While the DCEU is still in its early stages, it’s clear the infusion of an all-female superhero team would do a lot for the building universe.
With recent speculation that Black Canary might join the Justice League in their upcoming film(s), it’s hardly extrapolation to think we could then see the Birds of Prey soar onto the big screen not long after. The team would fit right in with the DCEU for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Wonder Woman is playing the female superhero role all alone right now.
The Birds of Prey are an all female (save for a few exceptions here and there) team of superheroes and crime fighters whose main goal is rooting out corruption within Gotham City. Rather than fighting intergalactic battles and world stealing aliens, the Birds of Prey are focused on solving the problems at the street level in the DC universe. Because of this, they would fit quite nicely as a foil to the Justice League in the DCEU.
There have been several different members through the years, but here’s the group we’re hoping to see.
Oracle – Team Leader
Since her run as the caped vigilante ended at the hands of the Joker, the former Batgirl Barbara Gordon has made a new career as the world’s most powerful information broker, Oracle. With an eidetic memory and incomparable computer skills, she is unmatched in her field. Barbara chose to use her power to build a team of heroes with her close friend, Dinah Lance. With the information Oracle has at her finger tips, the Birds of Prey have an intel advantage beyond that of any government or superhero in the world.
It’s certainly worth note here that there’s still a mysterious role in Batman v Superman – that of Jena Malone. Fans have speculated that she will be playing Barbara Gordon, though whether that means she’s Batgirl or simply the daughter of Gotham’s police commissioner is unknown. It’s just speculation at this point, but I would say it’s highly possible that if we see Gordon in BvS it could very well be as Oracle.
Black Canary – Face of the Team
Black Canary, or Dinah Lance, is a world-renowned martial artist trained in almost every style of fighting in the world, making her rank within the top five best hand-to-hand fighters in the DC universe. She is also (normally) a metahuman capable of generating a devastating burst of sound from her vocal cords referred to as the Canary Cry.
Beyond her physical prowess, Dinah is often the moral compass of the Birds of Prey. Dealing with intel on the scale Oracle does, Dinah often has to keep her in check to protect the civil liberties of the citizens of Gotham. Dinah is usually the merciful and compassionate hero compared to Oracle’s more ruthless crime-fighter – another Superman/Batman-type relationship for the DCEU, but with political overtones similar to Lucius Fox balking at Bruce Wayne’s use of people’s cell phones in The Dark Knight.
Huntress – The Black Sheep
Helena Bertinelli, or Huntress, has operated as a vigilante in Gotham for many years. Unlike much of the “Bat family,” Huntress has always been at odds with Batman, using harsher methods and a stricter punishment for crooks. She is a detective, much like Batman, and a strong street-wise hand-to-hand fighter, but is often a bit of an antihero. Think of her as being halfway down a sliding scale between Batman and Catwoman, both in terms of skills and morality.
After Black Canary and Oracle operated as a team of two for a while, Helena became the first regular teammate for the original Birds of Prey. As a field agent along side Black Canary, the Gotham crime fighters were able to form a strong friendship (an important milestone in Helena’s comic book life considering she’s “the loner” of Gotham heroes).
A Myriad of Others
Over the years, the Birds of Prey have included many other heroes (and villains), including bird themed Hawk, Dove, and Lady Blackhawk, as well as notable non-birds Poison Ivy and Katana. Again, it’s worth noting that Katana already exists in the DCEU as a member of the Suicide Squad, so having her cross over to a Birds of Prey film would serve to keep the universe well connected.
Gotham is the central headquarters for the Birds of Prey in most incarnations, which makes sense, as almost all of the heroes on the team are Gotham natives. Gotham is the DC universe’s go to city of corruption, which is the exact issue the Birds are trying to combat. Depending on where Batman v Superman and the planned standalone Batman film takes its heroes, Gotham will likely be well established by the time a Birds of Prey film comes to the screen.
There is also precedent that the Birds of Prey might hole up in Metropolis (that very thing happened in an arc when Oracle’s Gotham base was destroyed in a crime war). If these heroes end up in Metropolis, the film could connect to the DCEU by having the Birds involved in dealing with the Post-Zod fallout in the city.
Ties to other films of the DCEU
Of course the Birds of Prey film could easily tie into the future DCEU centerpiece, The Batman. Nothing is known about the film, but it’s safe to assume it will feature the Caped Crusader and take place in Gotham. Based on the timeline given for BvS, it is likely the heroes of the Birds of Prey have worked alongside Batman in the twenty years he has been fighting crime in Gotham.
In the comics, Barbara Gordon actually makes her debut as Oracle under the Suicide Squad title. While it doesn’t look like she will appear in the Suicide Squad film, the existence of the team of villains in the DCEU could serve as a springboard for Oracle and her own team. As I mentioned, Katana will be appearing in Suicide Squad next year, and she’s a frequent member of the Birds of Prey team. The sword-swinging antihero could be the thread that ties the Birds of Prey to the existing DCEU.
The Birds of Prey is actually a very similar group to the Suicide Squad, though the latter is made of villains while the Birds are typically a mix heroes and would-be heroes who have a history of bad luck. The Birds of Prey operate in the same below-the-surface channels that the Suicide Squad does, taking villains down outside the bounds of both the law. While nothing is certain, it could turn out that the Birds of Prey could be an antagonist to the Suicide Squad or vice versa. The two covert teams could butt heads regarding how to handle crime (a standoff between Oracle and Amanda Waller would be heavenly).
The Birds of Prey would be important to the DCEU
First and foremost, the Birds of Prey are an all female team. (There have been a few Y-chromosomes tossed in the mix every once in a while, but the central idea is that they are a team of women.) Right now, the DCEU has one superhero who is a woman (Wonder Woman). There are several female antiheroes in Suicide Squad, but there is a big difference between hero and not-technically-villain.
Not only could a Birds of Prey film bring several more female superheroes to the screen, but it could also be a film about female friends. Wonder Woman will be fighting Doomsday along side DC’s most revered heroes (and – please let it happen! – will likely show them up) before demonstrating her solo value in her own film; then she will do the same among the Justice League. Wonder Woman is one of the greatest heroes of the DC universe and will prove that in several films as the only female hero. If the Birds of Prey join the DCEU, we would then have a film about female heroes challenging each other, learning from each other, and growing as friends together.
With how much excitement is surrounding Wonder Woman, and the fact that it is the first solo female superhero title since superhero movies became popular, it would be a sin to not bring more women into the DCEU.
The film would connect to the themes of all the others
The Birds of Prey are often depicted combating institutional corruption with more than one comic arc having them directly take on U.S. Senators. It just so happens that Batman v Superman has a central role carved out for Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) who seems to be tied to Lex Luthor. With the political intrigue that will be established in BvS, it would be easy to see the Birds of Prey swoop in to take on corruption in the DCEU.
Similarly, Batman v Superman is concerned with how much power superheroes wield (Batman considers Superman too powerful, sparking the events of BvS). Oracle, an information broker beyond compare, is often depicted as an Orwellian figure (referred in the comics jokingly as Big Sister). This becomes a concern, whether the former Batgirl is wielding too much power and abusing the civil liberties of the citizens of Gotham. Does that sound familiar? That is the indictment Clark Kent has against Batman in the most recent BvS trailer. Oracle would easily fit in as part of Batman’s trampling liberties in Gotham.
Birds of Prey… Coming to a theater near you?
A Birds of Prey film would not only fill out the DCEU with much needed female diversity, it would also fit perfectly into the existing themes of the universe. The team would work as a foil to both the Justice League and the Suicide Squad in order to bring yet another perspective to the blossoming DC Extended Universe.