Who’s Who in ‘Birds of Prey’
If you’ve been on the internet in the past week, you’ve likely seen the latest teaser for next year’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). It’s got looks—first looks, even—at the main cast, but you might be asking yourself who anyone is.
There’s a lot of faces in not a lot of time. So who’s who in Birds of Prey?
Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn doesn’t need much of an introduction, being one of DC’s most popular characters and having a star turn in Suicide Squad. Though the character started as a sidekick/girlfriend for the Joker, she eventually struck out on her own. Harley bounces between villain and antihero, but usually ends up on the side of the angels—even if getting there requires some sin. Besides a penchant for blunt trauma, she’s also a licensed criminal psychologist. Manic, meta, and mostly insane, Harley’s not to be trifled with.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary
Black Canary, aka Dinah Lance, is a triple threat: a martial arts master, a vigilante, and a rock star. Dinah’s not the first to take up the mantle of Black Canary; she’s actually the daughter of the original, who fought with the Justice Society. She’s trained with the finest, and has a supersonic “canary cry” that’ll pop your eardrums and knock you on your ass. She and archer/socialist Green Arrow have an on-again-off-again relationship.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress
Helena Bertinelli was born into one of Gotham’s most notorious crime families, but when she witnessed her parents gunned down, Helena took justice into her own hands. Armed with her trademark crossbow, Huntress’ modus operandi is best summarized as “shoot first, ask questions never.” Though she’s brutally effective, many heroes bristle at her methods—including Batman, who personally booted her from the Justice League.
Ewan McGregor as Black Mask
Roman Sionis is one of Gotham City’s most ruthless crime bosses. Even though he’s a “legitimate businessman,” most know him as Black Mask, named for his distinctive headgear carved out of his mother’s tombstone. No bullshit. (More recently it’s been a gimp mask, which is its own kind of weird.) He occasionally works with fellow mafiosos Penguin and Great White Shark—the “Black & Whites”—to make Batman miserable.
Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz
Serial killer Victor Zsasz has a body count that’d make Ted Bundy blush. A compulsive gambler, Zsasz lost everything to a bad hand and snapped. To Zsasz, the living world’s a burden, so he does his best to “help” people out of it…usually by slitting their throats. He’s something of a body modification enthusiast—he carves a tally mark for each kill into his skin. He’s got a lot.
Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya
Renee Montoya’s been fighting crime since the beginning, starting as a Gotham City beat cop, graduating to detective, and eventually joining the superhero set as the Question. She’s smart and capable, but she’s a fan of the sauce. Things look like she’s still carrying a badge, so odds are she won’t mask up. Also, she dated Batwoman for a while.
Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain
Thanks to the malleable history of superhero comics, Cassandra Cain’s backstory is a bit messy. The basics are always the same, however: she was raised as an assassin and trained to read body language like a book; she knows what your next move is before you do. She’s operated as Batgirl, but more recently she’s been working with Batman and company under the name Orphan.
The Birds of Prey may not have the brand recognition of the Justice League or the Avengers, but they’re a team of asskickers and a force to be reckoned with. Can they hang with the big guns? We’ll find out February 7, 2020.