One of the most popular characters in DC Comics is Harley Quinn. She is a former psychiatrist, but her love affair with the Joker transformed her into one of the strongest female villains ever. The best thing about Harley is her irresistible quality of humor and madness, She can be beating someone with her giant mallet, but cracking a smart joke while doing it. This list is inspired by the Clown Princess of Crime and all of her lovable glory.
Rihanna – S&M
Without a doubt the baddest girl in all of pop music is Rihanna, and the baddest girl in the DC Universe is Harley Quinn. Rihanna’s number one 2011 single S&M truly represents her one-of-a-kind style, flare, and attitude. The eurodance production coupled with her powerful voice creates a statement of dominance and power over her peers. Just like Harley’s New York accent, giant mallet, and red and black color scheme have become an iconic image in every DC Comics medium she has appeared in. She manages to steal the show every time, and the best example of this is in the animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham.
The lyrics of S&M are in your face and loud, just like Harley Quinn, but would you rather have it any other way with these two?
Marina & The Diamonds – Bubblegum Bitch
Everything about this song lives and breathes Harley Quinn to me. It is a little bit flirty, but has a dash of destruction and madness. Marina’s off-center vocal performance blends with a pop-rock instrumentation that makes me drool. Throughout this whole song I envision Harley hitting me with her giant mallet but I’m still laughing about it. Two lyrics stick out in my mind when hearing this song. “Got a figure like a pin up. Got a figure like a doll. Don’t care if you think I’m dumb
I don’t care at all.” A lot of characters within the DC Universe mistake Harley for a dumb clown, but she has proven them all wrong with her knowledge of psychology and human personalities. The second, “Oh dear diary, I met a boy, he made my dull heart light up with joy,” really speaks to her transformation from doctor to one of the most popular female villains ever.
The greatest thing about Bubblegum Bitch is Marina’s presence and confidence on it. She is taking us for a ride and declaring herself as a strong female, and there are a number strong female characters in DC Comics but Harley manages to shine among the rest.
Icona Pop – Girlfriend
Super villains have been known to team up all the time, but it is rare that a friendship is created through this partnership let alone maintained. This is true with Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. These two genuinely care for each other, and Ivy has helped Harley deal with the Joker’s abuse and many attempts on her life. Harley originally did not have any powers but Ivy gave her a potion that boosted her strength, agility, gave her immunity to toxins and even a small healing factor. It is exciting to see two strong women in comics side-by-side one another instead of at each other’s throat, and now in the comics the two are actually dating. Harley Quinn series writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner comfirmed this during a hashtag chat over the official DC Comics Twitter.
The duo of Icona Pop, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt have a great electropop sound. Sweden is notorious for producing some amazing pop musicians and Icona Pop fits into this group. The track Girlfriend has the two harmonizing over the lyrics “We’re doing this for good, for worse, the gift, the curse, we’re not gonna back down!” Girlfriend’s chorus also has an interpolation of Tupac Shakur’s Me and My Girlfriend. This gives it that undeniably happy vibe and a throwback quality that makes you want to jam out with your friends.
Lily Allen – Who’d Have Known
Through all the abuse that the Joker has put Harley through it may seem as if he does not care for her, but there are some instances where his true feelings show. This gem from Lily Allen’s sophomore album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, is a slower less tongue-in-cheeky track from the English songstress. It talks about the beginning of a relationship and not really being sure whether or not your feelings for your significant other are growing, and about the butterflies in your stomach. You can hear Allen smile through the recording at the part “And today you accidentally… called me baby.”
Referring to a scene from Harley Quinn’s origin episode, Mad Love, in Batman: The Animated Series, in which Harley is checked into Arkham after she is thrown out a window by the Joker. She swears off him and says, “I finally see that slime for what he is, a murderous manipulative, irredeemable….” But before she finishes that thought she notices a flower on her end table with a note that says ‘Feel Better Soon. –J” She then ends the initial thought with “…angel,” and is head over heels in love once again. It is a sweet moment that makes you second guess yourself right after your heart warms for these two, and think why am I sympathizing with these psychoes?
Taylor Swift – Blank Space
I truly believe that Taylor Swift channeled Harley Quinn for her character in the Blank Space music video. She screams, cuts a painting with a knife, bashes up a car with a golf club, and attacks her boyfriend. Swift is known to be mad in love and so is Harley. All violence aside the thing that connects Swift to Harley Quinn in this video is the look in her eye. There is a fire that burns for you, and that is what Harley is all about, whether she is with Joker, Deadshot, or Poison Ivy. Harley wears her heart on her sleeve even when she is bashing someone to pieces. Swift’s voice has an inflection that makes her sound a bit off her rocker just like our beloved Clown Princess of Crime. Harley Quinn is one of the most beautiful characters in all of DC Comics, so she really is a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
P!nk – So What
Yes, Harley Quinn initially got her start on Batman: The Animated Series as the Joker’s girlfriend, but in the many years since she has become a star all by herself. She even has a solo comic that continues to be one of the highest selling each week of release. P!nk wrote this song after her and Carey Hart split up about how she is strong women all on her own. Harley doesn’t need to be with the Joker in order to captivate and entertain us.
P!nk has that rocker quality that we all love and she has been making strides for women in music for a longtime, just like Harley has been in the comics. Cheers to both of these funny, awesome and a little bit crazy women!
Tove Lo – Not On Drugs
In this track, Swedish artist Tove Lo sings about how she is madly in love with her partner, and that it gives her a feeling of ecstasy. The almost spinning electropop beats creates a haunting atmosphere that helps this dark pop singer bring you into her world.
Tove Lo starts the song with “Shiny, happy, see my world in new colors.” That is exactly what Joker did to Harley. He made her fall in love with her, and showed her what a life of crime would all be about. In the recent New 52 comic reboot of the character, Joker pushed Dr. Harleen Quinizel into a vat of toxic waste similar to the one that he fell in that started his life of crime. This made her criminally insane, and people may think that she is on drugs, but it is really just the way she sees the world.
Miguel – …goingtohell
Miguel is one of the hottest names in R&B today. This track …goingtohell, off his new album, Wildheart is a slow jam that talks about the fear and love that you feel for a person. Initially, when Joker and Harley met she was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, and I am sure that she was a little afraid of him. When she made her final transformation into Harley Quinn, she accepted her fate as the scariest comic book villain’s girlfriend. This self-destructive love gone wrong is the vibe I get from this song, and it is so mellow, creepy, and sexy. But Miguel is notorious for making the sexiest R&B music. The ghostlike beats and his sharp voice transport you to another realm.
Rita Ora – Poison
This new song from British songstress Rita Ora is about dealing with the toxic nature of a relationship, and is their anymore relationship more unhealthy than the Joker and Harley Quinn? Through everything Joker and Harley have been together she still seems to have a soft spot for the Joker. Ora sings “I picked my poison and it’s you.” Harley has worked with the good guys before, but she always ends up running back to the Joker. She has truly picked her poison and it is the madman that we are all terrified of but love.
Rita Ora makes use of a smooth synthpop bass line on the verses but then the booming chorus kicks in, and Ora shows some vocal gymnastics. The calmness of the verses relates to Harley’s origins of a doctor at Arkham, and the loud chorus represents her new crazy life of crime. Rita Ora, be sure to pick your poison wisely….
Harley Quinn has become a staple of female comic book villains and the DC Universe. Both men and women love her and it is exciting to see where this character will go. From her solo comic to the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe it seems as if big things are in store for the Clown Princess of Crime!