Harley Quinn, the Queen of DC Villains

Harley Quinn is everywhere these days! We have known and loved this DC comics villain for the last 25 years. One of the iconic ways we recognize her is her classic black and red colors on everything she has ever worn. From the Batman animated series in 1993 to the her new movie Birds of Prey coming out this February, she has absolutely made an impact in our geek lives.

Here, we are going to discuss some of her looks over the years. We won’t go into detail over all of them. Harley has had a lot of outfit and animation changes over the years. This will be where we go over her classic as well as some of our favorite styles. But first, if you are unfamiliar with the character of Harley, then here is a little bit of background.

Harley Quinn, formerly Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel

Harley Quinn gets her start in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. This is her first appearance. However, we do not get her backstory until 2010 in the comic book Gotham City Sirens #7. Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatrist who worked at the Arkham Asylum in Gotham City. This is where she meets and falls in love with the Joker. She then becomes his lover and accomplice. When she follows him, she takes on similar clown-like themed clothing and also changes her name to “Harley Quinn.”

1992

Looking at Harley Quinn’s beginnings, we notice that her outfit stays the same for a long time. From her first appearance in the animated series in 1992 through 1998 is the period of time that this first outfit remains the same. She wears a black and red jumpsuit with her signature diamond patters. Her shoes are black and red (solid, one of each) along with her simple black mask. Her wrist cuffs and large collar are white, and she sports her red and black jester’s hat. This is her classic look. This is what everyone tends to think of when they think Harley Quinn. Of course, a classic is always a favorite!

Harley Quinn 1992
Harley Quinn, Batman: The Animated Series 1992. Warner Bros. DC Comics.

2002

In 2002, Harley Quinn got a little bit of an update. On top of her mask and classic black and red jumpsuit, she is wearing a a scarf and aviator goggles. Not only that, but she is also sporting a jet pack! That is pretty bad-ass. The jet pack looks like a World War II bomb, and the aviator goggles give off that same vibe. I love a good vintage look, and this slight twist on Harley’s classic look definitely takes it up a notch.

Harley Quinn 2002
Harley Quinn #16, 2002 DC Comics

2013 Harley Quinn

Fast forward to 2013 Harley. Back in 2011, her outfits became a little more sexy. The classic jumpsuit was a thing of the past. This is around the time the hat also disappeared, and her hair is blonde with the dipped blue and red tips. Her color shift from black to blue is, in my opinion, so fun. In 2013, Harley wore a brown aviator jacket along with those goggles we saw in 2002. She has knee-high socks with her signature diamond pattern on them, and this time she has on brown booties. Like I said before, I love the 1940’s vibe. This sexy take is easily my favorite of Harley Quinn’s outfits. Her almost bra-like top gives a sense of body positivity and empowerment. The red motorcycle gloves are a nice touch as well. This is considered her “bombshell” look.

Harley Quinn bombshell comic cover
Harley Quinn, 2013 DC Comics

2014 – More classic

Now, Harley’s 2014 comic book look is also a great look. Her red and black hair is back, and now she is in a body-suit. It’s a long-sleeve, open-cleavage body-suit with her classic alternating red and black colors. This look is almost super-hero like, as now she has a cape! I love the cape. Harley has red and blue eye shadow, she is still without the mask, and her cape is purple. I also love the clever “warning” on the cover of this comic book variant. It lets us know that there are no super heroics happening. Harley might look like a super-hero, but apparently that’s the extent!

Harley Quinn and Power Girl comic book cover
Harley Quinn and Power Girl? DC Comics, 2014

Suicide Squad Harley Quinn, 2016

Suicide Squad was Harley Quinn’s first live-action appearance, played by the talented Margot Robbie. In this film, her outfit goes in a completely different and wonderfully fun direction. This is where we get the “Daddy’s Little Monster” top and the return of her blonde, dipped hair.The black and red color scheme is replaced again with the black and blue. Harley wears a red and blue jacket, sequin red and blue booty-shorts, fishnet leggings, and she carries around her menacing baseball bat. As for her signature diamond pattern, we can see it tattooed on her legs. I thought that was a creative spin on the classic. Her outfit as a whole in this movie is a fun change from her classic look.

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) in Suicide Squad, DC Comics

Birds of Prey, 2020 Harley Quinn has multiple outfits

Birds of Prey is coming to theaters February 7, 2020, and Harley has more extravagant outfits! These are much different than any of her past looks, but I am loving them. The gold “boodytrap battle” overalls are to die for. Honestly, this is probably a look I would wear all of the time. They sport her signature diamond pattern, which is such a great homage to her classic jumpsuit. Her caution-tape jacket is definitely…different. I wouldn’t say it’s a favorite look of mine, but I love the irony behind it. Her stars and stripes, high-waist shorts are also a fun look and can easily be worn as an everyday look. I am fairly certain she has other outfit changes in the movie, but for now I’ll leave it at those.

Which Harley Quinn looks are your favorites? Are they any of the ones that are mentioned here, or do you have a completely different favorite? Let us know!

Hot Topic x Her Universe have some incredible Birds of Prey cosplay pieces, accessories, and fun tee-shirts. Find our article on them here!

Check out our “Fantabulous” collection! These tops are perfect to rock for a more casual Harley vibe.

5 thoughts on “Harley Quinn, the Queen of DC Villains”

  1. I always love the way movie costume designers add little elements of a superheroes’ suit/costume design into their other outfits. We see superheroes in their suits about 80% (or more) of the time that we forget that they do wear other things, and movies really give designers the chance to play around with that. Even the caution tape outfit screams Harley to me with the stripes, stars and colours chosen.

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