In today’s comparison, we are going to be dealing with two very popular and beloved female characters. One of them is a heroine, while the other is a villainess and occasional superheroine. Black Widow and Harley Quinn are going to be the center of today’s article, as we are going to do yet another crossover comparison for you to enjoy. Who would win? Let us see!
We think that Harley Quinn would win in this fight. We don’t really have a precise reason, as the two of them are on the same level of power, but knowing how crazy Harley is and what she has endured, we just think that Black Widow wouldn’t be able to beat her, nor handle her madness when Harley would attack her.
Our comparison is going to be divided into three sections. The first is going to bring an overview of the two characters, after which we are going to compare their powers, including their signature weapons. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two characters to determine which one would win in a direct clash.
Harley Quinn and her powers
A young graduate in psychiatry, Harleen Quinzel works at Arkham Asylum. A model student, in addition to getting good grades in college, she was also a dedicated gymnast, earning a scholarship from Gotham City University. While researching the madmen in Arkham, she becomes fascinated by a particular inmate. Willing to analyze him, she pleads for three months with the doctors of Arkham before being able to cure him.
After winning her sympathy during their sessions, he seduces her, making her fall madly in love with him. After helping him escape from the asylum more than once, Harleen is placed under suspicion by the authorities, who revoke her permit and place her in her own cell. Her passion for crazy people pushes her to take care of the Joker. Her license to practice was withdrawn and, ironically, she was interned in the psychiatric hospital where she practiced.
Much of it is destroyed by an earthquake that shakes Gotham City; Harleen Quinzel takes the opportunity to escape by donning a harlequin costume (hence the pun that her name constitutes) and she leaves to help her new mentor in fulfilling her destiny. From her real name, Harleen Quinzel derives her alias, Harley Quinn.
Her romantic relationship with the Joker is marked by excess. Psychologically and physically mistreated by the one she calls her “Puddin’”, she nevertheless always comes back to him. This relationship is marked by periods of separation because of internments in the walls of Arkham or conflicts that shake the couple regularly. The relationship becomes one of the most complex and twisted love stories in comics, the Joker being abusive and manipulative towards Harley.
She is the only person who has managed to become intimate over such a long period of time with the Joker, who in turn displays occasional moments of confusion and embarrassment that result in attempts to kill her. One day, when the Joker realizes that he has very deeply hidden feelings of love, he sends Harley on a rocket. She crashes in Robinson Park, in central Gotham, and is found by Poison Ivy.
When Harley regains consciousness, Ivy initially plans to kill her. The prospect of her own death totally fails to move Harley, and Ivy is curious as to why. She convinces Harley to tell her story and soon feels a friendly bond with her. Ivy offers Harley to take revenge on Batman and the Joker. She takes her to a toxic dump and looks after her; in particular, she injects her with a self-developed serum that allows Harley to be immune to various toxins and Ivy’s poisonous touch, while greatly improving her strength and speed. Ivy intends to give her new friend an edge over Batman and the Joker.
Quinn and Ivy team up and successfully become a criminal duo. The hot-blooded Harley, however, is angrier with the Joker than with Batman, and even initially works with the Dark Knight to help take down the Clown Prince of Crime. Harley sometimes teams up with Poison Ivy. When Catwoman joins, the duo becomes a trio dubbed the Gotham City Sirens.
The three then agree to form a team, on one condition: Harley and Ivy demand that Catwoman reveal to them the true identity of the original Batman. However, a new villain named Boneblaster, who tries to take down Selina Kyle, suddenly breaks into the apartment and the three of them must leave the premises after defeating him. Later, after a chance encounter with who she thought was Bruce Wayne (but who was actually Hush in disguise), the Joker attempts to kill Harley, apparently out of jealousy.
Quinn is saved by Ivy and Selina, and it is later learned that her attacker was not the real Joker, but one of his former henchmen posing as him. During her stay in a top-secret prison protected by the US government, she meets Deadshot, a rather clever hitman. During a mission (as a member of the Suicide Squad), these two villains get closer and the Joker takes umbrage at their relationship.
Black Widow and her powers
The Black Widow, whose real name is Natalia Alianovna Romanova (or Natasha Romanoff), is a comic book character created by Stan Lee, Don Rico, and Don Heck, published by Marvel Comics. Her first appearance occurs in Tales of Suspense #52 (1964).
