Daring, isn’t it. Totally a practical costume for a gymnast and physical-type fighter, right?
The other Hawkeye Initiative sketch I made. And to be honest, this one’s a little near to my heart, seeing how it’s inspired by Harley Quinn’s bold new look in Suicide Squad:
Because really, there are not words to express exactly how much I hate what happened to Harley Quinn’s costume. I don’t just mean, “They changed it, now I don’t like it anymore,” which is how I feel about the Flash Rogues (they’re cool, but not MY Rogues). I don’t just mean, “Yikes, that is some bad costume design, what on earth was wrong with the old look,” which is how I feel about Booster Gold’s awkward, dipped-in-paint costume.
I mean that Harley Quinn’s new look actively fills me with rage. Every time I think about it, get reminded of it, or see it, part of my brain gets a little jolt of angry juice, because when they decided to reboot things to reach out to new audiences, they took a beautifully iconic costume, one that was instantly recognizable, even to people who HAVEN’T read the comics, and replaced it with…that.
Harley Quinn should be sexy—she is sexy. But it’s in a Gil Elvrgren kind of way. She’s not just sexy because she’s got curvy bits in a skintight (but actually very practical) costume. She’s sexy because she’s fun and playful. Her character is relentlessly cheerful and optimistic, even while doing horrible things or having horrible things done to her. That’s her charm. That’s what made Harley Quinn so beautifully unique. It’s what made her a character that resonated with fans (and boy howdy, just walk into Dragon*Con and play “Count the Harleys.” It takes almost as long as “Count the Jayne Hats”).
And her costume conveyed that. It was simple, it was iconic, it was playful. It looked good on her, but didn’t immediately suggest SEX. It was charming and fun, and THAT WAS THE POINT. Because when you take an outfit that looks that playful and innocent, it makes her adorable moments that much more adorable, and her darker moments that much more surprising.
Now we have a costume that doesn’t even look like a costume. It looks like someone grabbed the skeaziest stuff Hot Topic had in the bargain bin. Now she just looks like Generic Sex-Toy Villainess.
The level of utter disrespect that it shows to the character is a little mind-boggling. Character respect is different that, y’know, human respect, but if you’re writing/drawing in a shared universe of beloved characters, then you should be stewards of those characters. That doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen to them or that they can’t die. Just that they should at least stay in character. That you should do your best by them. But then, Harley’s outfit is from the same mind(s) that brought us Skinny And Sexy Amanda Waller (which remains the most head-tiltingly WRONG thing about the DCnU), so…there’s that.
Anyway. To make myself feel better, I drew Hawkeye in a Practical Costume.