Harlequin (comics)

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For the Joker's sidekick, see Harley Quinn.
Harlequin
Three of the Harlequins haunt Alan Scott's dreams in Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Mayne)
All-American Comics #89 (1947)
(Cooper)
Infinity, Inc. #14 (1985)
(Unknown)
Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #5 (1993)
Created by (Mayne)
Robert Kanigher
Irwin Hasen
(Cooper)
Roy Thomas
(Unknown)
Ron Marz
Jim Balent
In-story information
Alter ego - Molly Catherine Mayne-Scott
- Duela Dent
- Marcie Cooper
- Unknown
Team affiliations (Mayne)
Injustice Society
Manhunters
(Cooper)
Injustice Unlimited
Abilities (Mayne)
Glasses that projected 3-D holograms, and energy blasts
Handle-extended wooden mandolin
(Cooper)
Glasses that projected illusions, and hypnotized people
Handle-extended wooden mandolin
(Unknown)
Illusion-casting

Harlequin is the name of four clown-themed DC Comics characters.

The original Harlequin was a foe of the Golden Age Green Lantern, and later became his wife. The second Harlequin originally debuted as the Joker's Daughter, and was a member of the Teen Titans. The third Harlequin was a member of the Injustice Unlimited super-villain team, and battled Infinity, Inc. The fourth Harlequin has only appeared on a few occasions, and is an enemy of Alan Scott. The Harlequin was ranked 100th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list, although this list does not specify which version of the character was chosen.[1]

Molly Mayne[edit]

Mayne as she appeared as the Harlequin in the late 1940s
A newly rejuvenated Molly Mayne reappears as Harlequin in Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1.

The original Harlequin was Molly Mayne who appeared in stories alongside the Golden Age Green Lantern (Alan Scott).

Mayne developed a crush on Scott and, donning a colorful costume (which included harlequin glasses, a conical hat, and a mandolin), started a life of crime to attract his attention. Her crimes tended to be harmless and mostly for show, although the two clashed on several occasions in the late 1940s.

She briefly joined the Injustice Society until she turned on them by aiding the Justice Society of America. She had a deep running altruistic streak which occasionally led her to join forces with her enemy/would-be love interest. Despite being attracted to Harlequin, Scott never entered into a relationship with her and she eventually gave up in despair. She made a deal with the government in which she went on intelligence missions in return for amnesty for her past crimes and then quietly retired. On one occasion, she assisted Green Lantern, Superman and Lois Lane in capturing another foe of her love, the Sportsmaster.

Years later, after the death of his first wife Rose Canton, Alan Scott realized that he had loved Molly all this time and they got married. As the years passed a problem developed for the two; the Starheart (which gave Scott his powers) had reversed his aging processes, so he was physically a young man while Molly had since aged into an old woman. In despair over the rift this had caused between them Molly sold her soul to the demon Neron in return for youth in Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1. Her body became that of a young woman (who had the power to create nightmares) but her soul remained in the underworld. Scott fought his way through Hell to obtain it and, with the help of the young Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, returned it to the Harlequin's body. This resulted in re-aging Molly, but making her whole once again. Some time thereafter, Scott himself was returned to his true physical age, as well. Mayne and Scott remain happily married to this day.

During the Brightest Day event, Molly briefly appears when Alan's daughter Jenny arrives at the Scott home in search of her father's old lantern. Molly informs her stepdaughter that Alan had been depressed in recent weeks, as Jenny had not been to visit her family since her resurrection at the close of Blackest Night.[2] Later, a doppelganger of the younger, villainous Molly is created by Alan's ring after he goes insane and battles the Justice League. The doppelganger is briefly seen torturing Starman.[3]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Her primary tool was her glasses. The glasses were later explained as a gift from the Manhunters as one of their agents. By using the glasses, she was able to project realistic three-dimensional holograms and fire energy blasts. In recent years, the glasses enabled an aged Molly to "maintain" the physical vitality of her youth's athleticism.

Her secondary tool is a mandolin with an extending handle which she uses as a defensive weapon, especially against the Golden Age Green Lantern (due to his weakness to its wooden construction).

Duela Dent[edit]

Main article: Duela Dent

Duela Dent is the second character to use the Harlequin name. Originally appearing as a villain, she called herself the Joker's Daughter, and soon claimed to be the daughter of Joker, as well as Riddler, Scarecrow, Catwoman, and Penguin. In Pre-Crisis continuity, she later revealed her true father was Two-Face, and soon joined the Teen Titans and renamed herself Harlequin.

Duela's age has been retconned many times during the course of her history. When introduced she was a teenaged girl, however in later books, she was portrayed as a much older woman. Recently however she's been returned to a far younger age.

In current continuity, Duela continues to claim various supervillains as her parent. Freely alternating between heroic and villainous roles, Duela is considered a delusional former member of the original Teen Titans but later becomes a member of the evil Titans East. She later betrays Titans East when offered membership with the current team.

Soon after, Duela is killed by a rogue Monitor in the first issue of Countdown, following a failed kidnapping attempt on a celebrity and pursuit from Jason Todd. It is later revealed that she is a native of Earth-3 and the biological daughter of the Jokester and Three-Face (Evelyn Dent), that world's heroic equivalents of the Joker and Two Face.

Marcie Cooper[edit]

Drawn by Vince Argondezzi in Infinity Inc. vol. 1 #46.

As a youth, Marcie Cooper was recruited by the Grandmaster to join the Manhunters. Her grandfather, Dan Richards (aka, Manhunter), also encouraged her to join the group as he had years ago. The Manhunters gave her a job working at KGLX radio in Gotham City, alongside Molly Mayne-Scott, who was a former agent called Harlequin. Marcie began dating Northwind, and later Obsidian, both of Infinity, Inc., and infiltrated the superteam from within.

