The first trailer for Birds of Prey offered a peek at Margot Robbie’s return as Harley Quinn in Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming movie that will add a long list of new heroes and villains to its DC Extended Universe. The trailer puts the spotlight on Robbie, but it also features the debut of quite a few live-action versions of DC Comics characters — some of them familiar and others, well … a little less so.
In the interests of helping you sort out who’s playing whom in Birds of Prey — aka Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — here’s a primer on the film’s primary cast and the DC Comics characters they’re playing.
First introduced in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn is a former psychiatrist who developed a relationship with the psychotic killer The Joker (Jared Leto) and became his similarly deranged partner in crime. Birds of Prey is set after the events of Suicide Squad and picks up after Harley and Joker break up.
The daughter of a notorious crime boss, Helena Bertinelli became the vigilante known as Huntress in DC Comics lore after her family was killed in a mafia skirmish. Although her comic-book adventures often find her crossing paths with Batman, her willingness to use lethal methods to dispatch criminals — including her favorite weapon, a handheld crossbow — sets her apart from the Dark Knight.
Her history is a bit convoluted in DC Comics continuity, but the vigilante known as Black Canary has typically been a skilled fighter whose voice also serves as a powerful weapon, able to unleash a sonic wave known as her “canary cry.” She frequently teams up with the archer hero Green Arrow when she’s not working with her Birds of Prey teammates.
A detective in the Gotham City Police Department, Renee Montoya often found herself working cases that intersected with Batman’s investigations in the early days of her comics timeline. Along with developing a knack for solving crimes involving superpowers, she also earned a reputation for battling corruption within the police department, too. She was one of Batman’s closest allies in the GCPD (alongside Jim Gordon) for many years.
Although the synopsis for Birds of Prey describes her as a young girl who Harley protects from a crime boss, Cassandra Cain is a far more independent character in DC Comics mythology. The daughter of two of the world’s greatest assassins, Cassandra Cain was raised to be a cold-blooded killer but eventually found her way into the light and became a student of Batman. She adopted the Batgirl mantle for a while and continues to be one of Batman’s most efficient agents in his war against crime.
One of Batman’s recurring foes, Victor Zsasz is a sadistic serial killer known for carving a mark in his skin for each of his victims. His prolific killing sprees have left much of his body scarred with a running tally of his many victims.
In the world of DC Comics, the mob kingpin Roman Sionis was known for his fascination with ancient masks, but become permanently associated with the title “Black Mask” after an explosive encounter with Batman fused a tribal mask to his face. His affinity for torture and over-the-top brutality has quickly made him one of the most disturbing members of Batman’s rogues’ gallery.
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