No Right Answer: Harley Quinn vs Mr Freeze - Best Batman Animated Series Character

Harley Quinn vs Mr Freeze - Best Batman Animated Series Character

Widely regarded as the best version Batman, let alone one of the best cartoons ever, Batman: TAS was and is amazing. But of all the characters to spawn from that greatness, which one stands the test of time?

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I'm at work and can't watch the video right now, but Harley wins, hands down for me. I'm amazed she wasn't part of Batman until after the Animated Series.

I would actually have given this to Freeze. Harley's great and all, but it's one thing to create a character from whole cloth to become interesting or memorable. With Freeze, they took the most nothing character possible, with a lame design, no real motivation, and anyone who even remembered who he was knew him as a lame C-lister, if even that. They turned him into a haunting, sympathetic character, who is still a frightening, imposing figure, even as he pulls on your heartstrings with his tragic story. You want Batman to win, sure. Because Freeze will just kill everyone in his way if he doesn't. But you still feel like there should have been a better way.

Plus Harley's gotten WAY over exposed the last few years, and honestly, I'm getting a little tired of her. But that's not the original cartoon's fault.

Besides, Freeze won an Emmy, so there.

Harely Quinn's persona and popularity has grown around her sexuality. She is the exact opposite of empowered; constantly "used", beaten, and abused by the Joker, but still "in love" with him due to whatever emotional defect she is afflicted with.

Mr. Freeze became popular due to his growth and development as a person, who has become unhinged and deranged by personal tragedy. In his "better" incarnations, his criminal endeavors have been a misguided attempt towards saving his wife. At his worst, he embodies the angst of people who turn their pain outwards as jealous anger towards everyone else who they perceive as "having it better".

Pitting Quinn against Freeze is like asking if porn or Breaking Bad is better. Yes, I use the generic label of porn, because as pointed out, she is the generic "dumb blonde" who squeaks in a high voice.

Now I'm thinking of Mr. Freeze as a WWE star who exploded in popularity after BTAS was his character repackaging. Like Husky Harris to Bray Wyatt.

Mmm, they didn't factor in the New 52 or pre 52 of the two?

Well ok to be fair I have no idea if Mr Freeze is any different in the New 52 but it has worked wonder for Harley!

JackgarPrime:
Plus Harley's gotten WAY over exposed the last few years, and honestly, I'm getting a little tired of her.

Can't agree with this enough. Going to conventions just exacerbates this for me, as IMO Harley Quinn has become to comic books what Yoko from Gurren Lagann is to anime: the default generic attractive cosplay.

Solkard:
Harely Quinn's persona and popularity has grown around her sexuality. She is the exact opposite of empowered; constantly "used", beaten, and abused by the Joker, but still "in love" with him due to whatever emotional defect she is afflicted with. ... [S]he is the generic "dumb blonde" who squeaks in a high voice.

This also doesn't help at all.

I just really don't see the appeal in Harley other than quirky attractive villain.

I was going to find a sexy picture of Mr. Freeze so we could do a side-by-side comparison, but the best I could do that could still be hosted on this site was:

I always liked Harley more as a character, but Freeze as a villain. Watching her struggle against her obviously unhealthy attraction to the Joker, and how it effects Poison Ivy and others, is really fascinating and can be incredibly moving under the right circumstances and with the right writer. That said, Mister Freeze is definitely the more threatening of the two, the one you can actually believe is a supervillain worthy of the title.

I also like puns

If we are just talking Batman TAS, Harley was a ton of fun. She just lights up any scene that features her. It really is a stroke of genius to give Joker a sidekick just as loyal and devoted to him as Robin is to Batman.

However, Mr. Freeze is so perfectly tragic, if those episodes don't pull at you, you might be colder than Victor.

Batman TAS!!! Already EVERYBODY is a winner! :D

Yay for Harley though, she's just great!

Almost had a spit take at "Harley Quinn is a whore"

Depends on what you want. Harley's got comedy (dark, but still) and sex appeal, and Mr. Freeze has pathos and menace. Something for everybody. And Herman, if I can give you some constructive criticism (if such thing is allowed on the Web), you have to project your voice more. Chris, Kyle, and Dan practically shout into the camera.

Scarim Coral:
Mmm, they didn't factor in the New 52 or pre 52 of the two?

Well ok to be fair I have no idea if Mr Freeze is any different in the New 52 but it has worked wonder for Harley!

