Margot Robbie brings the mischief on Empire's Suicide Squad cover

Margot Robbie is in full post-transformation mode as Harley Quinn for the latest of Empire's exclusive set of covers for Suicide Squad, the DC supervillain ensemble in the works from director David Ayer. Robbie joins Jared Leto’s Joker (or “Mistah Jay”, as Harley calls him), Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress, and Will Smith’s Deadshot, as the latest anti-hero to grace our rogue’s gallery of covers.

Harley Quinn

"There’s a lot of angry mothers out there…"

A mischief-making case-study in how not to conduct therapy sessions, not only will she not improve the Joker’s mental equilibrium, her own psychological health will be sent spinning along the way. Along with her work attire. “When I got the role I started looking up Harley costumes online, with my mum sitting next to me,” Robbie tells Empire. “She was like, ‘My daughter is going to dress like a prostitute!' There are a lot of angry mothers out there!”

Suicide Squad

With apologies to Mrs Robbie, this image of a fully decked-out Quinn might cause a splutter or two back in Queensland. Like a heavily-armed riot grrl, she accessorises punk and street gang style with a non-MLB approved baseball bat and a sidearm the size of Liechtenstein. Note, too, the ‘Daddy’s Little Monster’ tee.

"Comic-Book Movie 2.0"

A property Ayer has termed “Comic-Book Movie 2.0”, Suicide Squad is not your common-or-garden superhero tear-up. This one, Ayer is at pains to explain in Empire’s on-set report, is something different. “You do a story about struggle and isolation and people who have been shit on, that suddenly get thrown this lifeline... that’s not so bad.” On the surface, at least, it seems like Robbie’s character is heading in the other direction, but she has demons that need exorcising too. Unfortunately, it’s the Joker doing the exorcising.

For a whole mess more on Suicide Squad, including unprecedented insights into what make these characters tick (literally, bearing in mind the nanobombs implanted into each of the squad), head to Empire's comprehensive primer

Suicide Squad is ready to trouble UK cinemas on August 5.