Harley Quinn is one of the most popular characters in the DC universe. As the partner-in-crime and love interest of the Joker, Harley has been a fan favorite villain since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Over the years, Harley’s backstory and relationships have expanded greatly in the comics and various other adaptations. One question that often comes up is whether Harley Quinn has any children of her own.
The quick answer is yes, in some versions of the DC canon, Harley Quinn does have a daughter named Lucy Quinzel. Lucy was first introduced in the DC comic series Harley Quinn in 2017. However, Harley’s status as a mother is not consistent across all DC stories. In many timelines and adaptations, she does not have any biological children.
Harley Quinn’s Backstory
To fully understand whether Harley could have a child, it’s important to know some key details about her backstory. Harley Quinn’s real name is Dr. Harleen Quinzel. She worked as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum in Gotham City and treated patients including the Joker. Over time, Harleen fell in love with the Joker and broke him out of Arkham, adopting the persona of Harley Quinn to assist him in his criminal activities.
Most versions of Harley’s backstory have her entering a relationship with the Joker sometime in her 20s. The dynamic between them is quite dysfunctional – while Harley is deeply infatuated with her “Mistah J”, the Joker often manipulates and abuses her. Their history together rarely involves settling down to have a family.
- Born Harleen Quinzel
- Worked as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum
- Treated and fell in love with the Joker
- Broke Joker out of Arkham and became Harley Quinn
- Typically enters relationship with Joker in her 20s
- Dysfunctional, abusive dynamic between them
Harley Quinn’s Age
To determine if Harley could plausibly have a child, it’s also helpful to establish her approximate age. Unfortunately, DC has never canonically stated Harley Quinn’s age. However, we can make some educated guesses based on details from the comics and shows.
Harleen Quinzel attended college and medical school to become a psychiatrist. In real life, this process typically takes 8-10 years post-high school. As Harleen was working professionally at Arkham Asylum, she was likely at least in her mid-20s when she met the Joker. Most origin stories for Harley seem to show her transformating into Harley Quinn shortly after.
Factoring in the mutable passage of comic book time, it’s reasonable to assume that Harley is probably in her late 20s or early 30s at the youngest. Various writers and artists tend to depict her as being approximately in her 30s. So Harley having a child in her 20s or 30s is certainly plausible in terms of her age.
- Harley’s exact age is never specified
- She has a doctorate, implying 8+ years of school
- Was working professionally when she met Joker
- Probably in her mid-late 20s at that point
- Art typically depicts her as being ~30 years old
- So her having a kid in her 20s-30s is feasible
Motherhood in Main DC Canon
With Harley Quinn’s background in mind, let’s look at whether she has been depicted as having children within the main DC comics canon since her inception in 1992.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, in key comics like Batman: Harley Quinn, Harley and Ivy, and various Suicide Squad runs, Harley is not shown to have any children. Her main relationships are with Poison Ivy and the Joker. The Joker is psychotic and disinterested in domesticity. Ivy provides Harley with friendship but not motherhood.
Motherhood does not factor significantly into Harley’s various backstories and character arcs during this era. She functions primarily as the Joker’s sidekick and then later gains independence, but a child is never part of the equation in these early years. It seems the initially consistent vision was of Harley as a free-spirited villain without children tying her down.
- No children from 1992-2000s in main comics
- Main relationships with Joker and Poison Ivy
- Joker has no interest in domesticity
- Ivy offers friendship but not motherhood
- Harley portrayed as independent woman without kids
Harley Quinn’s Daughter Lucy
It was not until 2017 that Harley Quinn’s status as a mother entered DC canon. In Harley Quinn #17, Harley is revealed to have a daughter named Lucy Quinzel. Lucy seems to be in her late teens and shares Harley’s blond hair and acrobatic talents.
In this continuity, Lucy was born while Harley was still Dr. Quinzel working as a psychiatrist. The father is a fellow doctor at Arkham Asylum. After giving birth, Harley left Lucy with her sister Barry Quinzel to raise so that she could focus on her career. Lucy grew up calling Barry “mom” but was made aware that Harley was her biological mother.
Once Harley went off the rails and became a criminal, she distanced herself from Lucy to keep her safe. However, they reunite later in Lucy’s teens, when Harley is trying to become a hero and protect Coney Island. Their mother-daughter dynamic remains complicated by Harley’s criminal past and Lucy’s difficult childhood.
- Lucy Quinzel introduced in Harley Quinn #17
- Lucy is Harley’s daughter with a fellow Arkham doctor
- Harley left Lucy with her sister Barry after birth
- They reunite when Lucy is a teenager
- Their relationship remains complicated
So in this particular continuity, Harley did have a daughter before she even became Harley Quinn. However, Lucy is not present consistently across DC canon and exists primarily in this one Harley Quinn storyline.
Harley’s Pregnancy in Injustice
Another significant storyline involving Harley as a mother appears in the Injustice comics, based on the video game series. In this dystopian timeline, Harley Quinn becomes pregnant by the Joker and gives birth to twins. However, tragedy strikes when the Joker tricks Superman into killing the infants before Superman’s fall into tyranny and distrust of all criminals like Harley and Joker.
