When Dr. Harleen Quinzel first transforms into her villainous alter ego, Harley Quinn, it seems a little out of the blue. Since her 1992 introduction, however, additional material has expanded upon Harley’s origins, which reveal more nuanced and macabre aspects of her innate personality.
This is clearly seen in 2014’s “Secret Origins” #4, which tells the story of Harley’s high school crush on her classmate, Bernie Bash. After disclosing that she’s being bullied, Bash murders the offender by throwing her into oncoming traffic. He goes to juvenile detention “‘fer, like, ever,” and Harley experiences her first heartbreak, instead of remorse.
She then does what any normal kid would do, and secretly breaks into Bash’s house in search of a personal belonging to keep as a memento. Inside, young Harley finds a room full of taxidermized animals, which “explains a few things,” and goes to show how drawn she is to those with twisted inclinations. Young Harley takes a stuffed beaver with her, who she names Bernie.