While trying to escape the afterlife, Harley Quinn learned what obsession really is when she ran into the most devoted antagonist of Superman.
Even though Harley Quinn has a reputation for her obsessive behavior, Superman had one antagonist who was so preoccupied with the Man of Steel she made Harley look completely normal by comparison.
When Harley was first introduced to the world, Harley was defined by one thing more than anything else: her complete and utter infatuation with the Joker. Once a psychiatrist on a path of her own, Dr. Harleen Quinzel lost all sense of self when she began her professional relationship with the Clown Prince of Crime and became his partner-in-crime, Harley Quinn. For years, Harley Quinn dealt with Joker’s abuse out of a misguided belief that her feelings were reciprocated. But after recognizing the villain’s toxic influence, Harley stepped out on her own and left the Joker behind for good.
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And while she may be the most notable obsessive villain in the DC Universe, one character’s love for Superman went far beyond the unhealthy attachment Harley ever had for the Joker. In Harley Quinn #21 by Karl Kessel and Brandon Badeaux, the villain has found herself in Hell after accidentally blowing herself up with a jet-pack while on an adventure in Metropolis. Assisted by the souls of her gang, Harley Quinn tries escaping Hell by treating it like a prison break. And like any prison break, she needs firepower to pull it off. Harley’s gang finds a holding area for the souls of metahumans and looks over the inmates to determine who could help. One of the first metas Harley spots is the semi-recurring Superman antagonist, Obsession, aka Superwoman. When asked what landed Obsession in Hell, the villain replies “Loving the wrong man too much.”
Obsession might be underselling her actual crimes just a bit. Originally a Superman fangirl, Dana Dearden did everything she could to get the attention of the Man of Steel. She even stole magical artifacts just so she could easily get closer to Superman, only to attack the hero once her advances were rebuffed. Though Obsession’s time as a Superman antagonist was brief, her passion for the hero burned so brightly that she lost her way bad enough to wind up in Hell, an arguably worse fate that ever befell Harley Quinn.
Harley’s turn to villainy was largely spurred on by the Joker, who kept her trapped in a cycle she found it hard to break out of. Obsession, on the other hand, was in love with the idea of Superman and what he represented. She assumed that she knew who he was before ever getting to know him and the antagonism that followed was the result of her image of the hero clashing with the reality. While Harley recognizes how her life got turned upside down and what mistakes she made with Joker, it seems that Obsession doesn’t possess the same awareness, thinking her only crime was loving Superman too much. Obsession might not have become a permanent part of Superman’s rogues’ gallery, but she proved she was much more insanely devoted than Harley Quinn ever was.
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About The Author
(560 Articles Published)
Justin Epps is either a professional amateur or an amateurish professional depending on who you ask. After spending a nearly three decades debating important topics like the best era of Batman, he’s decided to harness that passion into a professional career. With a background in the underground world of zine-making as well as podcasting, he’s taken the next step in his career with professional writing.
Wanting to break into entertainment journalism, as well as capitalize on his lifelong hobbies, Justin’s begun taking up writing jobs starting here at Screen Rant. With an encyclopedic knowledge of DC, as well as a love of independent and alt comix scene, he’s brought his A-game to create some genuinely unique articles. From reviewing books to scoping out controversial takes, Justin’s found the perfect place to unleash his love of comic books in community he’s proud to call home.
He’s currently based in North Carolina and wondering if it’s humanly possible to type up 600 articles a month.
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