Duela Dent is an enemy turned former-member of both the Teen Titans and Titans East. Introduced under the alias of Joker's Daughter, she has also used the aliases "Catgirl", "Scarecrone", "Riddler's Daughter", "Penguin's Daughter", "Card Queen", and "Harlequin".
Since the New 52 reboot, she was reimagined as a member of Batman's rogues gallery.
Duela Dent first appeared as Joker's Daughter in the Batman Family series of comic books. She gained the attention of Robin, as she later claimed to be the daughter of Catwoman, Scarecrow, the Riddler, and the Penguin. She deduced Robin's identity and he revealed that she was Duela Dent, Two-Face's daughter.
Duela claimed she wanted to join the Teen Titans to atone for her father's crimes. Not everyone was in favor of this idea. In Teen Titans #48 she changed her identity to Harlequin. As Harlequin, Duela utilized gimmicks such as smoke-inducing powder puffs and bullet-firing lipstick.
After the Teen Titans comic books were canceled, she popped up in the Batman titles, calling herself Card Queen while infiltrating a criminal organization called MAZE.
Duela's last pre-Crisis appearance is in Tales of The Teen Titans #50, as a guest at Donna Troy's wedding where she appears to be a middle age matron. Dick Grayson notes that he'd finally realized she was too old to be Two-Face's daughter, which she agrees with, but disappears before he can take the matter further.
Delusional and schizophrenic, the mysterious Harlequin has been in and out of mental institutions for several years. An acrobat who possesses numerous "clown-motif" gadgets, she calls herself Duela Dent (while her true identity remains unknown).
Her first significant Post-Crisis appearance was in the Team Titans comic book, as a patient in a mental hospital. The writers of the title originally planned to reveal that Harlequin was a time-traveling member of the Team Titans driven insane by her warping experience.
However, due to the cancellation of the series, plans for her to return were aborted. The final issue of Team Titans solicited a non-existent story for Team Titans #25, and provided a commentary on the title's cancellation. In the solicitation, Duela steals a reality-altering device and shifts New York City into the late 1970s.
Ultimately it was revealed that Duela is the daughter of the The Jokester (Earth-3) and Three-Face (Evelyn Dent) , the Joker's heroic counterpart and archenemy of Owlman (Thomas Wayne, Jr.) This means she is Joker's daughter, just not the mainstream one. She is also the step daughter of the Earth-3 Riddler. It is unknown however how and when she came to the main continuity's universe.
Harlequin aided the Titans during the "Technis Imperative," in which Cyborg's automated system seeks out all Titans allies, past and present. Although she is in a mental institution, Duela is rescued by Cyborg and helps the Justice League for Cyborg's soul.
Duela makes a brief appearance in Titans Secret Files #1, insisting to anyone who would listen that the Titans would soon contact her about membership. She also claims that she is the daughter of Doomsday.
Duela's next appearance is in Titans Secret Files #2, in a backup story in which Gar's obnoxious cousin Matt holds a membership drive for the Teen Titans West, "Titans L.A." Harlequin crashes the meeting-turned-party with a small group of villains, including Beast Boys's enemies Fear and Loathing, simply because she hasn't been invited. Flamebird and Terra defeat her and return her to The Helping House Mental Institution in Industry, California. How she met up with the dangerous villains with whom she crashed the party is unexplained.
In the same comic, a feature states that her claims regarding her paternity have been disproved, save one; no further information is provided.
In a short story contained in the Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files #2, Duela socializes with several villains at their secret satellite headquarters and makes a series of wild claims regarding her parentage, all of which are dismissed by the nonplussed villains (she claims that she has been resuscitated by a Lazarus Pit and that her mother may actually be the villainous parent).
Duela returned to action alongside the assembled Titans who faced Dr. Light in Teen Titans (vol. 3), and Superboy-Prime in Infinite Crisis #4 and Teen Titans #32. She later appeared in a double-page spread that was added in the Infinite Crisis hardcover collected edition.
One Year Later
The Joker's Daughter and Enigma both served on the Teen Titans during the lost year. Duela is a member of the splinter group Titans East, with writer Geoff Johns stating: "Yeah. We're going to really get into her. Tony Daniel did an amazing redesign on the Joker's daughter for the Titans East."
