Harley Quinn is perhaps the second best known female DC character, after Wonder Woman herself. Harley has been around for less than 25 years — which in comic book time is not very long — but her popularity has skyrocketed ever since she first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992. Fans have been waiting with anticipation to see the character in a live-action film and their wait is coming to a close, with the release of Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016. With so many incarnations of the character throughout various media, let's take a look at where the inspiration of Margot Robbie's portrayal of the iconic character came from.
Tell Me a Joke and See If You Can Make Me Laugh.
One thing the trailer did reveal to fans is that Harley's origin story will be explored at some point during the film.
Whether it will be through flashbacks or happen at the beginning of the film remains unclear, but it does show they are sticking to her true origins. What's clear is that some point in Suicide Squad, we'll meet Dr Harleen Quinzel- a promising (and ostensibly sane psychiatrist) assigned to the Joker during his psychiatric treatment. Given how the images above show the true transference from comic print to film, it seems we can expect to see her origins play out just like they always have. She will find love with her patient, which will catalyse her descent into madness.
It's this madness which will, inevitably, lead her to Suicide Squad membership. In a team featuring an expert marksman, a man with pyrokinetic abilities and a Killer Croc, many have wondered just what exactly Harley will bring to the team aside from her natural charisma. Robbie herself recently shed some light on this in an interview with Vanity Fair:
"She used to be a gymnast — that's her skill set when fighting.”
It looks like Harley Quinn will be putting her acrobatic background to use and joining the likes of Katana as the hand-to-hand brawlers of the group. If you're still doubting Harley's chops as a punchy heroine, check out Robbie talking about how her and David Ayer crafted the character:
"Whenever I would be inclined to play into the comedy or play her more likable, he'd always direct me the other way. He wanted her to be pretty vicious."
Although what we've seen thus far from Harley in the trailers portrays her as funny and ditsy (more on that later), we'd be wise not underestimate Quinn- or the business end of her baseball bat.
But Puddin', I've Got Nothing to Wear!
Harley is one of those characters that has adopted various looks and styles, and Margot's version appears to be closely aligned to her physical appearance in the Arkhamverse games. Both the upcoming movie and video game series portray her with blonde hair, with colorful, dip-dyed ends. Her clothes are also rather tight and sexual in both incarnations, which has become Harley's look more over recent years.
There are also several other motifs and callbacks in Harley's latest outfit- one being the smiley face we see on the bottom of her mallet. However, the one many fans are loving is her choker necklace. The necklace simply says the word "Puddin", which is one of Harley's most iconic phrases that she uses.
It's All About Personality, Mr J.
Throughout her many incarnations and appearances from various media, Harley's personality has always been uniquely fascinating. While Harley is clinically insane in the comics and other media, she has never portrayed as completely ditsy and clueless. Some fans have found the character appears to be much more sexual and clueless in the trailers than she has ever been portrayed before. With this only being taken from short trailers, it is difficult to see if this is how the character will be truly portrayed. While the character can exhibit sexual and clueless traits in the comics, it is typically reserved for her interactions with the Joker. This is her way of showing her devotion to him and making him feel superior to her. Margot Robbie has said of her character:
"She loves causing mayhem and destruction."
So we can expect to see her causing some good old chaotic mayhem which all Harley fans come to expect from the character.
Harley and The Joker...Sitting in a Tree...
One typical trait Harley always has is her blind devotion to the Joker. While the trailer gives us glimpses of the pair together, we've yet to see any real devotion to her man. However, one interesting note behind all the promotional images of the team for Suicide Squad, is that the Joker is not pictured with the team once. This aligns with the comics, as the Joker is not a member of the squad— he's too much of a loose cannon, even for them. We have a few details concerning Common's antagonistic 'Monsta T' character, but we haven't yet received confirmation about who the primary villain is. Could it be Joker? If it is, does that mean Harley will turn on her team? Needless to say, if he is the villain and she does not join forces with him Harley fans will go crazy. It would be breaking the main rule of Harley, and that is: "It's all about Mr J!" This is mainly because, the pair love to love each other and love to hate each other equally, which results in brilliant couple squabbles between the pair. Margot has said;
“She’s incredibly devoted to the Joker. They have a dysfunctional relationship, but she loves him anyway."
Oh, come on, Puddin'! Don't you wanna rev up your "Harley"? Vroom vroom!
What do you think of the Suicide Squad Harley so far? Do you think they are creating a new interpretation of the character, or are they creating an amalgam from past Harleys? Share your thoughts below.