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Monday, April 06, 2020

Birds of Prey: Character guide

Cathy Yan directorial Birds of Prey features entirely new characters from comics. Here is a brief description of the major characters.

Written by Kshitij Rawat | New Delhi | Published: February 5, 2020 8:28:26 am
Birds of Prey characters Birds of Prey releases in India on February 7.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is DC’s upcoming superhero movie. The film is a sequel to 2016’s critically derided (though commercially successful) Suicide Squad and brings back Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Though Harley is not a member of the Birds of Prey, traditionally speaking, thanks to Robbie’s winning performance and the popularity of the character, she is headlining this movie.

Directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey is penned by Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson. Apart from Harley, the film features entirely new characters (new to DC films). Here is a brief description of the major characters.

Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey harley quinn Margot Robbie in a still from Birds of Prey

Margot Robbie’s take on the Batman villain was one of the few good things about Suicide Squad. She was under the thrall of Jared Leto’s Joker back then, and is now liberated from him. This explains the presence of the word ’emancipation’ in the title. Harley is a delightfully deranged woman who loves bright colours, wears gaudy makeup and tattoos cover quite a bit of her body. She creates trouble for superheroes especially Batman usually with Joker, her “pudding”. Previously a psychologist, she has now become somebody who desperately needs one. In Birds of Prey, Harley teams up with the titular Birds of Prey to protect a young girl (Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain) from Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask, the film’s primary antagonist.


Mary Elizabeth Winstead birds of prey Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress in Birds of Prey.

Played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Helena Bertinelli or Huntress is a member of the titular superhero team from Gotham. There are various versions of the character. The one in Birds of Prey is an orphaned daughter of mafia syndicate gangster Franco Bertinelli. After her family was killed in a mob hit, she turned into a vigilante and joined Birds of Prey. Like her name suggests, she is pretty handy with a crossbow.

Black Canary

 Jurnee Smollett-Bell birds of prey Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary in Birds of Prey.

Essayed by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Black Canary or Dinah Laurel Lance can user her ‘Canary Cry’ to burst enemies’ eardrums, shatter glass and even kill people. She is also a master hand-to-hand fighter and can hold her own against multiple foes. She is also a member of Birds of Prey.

Cassandra Cain

Ella Jay Basco's Cassandra Cain. Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain.

Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain is hunted by Black Mask and his henchmen. She is protected by Harley and the Birds of Prey. The character has been Batgirl in comics, so we will have to wait and see if this happens in the Birds of Prey franchise as well. She is the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, and is also a capable martial artist.

Black Mask

Ewan McGregor black mask Ewan McGregor as the villainous Black Mask in Birds of Prey.

Black Mask is a crime lord and the primary antagonist of Birds of Prey. A narcissistic man, Black Mask has a dark backstory. He hated his parents. After they died, he could not handle their business empire, and it was bought by a certain Bruce Wayne. He became a supervillain by carving out a mask from his father’s coffin. It remains to be seen whether the character has a similar story in the film as well.

Also Read | Birds of Prey early reactions: Critics hail the Margot Robbie starrer, call it a ‘blast’

Birds of Prey releases on February 7.

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