Yeah, I've seen Mr. Freeze a couple of times in the New 52, during the Bat-crossover Night of the Owls. Aside from a white Mohawk, he doesn't look that different, but they changed his backstory to never being married to Nora at all. He just imagined it while she was in cryogenic stasis since the '40's.

I love in the TAS when detective Bullock says to her (out of costume) "Hey, don't I know you?" to which Harely replied "Yeah, I think I served you a subpoena once, it was a SMALL subpoena". I was kind of taken aback that in a cartoon shown around 4pm after school that they would have a joke like that in the episode.

To this day Batman the animated series is one of the best western cartoons ever produced.

They could've done so much more with Harley Quinn if they didn't make her a dumb blonde. She's suppose be this woman with some kind of educational background in psychiatry prior to joining Joker. But she never comes off like that at all. If anything she should be an anti-villain who believes she has a better chance at helping these villains mentally by joining them in their illegal activities instead of in a prison.

Mr. Freeze on the other hand.... Well now I have this urge for him & Kratos to have a Freaky Friday crossover.... Though I'm sure Maxie Zeus would probably get killed in the process....

Maybe Freeze never had to prance around in lingerie but they did change the suit to something that resembles Terminator armour with built-in combat systems. That's just as bad.

I agree on both the conclusion here, and that the Mr. Freeze boss fight is best boss fight. For those who haven't played it, you know how 80% of boss fights in all games consist of "expose-weakness-punch-boss-repeat-three-to-five-times"? Well, Mr. Freeze is smarter than that. Any attack you use against him will work exactly once, then he starts countering it. And you have to hit him several times, so you have to use all the tools available to you to take him down. There are about 15 different approaches possible, and you need most of them to win.

I have to say Mr Freeze by virtue of his ability to stand on his own as a compelling character, while Quinn is completely reliant on Joker for the same to be true. This is something the Neo 52 writers have forgotten (as with many, many of things about the characters they are dealing with).

Both are hella good. Harley is what she is because she wants to, she fell in love with the Joker as well, she is deep just watch the episode about how she fell for the Joker but I agree she is more simple than Mr. Freeze but she has less time alive as well. Also she isn't dumb, but she isn't a genius either. I would say Harley is actually smart she worked in Arkham as a physiologist yet the Joker charms got her.

Now Mr. Freeze is a genius, anti-villian with a pretty sad story but he has it because the dude has more experience, Harley is young.

Also you gotta keep in mind that after the joker dies who will become the boss of the clowns? Mr. Freeze isn't a mob leader.

Mr. Freeze is the far more interesting and compelling character by far. It is no contest.

If we're going to go into boss fights, I thought Firefly from Arkham Origins was pretty stellar, but that could have just been that the rest of the game was such garbage. But yeah, the Mr. Freeze boss fight was pretty spectacular.

As for Harley, I'm expecting her to play a bigger role in Arkham Knight after the events of Arkham City.

RatGouf:
They could've done so much more with Harley Quinn if they didn't make her a dumb blonde. She's suppose be this woman with some kind of educational background in psychiatry prior to joining Joker. But she never comes off like that at all. If anything she should be an anti-villain who believes she has a better chance at helping these villains mentally by joining them in their illegal activities instead of in a prison.

This is a very good point that doesn't get brought up enough. Harley Quinzel is a psychiatrist. The woman has to have some smarts, and yet she really did nothing with it in the Animated Series.

Joker is basically a Chemical Engineer Savant and a Genius. He uses it in all of his harebrained schemes. Poison Ivy obviously uses her Botany. Even The Clock King used his mind for numbers and precision to make Batman look like a rank amateur after studying him.

The Clock King. Not the guy you'd find at the gym... dodging Batman like it was a joke.

Harley? Never used her obvious intelligence. She sat there and pouted. Wasn't even that stellar of a fighter. I always thought the Joker kept her around because he wanted to see how far he could push his greatest mindfuck. Much like how he wanted to break the Bat because he thought no one should be able to be that just, he wanted to see if he ruined Harley so completely that nothing he could do would ever push her away. While I like Harley, she's more of a walking testament of the deviousness of the Joker than a character standing on her own two feet in the Animated Series.