As a result, Harley’s brief motherhood is cut short before she can develop a real relationship with her children. Furthermore, since Injustice represents an alternate dystopian timeline, it does not impact the main DC canon in terms of Harley having given birth successfully.
- Injustice comics show Harley pregnant by Joker
- She gives birth to twins
- Joker tricks Superman into killing them
- Occurs in alternate dystopian timeline
- Does not impact main DC canon
Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad Film
In the 2016 Suicide Squad film, Harley Quinn is portrayed by Margot Robbie. The film shows Harley’s origin story involving her time as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and dysfunctional relationship with the Joker (Jared Leto). However, the film makes no references to Harley having a child.
Given the timescale, with Harley still relatively young when she transforms into her villainous persona, there doesn’t seem to be any period where she paused for motherhood. The film reinforces Harley’s characterization as a wildly unpredictable, freewheeling character without the responsibilities of parenthood.
- Suicide Squad film shows Harley’s origin
- No references to her having a child
- Timeline doesn’t show a period for motherhood
- Emphasized as freewheeling character without kids
Harley Quinn in DC Extended Universe
The DC Extended Universe, which launched with Man of Steel in 2013, currently does not depict Harley Quinn as a mother either. Harley Quinn appears in Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad in this film universe so far.
Birds of Prey shows backstory flashbacks of Harley including her time as Joker’s psychiatrist and transforming into his unhinged girlfriend. But nothing regarding children is ever mentioned. With these films representing Harley’s mainstream introduction to casual moviegoers, it seems clear the DCEU envisions Harley Quinn as many comics initially did – a freespirited femme fatale without offspring.
- DCEU includes Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, The Suicide Squad
- No children for Harley shown
- Birds of Prey shows her origin story in flashbacks
- DCEU seems to stick to childless Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn in Batman: The Animated Series
Going back to Harley Quinn’s original debut, Batman: The Animated Series also did not depict her as a mother. Debuting in 1992, these animated shows represented the first ever portrayal of Harley Quinn across any DC property.
Harley was presented as the Joker’s lovelorn sidekick and later formed a close friendship with Poison Ivy. However, motherhood was never explored as a character detail. As the original portrayal that influenced all future versions, the animated series established Harley Quinn as a defining character without children being part of her story.
- Batman: The Animated Series debuted Harley in 1992
- Showed her origin as Joker’s sidekick
- She later bonds with Poison Ivy
- No children mentioned
- Influential early portrayal lacked motherhood aspect
Harley Quinn in Comics vs. Adaptations
|Version||Has a Child?|
|Main DC Comics Canon||No (with exception of Lucy)|
|Injustice Comic Series||Yes (twins who die)|
|Suicide Squad Film||No|
|Batman Animated Series||No|
This table summarizes Harley Quinn’s status as a mother across her most significant DC appearances. Aside from the brief existence of Lucy in the comics and the doomed twins in Injustice, she is generally not depicted as having children of her own.
Why is Harley Rarely a Mother?
Looking at the patterns across these versions, some key reasons emerge for why Harley Quinn is rarely portrayed as a mother figure:
- Her reckless personality – Harley embraces chaos and violence, making it hard to imagine her settling down with kids.
- Her unhealthy relationship with the Joker – He dominates her world, leaving little room for motherly love and care.
- She often lacks independence – Harley is usually dependent on either Joker or Ivy, not standing strongly on her own.
- Adds complexity as an antihero – Harley became more sympathetic over time; motherhood may complicate that growth.
- Limits story options – As DC’s most recognizable female villain, putting Harley in the traditional mother role may limit storytelling.
These factors contribute to why most writers and directors stick to Harley Quinn as the anarchic, high-flying villainess without the extra baggage and softening effects of being a mom. Her wild personality has become her defining trait, which sits in sharp contrast to the typical maternal archetype.
- Her reckless personality
- Unhealthy relationship with Joker
- Lack of independence
- Complicates her antihero growth
- Limits story options
Does Harley Quinn Have a Kid in DC Canon?
In conclusion, while Harley Quinn has been depicted as a mother in some DC continuities, it is not an aspect that defines her core character across the board. The main DC comics canon does not establish Harley as having her own children apart from her brief canon daughter Lucy Quinzel.
Popular film and TV adaptations uniformly portray Harley as child-free. And the versions introducing her as a mom often use the motherhood theme for specific isolated storylines rather than making it an intrinsic, lasting part of her identity.
So ultimately, while Harley’s status as a mother fluctuates across her history, the most iconic versions paint her firmly as the anarchic Gotham City Siren without the burdens and softening effects of being a parent weighing her down. Her carefree, chaotic personality remains her defining essence rather than traditional maternal traits. For DC’s breakout antiheroine, motherhood represents an interesting alternate storyline but not a core part of her wildly entertaining mythology.