When the Manhunters began to strike at Earth, Marcie stole Molly's illusion-casting spectacles, taking the identity of Harlequin. She failed to recruit Obsidian to the Manhunters, and tried to kill her grandfather after he betrayed the Manhunters.[4] Dan Richards was later killed by the Manhunter, Mark Shaw.

Single-minded in her attempt to destroy Infinity, Inc., she joined Injustice Unlimited and masterminded the assassination of Skyman: It was on the wedding night of Hector Hall and Lyta Trevor; Harlequin posed as Jade and used Solomon Grundy as her pawn in killing Skyman. She then took Grundy, gathered the Dummy and took the pair to meet with Artemis, the Icicle, and Hazard. The plan to murder the Infinitors was told to all and put into action. Pat Dugan was used as bait to bring the heroes to Stellar Studios, but the battle went bad for the villains. When Solomon Grundy realized he had been manipulated by Harlequin, he savagely beat her. Afterwards she was given over to the authorities. (Infinity Inc 51-53, 1988)

Harlequin has not been heard from since (though Roy Thomas has stated she was not killed).

Cooper did make a cameo appearance in Alan Scott's dream sequence in Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1.

Some readers have speculated that she may be the mysterious Harlequin introduced in Green Lantern Quarterly. This new Harlequin is shown standing next to Golden Glider in "Underworld Unleashed" #1, whom some misinterpret as Marcie Cooper herself. Another piece of speculation entails Marcie Cooper having been the Marcy from Batgirl Special #1 and Secret Origins #20. That last idea was tentatively acknowledged by Millennium Index #1 (1987).

Powers and abilities[edit]

Harlequin wears special glasses that allows her to hypnotize people and to create realistic illusions in the minds of the people around her. She can even project illusions over television. She also wields a mandolin with an extending handle that can be used as a weapon.

A psychopathic killer, she is not afraid to do whatever it takes to destroy her opponents.

Unknown[edit]

The mysterious Harlequin from Green Lantern Quarterly #5

A mysterious new Harlequin debuted in issues #5-6 of Green Lantern Corps. Quarterly, and battled Alan Scott.

As a little girl, she discovered she had illusion-casting powers. She learned all about the Green Lantern, Alan Scott, and how the first Harlequin became his lover. She knew it was her destiny to become the next Harlequin and to be with Green Lantern.

She created illusions of Icicle and Solomon Grundy for Alan Scott to battle, and then revealed herself to him. During that encounter, Scott mysteriously regained his youth. Though at first he thought this an illusion, he later learned that the original consciousness of the Starheart had been reawakened, and M'La had been tortured and slain.

The mysterious Harlequin battles Alan Scott.

During her battles with Scott, she eventually attacked his wife, Molly Mayne-Scott (the first Harlequin). She created illusions of a decrepit version of Molly, while she flooded Scott's head with visions of them together (in space, as barbarians, as detectives and eventually as medieval warriors). Scott was able to break free when he unleashed his simmering rage against her, and showed her a world where he ruled over Hell, and she was his captive slave. She stopped the battle, and fled away shouting that he had ruined everything, and instantly disappeared into the air.

She returned and made an appearance in Alan's dream sequence in Underworld Unleashed: Abyss - Hell's Sentinel #1. She also appeared in Hell alongside the other villains called by Neron in Underworld Unleashed #1.

During Underworld Unleashed, a character named Fay Moffit became the new Spellbinder. She bears a striking resemblance (both physically and in terms of powers) to this mysterious Harlequin. Although very similar, they appear to be two separate characters.

Powers and abilities[edit]

She has illusion-casting powers similar to her predecessors. However, her illusions are much more intense and powerful than the illusions cast by Molly Mayne and Marcie Cooper, which were created from their glasses. When casting her illusions, if the victim has any minor doubt or little qualm in their mind, they will feel the pain her illusion is inflicting on them.

Other versions[edit]

Infinity Inc. - Gay Male Harlequin[edit]

Gay male Harlequin from the original Infinity, Inc. pitch.

In the original pitch for the Infinity, Inc. series, creators Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway had planned on using a young gay male as a new Harlequin.

In an interview with Alter Ego, Ordway explains: "Northwind is shown--but at his side (see P. 33) is a new, young, male Harlequin, who Jerry's notes suggest might become "comics' first gay character. Or we could just assume it." Not a bad idea, and maybe we should have played it that way; but we were already going to have two Green Lantern-derived heroes in Infinity, Inc."

Kingdom Come[edit]

A new Joker's Daughter appeared in the Kingdom Come mini-series and The Kingdom: Offspring # 1. She is identified as both Joker's Daughter and Harlequin in annotations for the series and according to Alex Ross (Both Cooper and the unknown Harlequin introduced in 1993 were apparently overlooked in the preparation of Kingdom Come).[5] The card set calls her a riot girl, who is "one of many to follow the Joker's chaotic style." She is not related to either Duela Dent or the Joker.

It's been stated that the Kingdom Come storyline is now Earth-22 in the DC Multiverse. Previously, it was called Earth-96 in the first Multiverse.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 61. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0. 
  2. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #46
  3. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #47
  4. ^ Thomas, Roy, Dann Thomas (w), Argondezzi, Vince (p), DeZuniga, Tony (i). "Swamped!" Infinity Inc. 46 (January, 1988), DC Comics
  5. ^ "Kingdom Come #1 Annotations". 2000-12-18. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 

External links[edit]

Molly Mayne

Duela Dent

Marcie Cooper

Others