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The Wrong Side: Harley Quinn vs. Wonder Woman

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In this feature, I examine comic book fights that were particularly notable in the wrong side winning (or at least that the fight wasn’t won the “right” way). This really isn’t a big deal, of course, as it doesn’t really matter if the “wrong” person won a fight. But it’s fun to talk about!

If you want to suggest a fight for future inclusion in this feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Don’t suggest a fight in the comments!

Based on a suggestion from reader Eric H., we take a look at Harley Quinn taking out Wonder Woman!

As always, the first page spotlights their power levels and the second page examines the fight itself.

And as always, the first question we need to ask is…

How did these people do when they fought Spider-Man?

Sadly, Spider-Man has never met Harley Quinn.

He did sort of fight Wonder Woman in Superman and Spider-Man (the second one, by Jim Shooter, John Buscema, Joe Sinnott, Terry Austin and Klaus Janson)…



That was Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman, though. Spidey has never met the New 52 version of Wonder Woman.

As for power levels, New 52 Harley Quinn is a formidable foe. Here she is in Suicide Squad #1…


and here she is in Harley Quinn #1…


But New 52 Wonder Woman, she’s on a whole other level.

Check her out fighting Darkseid…



Check her out fighting her fellow Justice League teammates…




Here, she and Superman survive a NUKE!!!



Most importantly, check out this bit from Sinestro #17, where she flies out into outer space…


and kicks some SInestro Corps ass…


The whole “being able to hold her breath in outer space long enough to fly from Earth to Warworld” thing is very important.

Okay, on to the fight!

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This just proves that the new 52 is beyond saving.

Bernard the Poet

January 10, 2016 at 3:01 am

Spiderman won’t let Wonder Woman tie him up until the second date? The ‘Seventies looked a lot of fun.

Actually, the knockout effect was due to the flowers having the narcotic effect, perhaps having special Amazon-affectin’ powers.

I was kidding, but then I remembered the black and red flowers from the GMozz Bat run. Hmm…

My guess is that either Diana thought it was a smoke bomb or she was already affected by the time she realized she had to hold her breath.

Yeah, holding your breath AFTER inhaling the gas isn’t gonna do much good. I think it’s fair to say this is plausable if she was caught off guard.

“Cotton Pickin’ Tree” ?

Y’know, now that you’ve brought it up, I kinda want to see some Spidey/Harley interaction. It could be a lot of fun.

It is kinda difficult to make sense of that giant lung capacity. I would think that the Sinestro scene is the one to question.

I remember a scene in PAD’s second X-Factor run where a bad guy captures M by holding a chloroform-soaked rag over her nose and mouth, and it works. I think it’s pointed out somewhere that being able to fly and lift up skyscrapers doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a human respiratory system.

I will say there is at least some precedent. I seem to recall a scene from Gail Simone’s Secret Six where Wonder Woman was kept immobilize by someone putting some sort of mask feeding gas into her over her face.

My real question though is where did Harley get that uniform with the awesome pun on the back.

Ragnar Hartmann

January 10, 2016 at 9:17 am

This reminds me of why DC keep having to change Super-Man’s power set: the more ridiculously overpowered someone is, the harder it is for anything interesting and character driven to happen involving them.

Harley Quinn did grip both of Wonder-Woman’s wrists, they were pretty close together, maybe somehow that counted as tying them together? … I swear Wonder-Woman either has the weirdest weakness, or pretends to.

Invulnerable Wonder Woman comes at the expense of blocking bullets with her bracelets… which is arguably a much cooler power and far better visual than just having hard skin.

I don’t know. I see this Harley comic in pretty much the same way I used to read Ennis’ Hitman, meaning sort of, but not really DCU continuity. The whole analyzing how it fits into the rest of the line just takes away from the fun.

Wonder Woman’s weird weakness about having her wrists chained together is only a pre-Crisis thing that hasn’t been an issue for the last 30 years. And back then it only made her lose her powers if she was chained by a man. A woman chaining her would have no effect.

Becca Danny's Wife

January 10, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Harley causing Diana problems makes no more sense here than it does in the Injustice video game.

That prison in Secret Six at least was designed to hold Amazons — the whole point of the Depths storyline was that the US government had contracted to have Amazons renditioned after the Amazons Attack! event — as misbegotten a mess as DC ever committed to, but Simone at least was able to wring some good stories out of cleaning it up.

