How Harley Quinn Became Riot
The name change came in Batman: White Knight Presents: Generation Joker #3 by Sean Murphy, Katana Collins, Clay McCormack, Mirka Adolfo, and Alejandro Sanchez. The latest chapter in the Batman: White Knight saga centered around an unlikely team-up between both of the women who used the Harley Quinn name, Dr. Harleen Quinzel and Marian Drews. Both women, meant to represent both popular visions of Harley Quinn’s character in popular culture, became reluctant allies in the search for Harleen’s missing children and a hologram containing The Joker’s personality.
After a run in with the Jokerz gang, who idolize the original Joker and what he was before his reformation in the world of White Knight, Marian opened up to Harleen. Marian spoke of how much she admired Harleen for forging her own path independent of The Joker.
Marian lamented that she had “never been more than an echo,” imitating both Joker and Harleen as Neo Joker and the second Harley Quinn, and that the only thing she had in her life that was truly her own was a romance with Poison Ivy. Harleen, irritated by the forced camaraderie, commented that Marian was “a riot.” Marian decided that Riot was the perfect name for her new improved self.
Why Riot is The Perfect Alias For Harley Quinn
The word riot has two meanings in English and both of them apply equally well to the character of Harley Quinn. The traditional meaning is a violent outburst that disturbs the peace. The other meaning, which Harleen uses, is something funny, usually chaotic in nature, as in “a laugh riot.”
It seems unlikely that the Harley Quinn of the mainstream DC Universe will adopt the Riot name. However, should she ever choose to free herself completely from Joker’s legacy, Riot would be the ideal new name for her new life.