The Harlequin

The Harlequin

(pop culture)
The Harlequin—not to be confused with the Teen Titan named Harlequin (aka “the Joker's Daughter”) or Batman foe Harley Quinn—is a court jester–like villainess who originated during comics' Golden Age (1938–1954). She leapt into an early Green Lantern (GL) story written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Irwin Hasen in All-American Comics #89 (1947) as tomboy secretary Molly Mayne, who worked at Gotham City radio station WXYZ and fantasized about dating GL. As part of its Green Lantern radio serial, the station invented a recurring villain called “the Harlequin” to taunt the hero on air. Trying to attract the attention of the real-life GL (whose alter ego, Alan Scott, was a WXYZ broadcaster), Mayne created a costume and nimbly leaped over Gotham rooftops as the Harlequin. After locating a pair of special glasses and a flying car from a secret source, Harlequin formed her own crime gang. Her cat-eyeglasses projected realistic illusions and were rigged to give anyone but Mayne a strong electrical shock if touched. With Olympic-level athleticism and a heavy wooden mandolin that doubled as a club, she was Green Lantern's first female adversary—and one of a long list of comics' femme fatales. While robbing banks and committing petty crimes, Harlequin often battled GL; her efforts not to hurt the dreamy do-gooder inadvertently caused mishaps that landed the clumsy crime queen on the hit lists of Gotham gangsters. When it was later disclosed that the Harlequin was doing double duty as an FBI agent, she and the Green Lantern teamed up to capture super-criminals like the Wraith, the Sportsmaster, and assorted Communist agents. While the Harlequin virtually disappeared from comics pages in 1949, she was seen briefly in the 1980s as an aging villainess who, after disclosing her secret identity, married long-time crush Alan Scott.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The harlequin, already clad in silver paper out of cigar boxes, was, with difficulty, prevented from smashing the old Victorian lustre chandeliers, that he might cover himself with resplendent crystals.
"I wish you were the harlequin," she said, and left the string of sausages swinging.
The harlequin leapt upon him and hit him over the helmet; the pianist playing "Where did you get that hat?" he faced about in admirably simulated astonishment, and then the leaping harlequin hit him again (the pianist suggesting a few bars of "Then we had another one").
When the harlequin heaved the comic constable heavily off the floor the clown played "I arise from dreams of thee." When he shuffled him across his back, "With my bundle on my shoulder," and when the harlequin finally let fall the policeman with a most convincing thud, the lunatic at the instrument struck into a jingling measure with some words which are still believed to have been, "I sent a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it."
With real though rude art, the harlequin danced slowly backwards out of the door into the garden, which was full of moonlight and stillness.
But this great French actor who played the policeman--this clever corpse the harlequin waltzed with and dandled and threw about--he was--" His voice again failed him, and he turned his back to run.
He also told us that the pantaloon's name was old Joey, and the columbine's Josy, and the harlequin's Joeykin.
All this time the harlequin was rotating like a beautiful fish, and David requested him to jump through the wall, at which he is such an adept, and first he said he would, and then he said better not, for the last time he did it the people in the next house had made such a fuss.
The harlequin had reassumed her peasant's costume, and as she passed she raised her mask.
Thus, in that fifteen years' struggle in which the harlequin sabre of epigram opened a breach by which insurrection entered the citadel, des Lupeaulx never received so much as a scratch.
Global Graphics is the developer of the Harlequin RIP, the PDF and PostScript compatible RIP that, in independent tests conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology last year, was shown to deliver pages at over 20 times the rate required by the leading label press with just one RIP.