WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman #99, by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles, available now.
Ever since the start of Joker War
, the Clown Prince of Crime has been launching wave after wave of attacks on both Gotham and the Dark Knight. The Joker
stole the Wayne family fortune
, Bruce's home and company and he systematically went after some of his most trusted allies, such as Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon and Lucius Fox. On top of that, the villain's goons have made Gotham a living hell, and Punchline
dosed Batman with her new Laughing Gas poison which has, for the past few issues, taken him out of the fight.
But now, Batman has succeeded in purging the poison from his system, and he decided it was time to call in some reinforcements. As the final battle for Gotham heats up, the members of the Bat-Family show up to answer the Dark Knight's call in Batman
#99 -- but what is perhaps most surprising is that Harley Quinn
stands among them.
For a long time now, Harley Quinn has been on the road to redemption
. When she was first introduced in the DC Universe, the character was nothing more than the Joker's girlfriend and partner in crime. But, eventually, she began to step out of the madman's shadow. After being mistreated for so long, Harley began to stand up for herself and, over time, she became a sort of anti-hero. In comic book titles such as Suicide Squad
and Harley Quinn
, the character stepped away from a life of crime and started operating more as a hero to those in need.
Of course, she's still Harley Quinn -- she's unhinged and dangerous and brutal when she needs to be. But she now has a moral compass that has lead her to join forces with some of the biggest superheroes in the DC Universe these past few years.
And now, it appears she is officially a member of the Bat-Family.
In Batman #98, the Caped Crusader ordered his Bat-computer to send out a message to his entire family. And, at the start of Batman #99, we see that most of them have showed up: there's Red Hood, Dick Grayson, the Signal, Orphan, Spoiler, Red Robin, Batgirl and, standing right alongside them is Harley Quinn.
She too has answered Batman's call, and she assembles with the rest of the family to help save Gotham. It's also telling that the other members of the family, as well as Batman himself, all accept her as one of their own. No one objects that she's there, and nobody questions her motives.
Harley Quinn has long proven herself a protector of Gotham City
, though her means might sometimes be questionably brutal. But that makes her no different than say, Jason Todd's Red Hood. She deserves to be there and finally, she has earned her spot on the team.
When Batman was attacked and poisoned by Punchline in Batman #95, it was Harley Quinn who first showed up to save him. And even after Bruce left to try and stop the Joker the first time around, he once again fell to the poison's effects and, again, Harley was there to save him.
As the worst attack on Gotham unfolded, she was the only other hero in the city who rushed to help Batman. This makes her a trusted and valued ally -- and it looks like even Batman realizes that now.