In Teen Titans #43, Miss Martian and Cyborg arrive at Belle Reve prison to question their former team mate Bombshell, who has betrayed the team. Risk and Batgirl arrive, and Batgirl murders Bombshell by slitting her throat with a razor sharp batarang. Duela and Enigma cut the prison's power supply, allowing the inmates to escape and attack Miss Martian and Cyborg.
During the attack, Enigma comments to Duela: "Wait'll dear old daddy gets a load of us!"
The two are the captors and tormentors of Raven, whom they torture psychologically. Duela reveals that she joined Titans East simply because they asked. Raven points out that Duela has always been an ally of the Titans, and offers her membership on the team. Duela accepts the invitation by punching Enigma, and fights alongside the Titans against Titans East. When the battle ends, Duela and Batgirl disappear.
In Countdown #50, Jimmy Olsen interviews an incarcerated Joker about the murder of Duela Dent, who had called herself the Joker's Daughter. The Joker states that he never had any daughter, and expresses awareness of the Multiverse's existence and of shifts in reality. The Joker appears as he did before Batman #655.
New 52 (Prime Earth)
Duela Dent was heavily reimagined as part of the New 52 where she became a distinctly more villainous and twisted character who barely resembled her original incarnations (in appearance and character).
Duela was born to a happy couple somewhere in the suburbs outside of Gotham. Duela's father immediately became uneasy as soon as she was born. As she grew older Duela proved to be a strange child committing odd acts such as trapping a spider in a light bulb, making a mobile for her bed out of knives and creating a corset out of barbed wire. When she turned twelve she took in an "ugly dog" and it was soon thrown out by her father.
Duela's parents took her to a hospital after seeing she had been cutting her face with a box cutter. Duela struggled through her surgery to fix her face thus resulting in half of her face being deformed. Though her parents were appalled by her new appearance, Duela seemed to revel in it, stating she was "flawless". That night her parents argued over Duela's place in their house as she listened in. Eventually, Duela ran away from home.
Duela found a new home in the sewers of Gotham where she joined a tribe of sewer-dwelling people. Along her journey she found the Joker's face, mistaking it for her reflection. She donned the flesh and used it to assert her power over a nearby couple where the man is shown to be treating his "mate" unfairly. Duela angrily confronted the man and the couple mistook her for Joker, quickly surrendering. Duela then used a half moon piece of metal she found to brand the man's face with a smile as she demands to know where the tribal leader is.
Later, Duela sought out the Dollmaker and had him graft the Joker's face onto her own as she was obsessed with being beautiful things as hideous and hideous thinks as beautiful.
Powers and Abilities
Duela is a skilled detective, an impressive acrobat, and using many clown-based gimmicks.
- Lipstick Gun:
- Crescent-Moon Spear:
- In Batman: The Killing Joke the Joker's wife was pregnant, and though she died, the fate of the unborn baby was not explicitly stated, as she was nearly due.
- Duela is the second DC character to have taken up the alias of "The Harlequin". The first was the super-villain Molly Catherine Mayne who was the enemy-turned-lover of the golden-age Green Lantern, Alan Scott (both of whom operated in Gotham City). Of course following Duela the Harlequin alias was adapted into Harley Quinn.
In other media
- In the cancelled Batman Unchained film Harley Quinn was reimagined as the Joker's daughter instead of his girlfriend/sidekick.
- Also, in Batman: Arkham City, Harley Quinn is revealed to be pregnant and it is explicitly implied it is The Joker's child. During the credits Harley sings "Hush little baby, don't say a word, Mama's gonna kill for you the whole damn world", implying that the baby has already been born.
- In Harley Quinn's Revenge, it is revealed that it was a false positive and was using Scarface (dressed up as the Joker) as a surrogate surrounded by a lot of negative pregnancy tests.
- In the TV series Batwoman, Duela Dent appears as a character referred to as the Serial Slasher. In this continuity she is the daughter of Harvey Dent's sister, Evelyn Dent (an allusion to Three-Face of Earth-3). She is a deranged young serial killer who leaves Glasgow-grins in the mouths of her victims and who only feels free when Alice cuts her face off.
Duela has claimed to be the offspring of the following villains