It’s Father’s Day, so why not talk about a character that has claimed to be the daughter of some of Batman’s greatest foes? From Joker to Catwoman to Two-Face, Duela Dent has had a costume for all. She is the world’s most dangerous cosplayer. So what’s up with this character? She’s got a bit of a weird history, so let’s get to it.
Duela Dent started out in the Pre-Crisis era as an ongoing rival for Robin, the Boy Wonder. She would arrive claiming to be the child of one of Batman’s villains, each with a customized costume for herself. She has claimed the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, and the Scarecrow at different points in time until she and Robin deduced one another’s identities. She is actually the daughter of Two-Face, hence, Duela Dent. She eventually turned over a new leaf and joined the Teen Titans, taking on the name Harlequin. As time went on, Dick Grayson would realize that Duela was much too old to actually be Two-Face’s daughter, but she disappears shortly after he points this out.
Post-Crisis Duela Dent was someone dealing with many different mental illnesses, and she took on the name Harlequin to aid the Teen Titans. She’d be in and out of institutions, but ended up working with the Teen Titans when she was out. No one really knew much of Duela beyond what she presented herself as, and she’d sometimes change her back story a bit to fit her current situation.
During the events of Countdown it was revealed that Duela is from another dimension, and is actually the daughter of the Jokester and 3-Face, the Earth-3 versions of the Joker and Two-Face. In this universe, heroes of Earth-1 are villains of Earth-3, and the same pattern goes for villains of Earth-1 being heroes of Earth-3. So Jokester was a clown gadgeteer who fought the evil Owlman, while Evelyn Dent was the heroic 3-Face. She was also raised by her mother and step-father, who was the Earth-3 version of the Riddler. Because of her being on one Earth and belonging in another, she is hunted down by a Monitor (a pan-dimensional being tasked with protecting a particular dimension of reality), and killed for infringing on multiple realities.
The New 52 Joker’s Daughter is a mess. A young woman found the severed face of the presumed dead Joker in a sewer. She took the face and put it on as a mask, and called herself the Joker’s Daughter. She sought out the Joker so she may serve him, and to find a way to truly have his blood in her veins. She’s caused chaos, murder, and mayhem trying to get the Joker’s attention, even though he was not showing up since he was still believed dead. The Dollmaker gave her some of the Joker’s blood so she could inject it into herself, and he even sewed the Joker’s face onto her. I feel dirty typing all that.
So there you have it, the strange tale of Duela Dent. The Joker’s Daughter. Or was it Two-Face’s? Riddler? 3-Face? Jokester? The list goes on. She is a mysterious character with many possible back stories, so maybe it’s best to choose your own adventure. Looks like that’s what Duela tried to do.
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