The Bat-Family is one of the largest superhero groups in comic books, and there are plenty of interconnected relationships within it. There are parental relationship between Bruce and Damian Wayne – or even Barbara Gordon and Cassandra Cain. But the one combination of characters that has seemingly never had much airtime is Nightwing and Harley Quinn. However, Harley’s recent official redemption leaves DC wide open for this surprisingly perfect dynamic duo.
One of the best things about having a large family dynamic is the different relationships that can form from pairing up different characters. Jason Todd is going to interact very differently with Damian Wayne then he would with Dick Grayson. Romantically-tied characters like Barbara Gordon and Nightwing are going to interact differently with each other than Dick would interact with Stephanie, or Barbara with Tim Drake. With such a large family and with so many different members, the possible story combinations are near endless – which is why it’s all the more bizarre that Nightwing has seemingly never really interacted with the latest addition to the Bat-Family: Harley Quinn.
Harley Quinn Has Officially Joined the Bat-Family
Harley officially joined the Bat-Family in Batman #111 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jiménez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles. Despite her teaming up with Batman and helping him out here and there, her interactions with Nightwing have still been at a minimum. While Harley Quinn and Nightwing have occasionally interacted over the course of their comic-book history, it’s almost exclusively been while Harley was either an anti-hero or working for the Joker as a flat-out villain. Now that Harley has finally redeemed herself as a member of the Bat-Family, there’s a huge opportunity to have Nightwing and Harley work more directly with one another, especially considering how many shared interests the two have.
Nightwing grew up as a professional circus acrobat; he’s one of the best acrobats in the entire DC Universe. Harley Quinn, on the other hand, is an Olympic-level gymnast, capable of keeping up with the likes of Batman and Catwoman. Harley is so slippery that she once beat Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman by avoiding and redirecting all of their attacks. Dick has also known Harley from the start, having been working as Robin when she appeared as Joker’s associate, and so has watched her redemption arc in real time. Dick is a lot more invested in redeeming villains than his mentor, and Dick even dated the former villain Defacer in the past, causing similar mortal issues to what Harley has experienced with on again/off again partner Poison Ivy. There’s even an element of darkness and dysfunction to Nightwing’s relationship with Batman that echoes Harley’s experiences with Joker, albeit to a far lesser degree.
Harley Quinn and Nightwing Need to Team Up
Despite all of these shared habits and interests – including a fondness for mocking their enemies and making quips in the middle of combat – Harley and Nightwing really haven’t been alone in a room together to just talk. When they have been alone together, it’s often played off as a crude joke, as Harley spouts memes about Nightwing’s butt. Across recent Bat-Family comics, Jason Todd and Tim Drake have teamed up during the events of Knight Terrors, and, in an unexpected twist, Cassandra Cain and John Constantine have teamed up over in Spirit World. The Bat-Family is no stranger to team ups, within or outside the Bat-Family members. This makes Harley Quinn and Nightwing the biggest missed opportunity for a Bat-Family duo – however, with the former villain now an official Gotham hero, it’s time for that to change.