A bio-empowered assassin enlisted in the Soviet KGB security service and spearhead of her country’s Cold War espionage, Black Widow was a long time opponent of Iron Man and the Avengers before defecting for the United States and becoming a superheroine and ultimately a member of both the Avengers and the S.H.I.E.L.D., of which she is the only level 10 agent besides Nick Fury and Quake.
Although on the side of the good guys, unlike many of her superhero companions, the Black Widow still uses extremely violent and brutal methods against her opponents, having no qualms about torturing or even killing them.
Born in the early thirties in Stalingrad, in the Soviet Union (now Volgograd in Russia), Natasha is the youngest, and only girl, of Alian Romanoff’s four children and his unnamed wife. As distantly related to the Russian imperial dynasty of the Romanovs, in the autumn of 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad, Natasha and her family were attacked by the Nazis, who set fire to their apartment building.
To save her daughter, then just under ten years old, her mother throws her from the window to a young soldier who has come to their rescue belatedly: Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov who, since then, has been raising his child as well as Natasha. Some time later, Baron Strucker allies himself with the sect of ninja mercenaries known as Mano in order to kidnap the girl and make her their weapon thanks to her aptitude in learning martial arts.
However, this proposal is thwarted by Ivan Petrovich, Captain America and the Canadian adventurer Logan. The kidnapping was, however, part of the espionage training undertaken by Natasha at the behest of Ivan, affiliated with the Red Room and the Black Widow Program who, having brainwashed the girl by convincing her that she was studying ballet at the Bolshoi Theater, subjected her to intensive gymnastic-martial exercises and various espionage indoctrinations, as well as the Kudrin Treatment, a serum aimed at giving the young guinea pigs in the program superhuman physical abilities and slowed aging.
Comparing the powers of Harley Quinn and Black Widow
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Bloodsport and Deadshot are two very similar characters with similar powers; this only made our analysis a tad more fun and nothing else. Let us continue.
Harley, from her first appearances, presents herself as a mentally unstable subject; under the wing of Joker, a former patient of hers, she is enormously influenced by him, completely losing her conscience and, from being an unstable subject, she soon becomes extremely violent and unpredictable.
She is an exceptional gymnast and acrobat, to the point of rivaling Catwoman and Nightwing: she has proven to have extraordinary strength, agility, durability and flexibility, which allow her to perform very high jumps and dodge bullets fired even at close range. She is able to withstand shocks from falls, jumps, and jumps from a moving vehicle, and is very adept at various stunts. She can perform complex acrobatic acts.
In addition to being very fast, she demonstrates excellent physical stamina, but this ability has never been explained. Thanks to Joker, Harley has become immune to the clown’s toxin and, thanks to Poison Ivy, to many known bacteria, poisons and viruses; she also gave her enhanced strength, stamina and agility. She is also a very skilled fighter due to her criminal years and uses her gymnast skills to fight.
Just like Joker, she is a great expert in the use of firearms, edged weapons, explosives, non-conventional weapons, and gadgets of a comic style. She is proficient with knives and often uses her custom good night baseball bat, using it for close combat.
Despite being mentally unstable and sometimes distracted, Harley is very smart and charismatic, having been an excellent academic with a gymnastics scholarship from Gotham State University. Her intellect extends to her psychological, tactical and deception abilities, but she does not stand out for particular strategic or scientific skills (although she was a psychiatrist) and often remains subordinate to the Joker.
Harleen Quinzel earned her bachelor’s thesis in psychology and, as an Arkham doctor, she was an experienced psychiatrist, highly skilled in psychoanalysis, criminology, and forensic psychiatry. While not on par with Joker, she is still a tactical expert, deceiver, and escapologist, and she still shows traces of her psychological experience.
Considered one of the most dangerous women on the planet, Black Widow is an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Trained as an actual living weapon, Natasha has mastered martial arts since childhood such as karate, judo, ninjutsu, aikidō, savate, various types of kung fu, and boxing; she is an expert in both the use of firearms and sidearms.
She is capable, if necessary, of using common objects for offensive purposes. She is a superb leader and strategist, expert in military tactics, explosives, and flight maneuvers; the Black Widow is endowed with a high IQ which, like Captain America, makes her capable of analyzing flows of multiple information in a few moments, evaluating threats and reacting quickly accordingly.
