Harley Quinn on DC Universe took the already-iconic character of Harley Quinn and added depth and hilarity to her story. It says a lot when fans have already seen her origin story, yet a new one is still highly entertaining. And that’s, again, due to the fact that this adult animated show played into the complexities of her character and relationships around her.
With that said, a major point of contention this last season revolved around Kite Man and the outcome of his relationship with Poison Ivy. While Kite Man was a clueless, but ultimately harmless guy, he had his faults. And the way he pursued Ivy is a major one. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Harley Quinn, Seasons 1 and 2].
Kite Man nagged Poison Ivy into a relationship
To start, there are some exceptions to Harley’s treatment of Ivy, specifically in Season 1. But at the end of the day, Harley never chose anything for Poison Ivy and she also did have her best interests at heart, whether as a friend or later as a love interest.
But Kite Man? Not so much. Sure, he’s harmless and it was a consensual relationship between him and Ivy. But it was only “consensual” because Ivy eventually caved, it was after episodes of nagging and pestering from Kite Man, something women are unfortunately all too familiar with in real life.
As one Twitter user pointed out, Kite Man almost backed Ivy into a corner with his pestering. And true consent isn’t “Keep begging until she says yes,” but rather an emphatic yes. Which Ivy didn’t give the first time around. Or the second, either.
They also point out that the two didn’t talk about goals and dreams, which is highly obvious when they’re sharing their vows. He didn’t care enough to ask if she wanted a house with several kids; he just assumed she’d agree with him. Much like how she gave into a relationship with him.
Yes, Poison Ivy did love Kite Man over time. Kite Man represented the safe choice for Ivy, a choice that wouldn’t get her hurt in the end. She’s very protective of her heart because of her abusive father. She’d rather be with someone that she knows wouldn’t hurt her than someone she’s madly in love with that could hurt her. That’s not fair to Kite Man, of course, but he basically nudged his way in, so can he really complain?
Harley Quinn had Ivy’s best interests at heart
As stated above, Ivy grew to love Kite Man. But for Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, their love was natural and blossomed organically. It started with Dr. Harleen Quinzel helping Ivy through her anger and human-hating issues. Then they helped each other when they were both “villains” at Arkham. Ivy tells Harley she loves her early on in Season 1, and while this is the best friend type of intimacy, it’s still more genuine than what she felt for Kite Man.
And yes, as stated before, Harley did neglect Ivy’s needs at certain points in Season 1. No one is perfect, and Harley was suffering from a manipulative, abusive relationship with the Joker. But she snapped out of it when she saw how much it hurt her best friend. After their chase on the Harley Quinn highway in Season 1 through the end of Season 2, Harley is actively trying to be a better friend. Even more so when Ivy told her why she couldn’t start a romantic relationship with her after her bachelorette party.
The biggest difference between Kite Man and Harley is their treatment of Ivy’s desires and needs. Like aforementioned, Kite Man really just pursued what he wanted and didn’t take into account Ivy’s desires until their wedding was ruined. As one Reddit user wrote, he was in love with the idea of Ivy, not Ivy herself.
Harley knows Ivy’s most intimate details (as seen with her plans for the bachelorette party and how she knew Ivy didn’t like Kite Man’s ring). And when Ivy seemed to want to get married, Harley removed herself. She also tried to sacrifice herself at Bane’s pit so Ivy could go on and live her life.
Having bad parents is a theme here, so Kite Man doesn’t get a pass
Another user on Reddit gave a bit of a harsher critique on Kite Man, stating that the excuse of “his awful parents” warping, is really null and void. This is DC comics we’re talking about; everyone has horrible parents and upbringings. Harley’s father was a felon who gaslit her and manipulated Harley her whole life, while her mother was a pushover. And Ivy, again, was abused by her father then turned into a plant hybrid against her wishes.
In all honesty, if we’re having “The Bad Childhood Olympics,” Kite Man wouldn’t even come in third; Batman would see to that. The user then compared Kite Man to Paris in Romeo and Juliet, which is actually a pretty good description.
Now, again, Kite Man had some good intentions and was respectful overall. Ivy did use him as well, pinning her own heartbreak and insecurities on their relationship. He was also another human who showed Ivy that not all humans deserve death; there are plenty that are good if given the chance.
And that’s the thing; he is a complex human with flaws, which makes Harley Quinn all the better in the long run. In the end, no one could deny Ivy’s feelings for Harley, and vice versa. It was messy, and now fans deserve a Season 3 to see how the mess ends up.