Okay, so. One thing I thought I understood completely - when I was younger and didn’t like Batman at all - was that Harley Quinn was clearly supposed to be an equivalent of Robin. You know, Batman’s partner is Robin, Joker’s partner is Harley. Well, I got over it. Except that I didn’t. So I made a watercolour of Robin as Harlequin and I’m in the process of finishing one of Harleen as Robin Hood.
Maybe Bats never took him as a ward, and Dick, after seeing his parents death, went a little nuts. So he decides to stay in Gotham and direct his anger at Batman, I guess? He became The Joker’s partner and it all went downhill from there. btw EVERYBODY KNOWS that Harlequin is actually Dick Grayson, so Gotham would have EVEN MORE reasons to hate the circus.