With Mr. Freeze? I mean, I can't. I simply can't. The man wants nothing more than his wife back. If anyone should understand, it's Batman. I already regretted that they never gave them a Bottle Episode that would force Batman to see that if Bruce wasn't gifted the wealth to become the Batman, he might have followed a similar path to crime. The things they both need to do require huge amounts of money. Fries just drew the short straw and couldn't come up with it.

ObsidianJones:

RatGouf:
They could've done so much more with Harley Quinn if they didn't make her a dumb blonde. She's suppose be this woman with some kind of educational background in psychiatry prior to joining Joker. But she never comes off like that at all. If anything she should be an anti-villain who believes she has a better chance at helping these villains mentally by joining them in their illegal activities instead of in a prison.

This is a very good point that doesn't get brought up enough. Harley Quinzel is a psychiatrist. The woman has to have some smarts, and yet she really did nothing with it in the Animated Series.

Joker is basically a Chemical Engineer Savant and a Genius. He uses it in all of his harebrained schemes. Poison Ivy obviously uses her Botany. Even The Clock King used his mind for numbers and precision to make Batman look like a rank amateur after studying him.

The Clock King. Not the guy you'd find at the gym... dodging Batman like it was a joke.

Harley? Never used her obvious intelligence. She sat there and pouted. Wasn't even that stellar of a fighter. I always thought the Joker kept her around because he wanted to see how far he could push his greatest mindfuck. Much like how he wanted to break the Bat because he thought no one should be able to be that just, he wanted to see if he ruined Harley so completely that nothing he could do would ever push her away. While I like Harley, she's more of a walking testament of the deviousness of the Joker than a character standing on her own two feet in the Animated Series.

With Mr. Freeze? I mean, I can't. I simply can't. The man wants nothing more than his wife back. If anyone should understand, it's Batman. I already regretted that they never gave them a Bottle Episode that would force Batman to see that if Bruce wasn't gifted the wealth to become the Batman, he might have followed a similar path to crime. The things they both need to do require huge amounts of money. Fries just drew the short straw and couldn't come up with it.

I'm pretty sure they did have it in the comics (mad love I think?) at one point that she only got through university by spreading her legs for lecturers or is that not canon?

Either way whether she "acts" like a total moron or is a total moron makes little difference. Joker likely keeps her around cause she's tits on call that he can slap around and who is to stupid and attached to leave him.

DementedSheep:
I'm pretty sure they did have it in a comics (mad love I think?) at one point that she only got through university by spreading her legs for lecturers or is that not canon?

Either way whether she "acts" like a total moron or is a total moron makes little difference. Joker likely keeps her around cause she's tits on call that he can slap around and who is to stupid and attached to leave him.

If that's canon, I fucking hate the Mad Love writer for having to go to that point. Bad enough that the Animated series never used her intelligence, but to make it she only got where she was by laying on her back? Insulting.

And that becomes especially ergregious with the fact that she got into Arkham Asylum (even as an intern) meant she had to have at least proven to someone that she was capable of swimming with that school of piranha.

God, I don't want even to look up to see if it's true.

I have to say, Herman irked me by dismissing Harley during the drinking round as "someone who has never done anything but prance around in her skimpy outfit" etc.

That shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the character, the reason we all roll our eyes over Harley's costumes in the Arkham games and new-52 comics is because she is a character that is... well not innocent, but certainly naïve. She entered the Joker's life as a smart but unwise person that thought she could get massive respect in her field from psychoanalysing him when no-one else could and he manipulated her masterfully, played first on her professional curiosity, then her feelings to the point where she would help him beyond what even he intended.

All too quickly when she was so dedicated to him, he abused her terribly because he could, showing the full tragedy of her fall.

leviadragon99:
I have to say, Herman irked me by dismissing Harley during the drinking round as "someone who has never done anything but prance around in her skimpy outfit" etc.

Not just that but describing her as a 'whore' was incredibly misogynistic. The dismissal of Harley as just eye candy ignores the episode "Mad Love" where Batman tells Joker that Harley came closer to killing him than the joker ever did.

"Harley Quinn is a whore."

And I am done watching your show. The casual misogyny leading up to the above quote is not cool.

Firia:
"Harley Quinn is a whore."

And I am done watching your show. The casual misogyny leading up to the above quote is not cool.

As I mentioned on Twitter, I'll talk to Dan about this. We can definitely be more careful about that sort of low-brow language and reference. We can and will do better. My apologies.

I swear Hermans voice is getting lower and lower, it is like kittywhispers.

 

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