…..I’m not calling it by its full title.
Anyway, Birds of Prey comes out soon, the first of four Superhero films released this year (five if you count Mulan on a technicality) that star and are directed by women (as well as being mostly written by them) (And this is out of five actual Superhero films coming out this year not counting Mulan). The others being Black Widow, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Eternals (which I know is an ensemble film, but Angelina Jolie is the headliner and the leader of the group (who’s a guy in the comics) is played by a woman). Out of all of these, except for maybe The Eternals, this one probably has the most on the line. A low budget, short (by blockbuster standards, it’s only 109 minutes), staring, written by, and directed by all women, as well as produced by one of the lead actresses AKA one of the only things people liked about Suicide Squad. Not to mention it’s rated R and staring a lot of characters who had never been in a live action movie before and barely seen on TV outside animation. Hell, one of them barely has that. My reaction to all this is…: “Please Don’t Suck. Please Don’t Suck. PleaseDon’tSuck. PleaseDon’tSuck. PLEASEDON’TSUCK!!”
So, what are my thoughts pre-release? Well…
- No Barbara Gordon.
- I don’t mind this as much as others might. Not that I don’t like Barbara, I do, but her presence as Batgirl causes a few problems for characters I like in the current comics. Do I like her being able to kick ass alongside the other Birds of Prey members? Hell yes! But I prefered her as Oracle, not just because it’s super rare to see a positive example of a disabled hero in comics (And let there be no doubt she was a hero. Roy Harper’s daughter Lian once assumed (probably correctly) that she was the one running the Justice League), but because it’s been made very clear that the only reason she’s back as Batgirl is because the guy in charge of DC Comics, Dan Didio, has a massive crush on her and proclaims doom to anyone who should take the spotlight away from his precious wifu. Which pertains mainly to her immediate successor Cassandra Cain, who he calls “Toxic” AKA “Stealing the Spotlight from his Wifu.” …also her relationship with Dick seems kinda incesty to me, but that could just be because I prefer him with Starfire. But hey, Didio hates him so much, he straight up had him killed… Overreaction, I’d say. Sure, I’m sad Oracle’s not in Dinah’s ear and we can’t see their girl-bromance/kinda hinted semi-bisexual romance from Gail Simone’s comics, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. Apparently the reason is because the studio shot Barbara down, presumably because they want to introduce her as Batgirl in her own PG-13 movie…as soon as they can find a director and, presumably, once the Pattinson Batman film comes out to establish a new lore.
- Her name is Dinah Laurel Lance.
- This might not seem like a big deal, but trust me: It is! Black Canary is one of the very few Mother-Daughter Legacy characters, but ever since the New 52, DC has gone out of its way to erase that legacy. The current Black Canary is Dinah Drake-Lance, as in the original Golden Age version, but with a different dead husband and her daughter’s powers and history. The original was just a very good martial artist. It was her daughter that had the superpower, not that she needed it as she was also a very good martial artist. Dinah Laurel Lance was the one in a relationship with Green Arrow while Dinah Drake-Lance was happily married. Dinah Laurel Lance was friends with Barbara Gordon and a member of the Justice League (Hell, she founded it after Crisis on Infinite Earths though that did change eventually). Dinah Drake-Lance was a member of the Justice Society. The Arrowverse made it a Sister-Sister Legacy (Which I also liked) with martial arts and a tech induced Canary Cry and then killed off the version with the name, her successor actually having the powers, but was Dinah Drake. Not that it matters, you may say, because Oliver ultimately married Felicity (Oh, spoilers, I guess.), but that’s not the point! Black Canary is my favourite superhero and it’s specifically Dinah Laurel Lance that I love. She’s the one who’s gotten the most development over the years, the most interaction with other characters. She’s the one who was in the adaptations I watched growing up. Her episodes in Justice League Unlimited with Green Arrow and Huntress were some of my favourites (along with any episodes starring The Question). And now, to find out the Mother-Daughter Legacy is restored for this movie and it actually is my favourite superhero and not the version that’s a fusion of her and her mother, it’s just such a relief and a joy. I’m very happy. Oh, and to everyone whining about her being Black: *Cue My Best Harley Quinn Impression* “Well, the joke’s on you! [She’s] not even a real blonde.” It was always either a wig or hair dye until the New 52, just like it’s hair dye here. It’d be cool if they made her bi like Gail Simone wanted, but I doubt they will.
