This is not the hottest take, but I order to make Harley Quinn more adult, more mature, don’t dress her in skimpier clothing. Make her a real character. Show us that the Joker is a capricious (psychological) abuser and that she’s desperate for his attention and approval. Show us how she’s a victim and a creator of victims. Show us how she’s weak. Show us how she’s powerful. Show us how she’s flawed.
I woke up with this fic in my head, but see thread. I’ll do the rest unlisted to avoid spam.
Harley surveyed her wardrobe. It wasn’t a really wardrobe on account of her and Mr. J we’re currently holed up in an abandoned toy factory. In fact, it was a steel pipe suspended from two steel poles held up by car wheels.
But that was fine by her because it was all the best clothes: every single item was a red and black jumpsuit, fitted just a bit at the waist with a bit of lace at the ankles and wrists with a wide, spiky collar like a jester at the throat.
“Mr. J,” she said more loudly to get his attention, “Is… is there somethin’ I could do? Somethin’ I could change to… uh…” She faltered, not wanting to beg him out loud to love her. “Maybe if I dressed differently? Showed a little… ah?” She pointed at her chest and upper thigh, “Or grew my hair out? Pig tails? Like a… like a naughty school girl?”
Then his mood turned. She spotted it in his eyes the moment before he squeezed her face too hard and smeared her perfect flat white paint. “On the other hand,” he said much lower and like gravel, almost as an aside rather than to Harley, “There’s _nothing_ you could do to make me love you more.” He pushed her face away and stood up, nearly dumping her straight on the floor. He strolled off to do something else entirely, cackling to himself.
“Oh,” said Harley to the empty room, “OK.”
I can't find the actual article, but I remember reading one that seemed to describe a more realistic portrayal of her in one of the computer games.
https://www.gamecrate.com/evolution-harley-quinn-through-video-games/18545 is not that article, but it does seem to show some of that development in the games.
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