DC has had a rollercoaster few years at the box office. While their TV series and comics continue to garner strong numbers and plenty of acclaim, their efforts at the cinema haven’t quite worked out the way the company and Warner Bros. had hoped. Both of their films last year, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, were massive successes in terms of ticket sales, but a bust with critics (on the whole) and left their fanbase with mixed feelings. While there are many filmgoers who have enjoyed the DC Extended Universe movies so far, others have taken a strong stance against them, thus far.

Regardless, WB and DC are moving forward with the rest of their film plans, which now includes a spinoff focusing on breakout character Harley Quinn called Gotham City Sirens. No matter how you feel about Suicide Squad itself, it’s safe to say that it features some colorful characters that are exceptionally styled and coiffed. While the drastic redesigns of Harley and the Joker have proved just as divisive as the film, even before its release, they helped define the movie and give it its own unique flavor.

Part of the process of designing larger-than-life characters for comic book movies involves a number of artists being commissioned to create costumes, hair and makeup, and even mood concepts to help flesh out the world of the movie. Thanks to artist Andrew Hunt, who was contracted to do just that for Suicide Squad trio Harley, Joker and Deadshot, we now have a look at some early designs for those characters (see the gallery below).

Though the images don’t really offer many differences from the final products, they’re still interesting. While a few slight pieces of flair are noticeable on Harley (like the letterman style ‘J’ on her jacket), the designs seem to offer more mood and characterization than anything. Given how closely they resemble the look of the characters on screen, it’s likely the Squad had already been designed by the time Hunt was brought in to flesh out their attitudes. This concept art doesn’t provide much personality beyond the basics – Harley is loopy, Joker is crazy evil, Deadshot is brooding – the image of Joker striking a Basic Instinct pose is an intriguing one.

In fact, seeing more from the Joker period has become something many fans desire. Jared Leto is already teasing the character’s return, while Suicide Squad director David Ayer himself recently said he wished his film focused more on the Clown Prince of Crime. Though fans were split on Ayer and Leto’s interpretation of the stalwart villain, the character may have benefitted from more screen time to help the character breathe. Barring a director’s cut of the movie, however, that idea will just have to remain one of Ayer’s regrets about the film.

NEXT: Why Suicide Squad Deserves Its Oscar Nomination

Source: Andrew Hunt