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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 109: ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 109 – Batman and Harley Quinn

In celebration of her 25th anniversary, Harley Quinn fittingly takes over the annual “Batman Day” this year. On September 23rd, DC Comics is celebrating the event with special book signings and key new releases of a cover art collection, oversized anniversary issue , and more!
Here at The Arkham Sessions, we did what we do best: analyze the most relevant animated Batman stories. This time, we watched the new DC Animated film, Batman and Harley Quinn. Though the story itself is straightforward and the character build-out flimsy, we were able to extract some of the most pertinent issues related to mental health and psychology. For instance, in defense of her sanity, Harley asserts that she is a “sociopath,” not a “psychopath.” What does she mean by this? Is she correct? And does Batman buy it? And were female characters, prominent throughout the movie, given fair portrayals in the story? 
We also diligently searched for the heart of the movie and, with the help of one of our friends and loyal listeners–Lauren Ritchie (@penguingonemad)–as a special guest on the show, we discussed why Harley Quinn is uniquely special to us as a character in comics: her genuine, authentic expression of herself, her willingness to accept her own flaws, and her determination to remain free of constraints and limitations. Because there are other, arguably more positive portrayals of Harley Quinn–and because it is Harley Quinn Day, after all– we decided to list our top 5 favorite Arkham Sessions episodes featuring Harley!  
Happy Harley Day!

5. In “Harlequinade,” we take a look at Harley’s unhealthy relationship with the Joker:

4. In our “Suicide Squad” episode, we delve into the live action film and discuss Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn:

3. In our live episode at Long Beach Comic Con, we speak with Harley Quinn writer Jimmy Palmiotti:

2. In “Harley’s Holiday,” we discuss Harley’s release from Arkham Asylum and her struggle with recovery:

1. We called it the most psychologically relevant episode of Batman: The Animated Series: “Harley and Ivy.”


Have psychology-related questions about Batman? Write to us via Twitter, @ArkhamSessions, or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on iTunes to get all of the latest episodes! Plus, come and join our Imzy community!




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