Among the best spies in the Marvel Universe, employed first by the KGB and then by the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, Black Widow is mainly renowned for infiltration and sabotage missions, however, she proves to have a remarkable affinity for manipulation and psychological torture, as she is capable of carrying out brainwashing and completely repressing one’s emotions; on the other hand, if you try to manipulate her mind, it turns out to be so resistant and organized that it can withstand the assault by shielding itself with pre-built fictitious identities or coming back to herself shortly after.
An athlete, gymnast, acrobat, contortionist, and Olympic-level trapeze artist, Natasha’s physical abilities (strength, agility, speed, endurance, etc.) have been biogenetically enhanced by the Kudrin Treatment to superhuman levels; in particular, her coordination skills, her balance, and her reflexes have reached such unlikely levels as to allow her to move with unparalleled dexterity, developing a characteristic fighting style consisting of acrobatic movements almost elusive to sight.
Also thanks to the biogenetic treatment she was subjected to in the Red Room, Natasha ages very slowly and is almost completely immune to disease; however, as a side effect, she became sterile.
Her equipment consists of the distinctive black bulletproof tight-fitting suit, also resistant to temperatures up to 1,700 °F (930 °C) and equipped with micro-suction pads on hands and feet to adhere to or climb vertical walls; while her metal disc belt contains an unspecified amount of gadgets and plastic explosives. The heroine’s characteristic weapon, however, are her metal bracelets capable of emitting a discharge of 30,000 V, capable of paralyzing a man, called “Widow’s Bite”, a pair of extensible grapples (“Widow’s Line”) and a soporific gas called (“Widow’s Kiss”).
Save for Harley’s madness, they do look and sound quite similar, don’t they? Well, both of these girls are exceptionally powerful and that is what made this comparison so difficult to execute. We’ll elaborate on our decision in the next section.
Harley Quinn vs Black Widow: Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. A brief look into their powers and abilities has revealed that Harley and Natasha are very similar, which made this comparison very difficult, albeit interesting at the same time. Let us see who would win.
When it comes down to comparing their powers, we are faced with a very difficult task. Namely, if you look more closely at the powers of these to characters, you’ll notice that they are very similar. They are both excellent acrobats and have skills that are comparable to some of the strongest characters in their respective universes. The level of skill presented by both Harley Quinn and Black Widow is truly admirable, Harley’s more so as she was only a regular gymnast, while Black Widow was trained by the KGB to become what she is.
The same thing goes for their fighting skills. Both characters are truly versed in hand-to-hand combat and can hold their own even against some powerful fighters from their respective universe. Harley doesn’t have any superpowers, that is a minus when compared to Black Widow, but that makes her even more impressive, as she is able to fight like a superpowered character without actually being one. Black Widow is a superpowered character (although on a very small scale if we’re to be honest), so her enhanced abilities are something one would expect, while Harley is just your regular (okay, she’s anything but regular, but never mind that now) girl that is able to kick almost everyone’s ass.
There is also another thing that is common to both of them – their psyche. Namely, both have gone through extreme conditioning that made them very strong, save for some triggers. Okay, Harley Quinn is mad, while Black Widow isn’t, but that is not what we are talking about here. We’ve said that despite looking completely crazy, Harley is actually extremely intelligent and very composed, able to come up with the most complex plans and execute them. Save for her addictive submission to the Joker, she is unswayable and can manipulate others with relative ease. The same goes for Black Widow, who has been subjected to strong psychological trauma that made her, actually, very strong-willed and unbreakable.
And this is where their differences come to the forefront. Namely, Black Widow is a much better tactician than Harley Quinn and has more experience in espionage; Harley doesn’t take things so seriously, while Black Widow has military-style focus. Harley prefers to treat life as a very colorful game and she behaves like that, which is completely different from the focused Black Widow. Also, Harley is genuinely mad. She is relatively functional – more when she’s not with Joker – but she’s undoubtedly crazy and that is also a big difference between Black Widow and her.
Okay, we’ve talked a lot, but we haven’t reached a conclusion, have we? It would seem that a more focused and experienced Black Widow would be able to defeat a crazy Harley, but we – in all honesty – don’t think so. It’s a very close call and while we are aware that a lot of you won’t agree with us, there is something that is compelling in Harley’s madness. She can take a lot more than Black Widow – in fact, she is even turned on by pain to a degree – and she’s used to getting beaten without giving up. Her madness is also a plus for her, as it makes her a very unpredictable and creative fighter, which would certainly neutralize Black Widow’s tactical skills. That is why we think that Harley Quinn would win this one and that is why we declare her the winner.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we have given you all the information you were looking for. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!