- Cassandra Cain
- Probably my favourite Batgirl, she is obviously going to have nothing to do with the Bat in this movie as a) he’s not in it and b) he’s gone missing (…again. Seriously, this is the third time in female led non-comic media). One red flag for some people is that she can talk where as the original started as mute and later became able to say one to a few words at a time before eventually being able to say full sentences and paragraphs (part of that was terrible executive meddling and part Alfred being a badass grandpa). I don’t mind her being able to speak. I mind her not being able to fight or read body language, which is the majority of what Cass does in the comics. I do hope they keep her dyslexic at the very least because abling her completely would be a dick movie. At least keep her Autisticish tendencies like they’ve been doing in the comics recently. It’s nice to see. Like I said, I don’t expect her to become Batgirl or Black Bat anytime soon, but please please please please don’t call her Orphan. It’s a dumb name and I hate that they’re still using it when she knows she was a Bat pre-timeline change. (Apparently that was gonna be fixed, but the writer was kicked off the book (Presumably for that reason seeing how much Didio hates her).) Cassandra is supposedly the main character, but the trailers certainly don’t say that. She is honestly the character I’m most worried about.
- Huntress …Probably the one I’m least worried about. It’s not easy to get Helena Bertinelli wrong. Helena Wayne? Maybe. But not Bertinelli. They clearly have her anger and mercenary tendencies down pat. Apparently Robbie really likes her, which is why this movie is happening instead of, say, Gotham Sirens.
- Renee Montoya
- Keep her gay and eventually make her The Question. Other than that, it is very hard to screw up Renee Montoya. She’s a badass cop. So, she’s older in this version. Biggest change is that she probably won’t have had a relationship with Batwoman if they decide to bring her into the DCEU…unless Kate has a thing for older women. No judging. Or Kate could be older than Bruce. That works too.
- Black Mask
- …Okay, so he doesn’t wear the mask much…at least they seem to have gotten everything else right. He’s a good street level villain for a street level team like the Birds of Prey. They even got his gang, The False Face Society, right. And Victor Zazsz is gonna join him. Hard to screw him up. …Oh, and apparently the two are in a relationship?….this is gonna be barely there and replace the actual 2 (kinda 4) queer statuses of the heroines, isn’t it? Shit.
- Harley Quinn
- Let’s be honest, the only reason this film was made was because Margot Robbie wanted to make it. Robbie plays Harley so it was obvious from the get go that Harley was gonna be a big part of it. Hell, she’s helping fund it. My biggest concern, and most people’s from the looks of it, is that this will be a Harley movie with the Birds of Prey as supporting characters, despite Robbie’s insistence that Cassandra’s the lead. I mean, I’ll see it, because having my favourite superhero is enough to get my butt in the seat, but it’s still a concern.
- No Comic Accurate Costumes
- ….I don’t mind this. They’re just coming together, they’ll probably get costumes eventually. I may prefer Harley’s jester outfit, but this is much better than her Suicide Squad look. Cass is not gonna be in a Bat uniform anytime soon. I would like to see Canary’s outfit sooner than later, though. There have been pictures of Huntress in a decent approximation of her comic outfit (sans mask) and it looks pretty good. …Renee’s a cop. No costume needed.
- The Action Scenes Are Done By The John Wick films’ Director
- The director of some of the best (if not the best) action movies of the second half of the 2010s is doing the action scenes. …Awesome. I’ve only seen one of the movies, but I like what I’ve seen and the action scenes should be great.
- Harley Kills The Joker.
- ….It’s not a spoiler if it’s in the trailer. It’s also probably not gonna stick. Joker has a history of coming back from the dead or faking his death. Hell, he was supposed to die in his first appearance. Look how well that stuck. I’m not trying to diminish how cathartic the scene is probably gonna be, I’m just saying that, considering Joker the movie just made a billion dollars and has been nominated for a bunch of awards (of which only Lead Actor and maybe Score I would agree with), and the fact that he’s Batman’s most popular villain, he’s probably gonna be back. I’m very glad the Batman movie is focusing Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, and Carmine Falcone instead of going with the Joker. Batman has the largest Rogues Gallery of any hero and everyone always focuses on the damn clown. He’s got about a hundred other bad guys. It doesn’t always have to be the clown. Hell, I’d consider most of Batman’s villains, even Harley, to be much better than Joker. Not to mention, they’re gonna need time to recast him. Leto’s not coming back. Sorry, Suicide Squad fans. It’s not happening. Leto sucked.
Okay, those are my thoughts. The film comes out the day after my birthday and my friends and I are throwing a party. Let’s see how my thoughts hold up.
A/N: Yes, I know Dick just lost his memory, but that basically means Dick Grayson as a person is dead. Ric Sucks!