Though her extensive arsenal has included high-caliber pop guns, attack hyenas and a catapult, Harley Quinn's hammer remains as her weapon of choice. Before 2016's Oscar winning Suicide Squad redefined Harley's look, a Harley Quinn cosplay would be considered incomplete if it didn't include a comically oversized mallet. The giant hammer is a well-fitting weapon for Harley, since Harley uses her hammer with surgical levels of precision.
Despite being a crucial part of Harley Quinn's design, the mallet hasn't been given the deep history that other iconic comic book weapons have. In a world where even the spikes on Batman's gauntlets have their own ninja-packed origin story, it's kinda weird that little is known about Harley Quinn's hammer. Now, CBR is breaking down everything there is to know about Harley's oversized hammer.
WHEN DID HARLEY GET HER HAMMER?
Much like Jason Voorhees' hockey mask, Harley didn't always have her oversized weapon of choice. Although she debuted on Batman: The Animated Series, Harley never wielded her hammer during the show's first three seasons. Instead, Harley relied on a mannequin's arm, a frozen fish, a chandelier and a swordfish as makeshift bludgeoning weapons.
When Batman: The Animated Series moved from FOX to The WB, the show was revamped as The New Batman Adventures. In addition to a new art style, the series benefited from WB's laxer rules on violence. In the first episode, "Holiday Knights," Batman chases Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy into a toy-store. While hiding out in an FAO Schwarz-style display, Harley borrows an oversized mallet from a Nutcracker animatronic, canonically wielding an giant hammer for the first time ever by hitting Batman in the head at point-blank range.
HOW STRONG IS HARLEY'S HAMMER?
Due to the hammer's great size, fans often speculated that Harley's hammer must run on some sort of internal-gyros or Joker-engineering that enables Harley to wield it with ease. While Harley does have above average strength courtesy of a Poison Ivy potion, Harley's oversized hammer is just a large, wooden hammer for all intents and purposes.
That being said, Harley's hammer does have some hidden versatility. For example, when Harley's hammer shatters against Booster Gold's future-tech shield in Heroes in Crisis by Tom King, Clay Mann and Mitch Gerads, Harley just uses the splintered handle as a shiv.
Harley demonstrates that there's nothing funny about a comically oversized hammer when she uses one to pop a biker's head clean off in the 2013 Harley Quinn series by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Dubbing her hammer Beatrice, Harley prefers using her on missions "'cause she don't run outta bullets!"
Upon finding her personal effects in Arkham Aslyum, Harley immediately tosses aside her metal baseball bat for her old, oversized hammer in Batman: Assault on Arkham. Harley's mallet actually plays a pivotal part in the larger story, as Joker had planted a dirty bomb within the mallet's head. Props must be given to Joker's engineering skills, as the nuclear device is so well protected within the mallet that it endures two Batman battles without accidentally detonating.
Prompted by Granny Goodness to reach the center of the Sinister Snarl to find a wonderful weapon, Harley is offered any weapon of her choosing from Granny's Maniac Menagerie to fight through waves of Parademons in Harley Quinn #45, by Sam Humphries and John Timms. Selecting a wooden mallet, Harley makes it to the center, discovering a mystic hammer overflowing with Kirby crackle.
Inducted into the Female Furies as "Hammer Harley," Harley is granted flight, teleportation, superior strength and a power armor so long as she holds the hammer. The best part is that unlike Thor, Harley doesn't have to get yanked through the air in order to fly.
HARLEY'S HAMMER IN SUICIDE SQUAD
While digging through her confiscated ordinance, Harley Quinn squeals when she finds her old hammer in 2016's Suicide Squad. Despite her delight, Harley instead ops to use a black and gold Chiappa Rhino 60DS revolver alongside a personalized baseball bat inscribed with Harley's own rendition of "Hush, Little Baby."
Oddly enough, Harley canonically wielded baseball bats before giant hammers, taking a Louisville Slugger to Batgirl during Harley's first comic appearance in 1993's Batman Adventures #12 by Kelley Puckett and Mike Parobeck.
Incidentally, as a thank you for hosting the "Dawn of the Justice League" behind the scenes featurette for Justice League, Harley Quinn's baseball bat was given to Kevin Smith, who in turn gave it to his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith.