Comic book references are a normal part of the scenery in today's superhero movies. Sometimes they show up as Easter eggs for fans that are familiar with the film’s source material. Other times, writers lift giant chunks of the source material to use as a plot. Birds of Preyhttps://www.traileraddict.com/birds-of-prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (from here on referred to as simply Birds of Prey) is no exception. It's littered with references to the characters’ comics origins. So with that in mind, here are a few Birds of Prey comic book references that you might have missed.
Harley Quinn’s Hyena
Birds of Prey’s main character Harley Quinn doesn’t actually originate from any comic. Rather, she was created for the 1990s animated Batman series. On the show, she had a couple of pet hyenas named Bud and Lou, after the famous comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. But in Birds of Prey, she’s got just one, and he’s not named after any old comic, but Gotham City’s famous billionaire Bruce Wayne -- which also doubles as the film’s only explicit reference to Batman comic.
Ever since The Joker’s origin (or one of his origins, at least) was revealed in the pages of Detective Comics in the early 1950s, Ace Chemicals has been a central part of the character’s mythology. It’s where he had his unfortunate accident and fell into a chemical vat, transforming a relatively stable individual into the insane Clown Prince of Crime. This origin story is reworked as Harley’s in Birds of Prey, which is set at, of course, Ace Chemicals.
Harley’s Roller Derby Career
It makes intuitive sense that a character like Harley Quinn would at some point be involved in roller derby. But as is often the case, the comics got their first. Specifically, her solo “New 52” series, which provided the source material for Harley’s brief stint as a roller derbier in the movie.
Black Mask’s Masked Henchmen
It makes sense that a character by the name of Black Mask would have evil henchmen who also wear masks. But this choice in the movie is also a throwback to a storyline from the comics, when Black Mask founded a masked cult known as the False Face Society of Gotham in the very first Black Mask story. The plot told the tale of how cosmetics heir Roman Sionis became the psychotic villain.
Like Ace Chemicals, the Amusement Mile amusement park is an iconic part of Gotham City’s fictional geography going deep into the various Batman comic books. It’s seen in all its shabby glory in Birds of Prey, too.
Harley’s Mermaid Tattoo
This little nod to the lady villains known as the Gotham City Sirens was first spotted on a poster for the movie rather than the movie itself (seen above). But it has been suggested that if there’s a Birds of Prey follow-up, the Birds will be going up against the Sirens, a group that includes characters like Poison Ivy in its ranks. Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen.
Bernie the Beaver
One of the most buzzed-about scenes in Birds of Prey was when a reference was made to Harley having voted for Bernie Sanders for president. If you look closely at the scenes inside Harley’s somewhat cluttered home, though, you can spot another Bernie who has Harley’s support: Bernie the beaver. This Bernie looks pretty much like any other beaver taxidermy, but Bernie is actually another element of Harley’s character that was borrowed from her comic book solo series. In the comic, the stuffed animal is a prized possession that she stole from her first crush.