Once again, expecting comic book writers to lean on the crutch of “continuity” rather than focusing on the needs of the story…

Agreed with Z-Ram.

Harley Quinn is much like Hitman, or Deadpool, or Squirrel Girl. In other words, Harley Quinn and reality are usually not on speaking terms.

I am sure that if Harley had met Diana in her own series, or in the pages of Justice League, or maybe even in Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman would probably have won, or at least have been very difficult to beat. But since this is an issue of Harley Quinn’s own extremely comedic solo series, where the laws of physics and probability and what-have-you regularly go right out the window, it’s certainly much more believable to see her defeat Wonder Woman.

It’s “most popular character wins” rule in effect. Harley is, for some odd reason, more popular than everyone else right now. So she gets to “win” every interaction she has with a super-hero no matter how much more powerful they are than her. Someone on the message boards made a comparison to Squirrel Girl in the Marvel universe taking down Galactus and I think that’s a fair comparison since hardcore fans don’t “count” Squirrel Girl as canon anyway. Its best to look at these “comedic” series as outside canon because that’s the only way this makes any sense. Sort of like Deadpool being responsible for Venom.

Solution: that’s not the real Harley Quinn. It’s the goth stripper who killed her and stole her identity. Who knows what kind of powers she has.

“Once again, expecting comic book writers to lean on the crutch of “continuity” rather than focusing on the needs of the story…”

Once again, expecting comic book writers to to any kind of “consistency” rather than making crap up as they go along…

I really like the dachshund in the bridge scene.

Read “All Star Section Eight 4″,then you’ll find Harley treated WW much better.
These books are out of continuity anyway.
And in this Harley book, there exists Pre-52 WW, too

I’ll let this slide because…

1) Endgame showed that Supes and Diana can still be chemically influenced.
2) Diana decided holding her breath was second priority compared to choking Harley.

“This reminds me of why DC keep having to change Super-Man’s power set: the more ridiculously overpowered someone is, the harder it is for anything interesting and character driven to happen involving them.”

Yup. That’s the whole reason behind the Byrne Superman reboot. Nonetheless, DC keeps increasing his powers to omnipotent levels, and the title steadily loses ground. So they depower him and the cycle begins again.

Wonder Woman’s “invulnerability” is another awkward power they keep struggling with. She’s supposed to be second only to Supes, so as he gets amped up, so does she. She’d have to be really tough to be as strong as she is, but they go ahead and conflate “very durable” with “invulnerable.” And then we have to start wondering about scenes like this and why block bullets and on and on.

1) Endgame showed that Supes and Diana can still be chemically influenced.
the “chemical” in Endgame is much stronger than lazarus pit, not some ordinary man-made gas.
It’s a comedic series though.

If it helps, Palmiotti and Conner work within their own universe. According to Starfire, the team-up adventures between Atlee and Power Girl in the previous Power Girl series still happened, and Starfire and Dick have a history. According to Harley Quinn and Power Girl, Power Girl never met Vartox, but also didn’t leave to Earth-2 forever, and Harley Quinn used to be associated with Joker (something not referenced within Batman, where Joker is used frequently). I haven’t read all of their books, mind you, but this seems to be fairly consistent.

So, it’s possible that the Wonder Woman of the world they’ve conjured is susceptible to a gas attack.

I think everything in the Nu52 is exempt from this column, because it’s all “THAT’S your biggest problem with logical consistency in the story?” They’re all bowling pins with a 3 foot lane.

My understanding is that Palmiotti and Connor have no interest in the new 52 and have based their version of Harley on the one from the Batman cartoons (but changed the costume to like the new 52 version)
so the Wonder Woman would probably be the one from an episode of the 1988 Superman animated series
(..at least if Palmiotti and Connor were that logical…)

..or more likely the Wonder Woman from the 2001 Justice League aniumated series

@David P. But then you get scenes like this that make it difficult to take Diana seriously

If there any title worth reading in new 52? Because, based on this, it doesn’t look like I am missing much.

wwk5d – ask again in a couple of months after the next reboot… which comes across as sarcasm, but really is not.
(I have been reading Starfire and Gotham Academy.)

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