After much waiting, so much in fact that the name of the movie changed before I even got to go see it, I was finally able to see what I am going to call throughout the rest of this article, Birds of Prey. Admittedly I originally thought the movie was coming out Valentine’s Day weekend, but with tight scheduling on my part I wasn’t able to go see the movie until the Sunday after Valentine’s Day.
I have not always been as into Harley Quinn as I am now, but when I decided to delve into comics around the time of the New 52 release I fell hard. Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti were heading a new series run with Harley as the lead and as someone who grew up with a healthy love of Batman, especially the animated series, I decided to check it out. I was immediately hooked. I kept reading the series, even after the pair was no longer in charge of the story, and eventually did find myself having to stop reading. Not for lack of storytelling, but because when you move and your comic book store isn’t in your state anymore it gets a lot harder to get weekly pulls. Based on merchandise I had seen prior to the movie opening I was already feeling pretty excited. I also will admit I bought way more Funkos and blind boxes than someone who had yet to see the movie should have. I even bought the overalls from the poster on a particularly crappy day because I saw them and decided they needed to be mine for future cosplays.
I threw on my brand new yellow overalls and my beloved Harley Quinn DC Bombshells aviator jacket, both Hot Topic purchases from special DC collections, and went with my wife to the movies. She also wanted to see this one, but may have had her arm lightly twisted by me to go for Valentine’s weekend. As soon as the movie started I was stoked. We had narration, we had animated sequences, and we had non-linear storytelling. Harley comics have the sort of flexibility that allows you to feel part of the story, but also assume that Harley might be leaving some things out or having issues giving you all the backstory or connections you might need. In some of my favorite stories with her she bounces around filling readers in as necessary. Birds of Prey screamed Harley comic and it even included one of my favorite elements from the Conner/Palmiotti run, Bernie the beaver. Yes, that taxidermy beaver Harley was talking to is canon. I loved that she actually talked with him and in true comics fashion no one else could hear what Bernie was saying. Now I would love it if the blu-ray release included a mini comic or scenes with Bernie’s thought bubbles. Renee Montoya and her ex-girlfriend being in this story also possibly made my life. Renee is a key character in Batwoman comics, who took over as my favorite DC character when I started reading the graphic novels that pulled together her new 52 run. The fact that a gay female woman was a lead character in a story with with a bisexual lead, that animated intro sequence even highlighted at least one female love of Harley’s life. The casting felt pitch perfect and I was so engrossed in the movie that I am now desperately hoping for a sequel, beyond the upcoming Suicide Squad feature.
What were some of your favorite Birds of Prey moments? Let me know below in the comments or on Twitter, @kleffnotes. You can also find me on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, and on my kleffnotes YouTube channel.