinzel who had already fallen in love with him at almost first glance.
Harley helps the joker escape from Arkham- as she feels he should be a free man, completely blinded by love- however after an encounter with Batman where the joker is beaten badly he is returned to Arkham asylum where Harley then sees him in this state and is driven mad by rage. She once again helps the Joker escape and decides to don a jesters outfit and makeup and serve at his side as his ever faithful sidekick and sometimes lover.
Now the sheer revelation that Joker must exist in this universe, or the writers are going to fully re-write her origin and given their current trend of sticking to the comic books i don’t see this going down well if they did, means that Arrow’s world just got more crazy and exciting. Could you imagine a cameo by the Joker to see Harley? Or an episode where she teams with the Joker and the Arrow has to try to stop the pair of them? Not only would this bring in comic books fans by their droves, but it would make great television to see the crazy one-sided relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn play out on television. And let’s be honest who doesn’t want to see the ‘Clown prince of crime.’
2/ Batman Exists
Just as its impossible to have Harley without the Joker, you need to go further back and none of it would be possibly without Batman! As Batman is the very reason for the existence of the Joker, if you believe the ‘Red Hood’ origin that has always been alluded to but never fully confirmed (one of the truly great origin mysteries is the Jokers) then it all begins with the Dark Knight.
Adding Batman to the world of Arrow would be a huge leap, as the character is a much larger and better known character with pop culture and could take away from the main cast of the show but we now know that he at least exists in this universe. This isnt the first real clue as to the existence of Batman, as the ‘Al Ghul’s’ have featured in multiple episodes and are long time rivals and in one Al Ghul’s case lover of the Dark Knight but this is the first real confirmation as the Al Ghul’s could have existed separately.
This opens up a whole host of opportunities, will we get a Batman cameo? Could we get famous bat villains making an appearance in arrow, such as Catwoman or Penguin as both would easily fit the bill for a single episode heist that needs to be stopped. Could we even see the Arrow meet a regular Dark Knight sidekick such as Nightwing- its highly plausible as Arrow has already traveled to Bludhaven in season one which is Nightwings town. Or could we even see the television formation/version of a Justice league as we know Flash is due soon, and Black Canary already exists and all of this is just thanks to a 10second voice appearance of Harley Quinn.
3/ Arrow could appear in ‘Superman vs Batman’
Now this has always been a possibility and something i would like to see, if they keep the ever-growing cast of superheroes and villains down- I fear were reaching Spiderman3 territory right now. However as they have already confirmed the two above character facts, if Arrow’s television universe isn’t separate from the DC movie-verse then this would be the next logical step. After the introduction of Harley, Batman must exist, and as they’ve added him to the next Superman movie adding in Arrow to get the beginnings of a Justice League would be a great move. Imagine the immediate amount of fans that would rush to the cinemas to see this movie, even those who may otherwise avoid the movie may well go purely because the character they have followed on television for 2 series is making his big screen debut. Not only that, but you could then add any of the heroes/villains that have already appeared in Arrow to the movie, or future movies, without the real need for an in-depth origin tale as they have had those on TV- plus you’ve got the Flash all ready to go.
This really is the step that makes much more sense than keeping the universes separate, as I’ve previously mentioned, and would be a real feather in the Cap of DC as they will have successfully proven you can take characters that are loved on television and make them into big screen heroes that are equally loved. And let’s be honest any help that DC can get right now with the ever delayed and postponed Justice League movie they should really be taking.
I bet at the top when i mentioned how important Harley Quinn was many people thought- WHAT?! But there is no denying that she opens up a whole host of possibilities and confirms the existence of some major DC characters and for that i take my hat off to reveal my green head of hair and swing a giant mallet for you Harley- you’re the most important Arrow villain to date, and ‘MR J’ would be proud!