Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck (a.k.a. The Joker) in The Joker

‘Joker 2’ Harley Quinn First Look Makes Me More Worried It’ll Be a Setback for Her

Joker is a movie that many (especially those who read this site) like to remind me is a movie I don’t particularly like. I have my reasoning, I stand by being afraid of the reaction people were having to this, and I still think it is a frustrating conversation about “serious” superhero movies being upheld over others because it’s just a cycle of the never-ending conversation on whether or not superhero stories have merit.

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My nit-picking over Joker is something that will never stop and I don’t think I’m going to go back to. But while I was not the biggest fan of Joker, its sequel definitely has my attention. Joker: Folie à Deux is bringing Lady Gaga in as Harley Quinn and the first look image of the film has Harley and Joker face to face with each other.

Shared on Lady Gaga’s Instagram, the image as them looking at each other in a way that shows me that the two are (most likely) giving us a love story take on Harley and the Joker.

Look, their relationship has to start somewhere and while we’ve fallen into the post Joker life of Harley recently, it isn’t surprising that this movie is maybe starting with their “love” for each other. But I don’t want it to detract from the Harley content we’ve been getting in other properties because that’s, to me, when this character shines.

I like my Harley post the Joker

One of the things about Harley and the Joker is that I find them more interesting as characters on their own. In fact, I love them broken up. There’s nothing particularly charming or loving about their relationship and in every single case we’ve seen, it’s been incredibly toxic. Given how the first movie attempted to tackle the Joker through the mental health angle, I wouldn’t be surprised if the team behind Joker: Folie à Deux focused on that toxicity.

I just don’t want it to come down to a toxic relationship that leads to the Joker being who continues on while Harley is left in the dust. Something I love about both Birds of Prey and the Harley Quinn show on HBO Max is that they give Harley the freedom to make her own decisions and find love away from the Joker. His toxicity to her is what drives her freedom and her own expression and chaos.

I’m afraid that the movie might set that back or not give Harley the freedom she should have and I would love to see the continued use of Gaga in the role in this more serious take on the villains of Gotham. I stand by my statement that we don’t need more Joker content because I think the character as a whole is overused at this point and there are plenty of Batman villains who we could spend time with.

But since we are continuing with this story, I just hope that they do right by Harley given all the good content we’ve been getting for the character.

(Featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.