Harley Quinn: Birds Of Prey - Every Reference From The Comics You Missed
Harley Quinn's big adventure is packed full of hidden comic book easter eggs and references. Did you catch them all?
The wait is over. Harley Quinn's brand new movie, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey is now in theaters after a long and winding road through production--and it turns out, according to our own Birds of Prey review and review roundup, good things really do come to those who wait. Birds of Prey might actually be the best modern DC movie yet, bringing home an eccentric, addictively high-energy street-level Gotham City story populated by characters we absolutely loved. (Though despite some positive reviews, it had such a weak opening weekend that its name has been changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to make it more recognizable.)
But, of course, as with any comic book movie, it also came jam-packed with plenty of shout-outs, references, and Easter Eggs to the books it's based on. It even managed to weave in some DCEU shout-outs in there as well, for the fans looking for a bit more shared universe continuity mixed in with all the chaos. Want to see exactly how Birds of Prey ties into Suicide Squad? We've got you covered. Curious as to how The Joker figures in? We've got you there as well. But before you dig deeper into the meat and potatoes, check out these 20 references peppered in through the movie and see which you were able to catch.
1. Helena's backstory
Helena's backstory is pulled directly from her comic book counterpart, with the exception of Zsasz's involvement in her parent's murders.
2. Helena's Catholicism
During the flashbacks to her violent past, we see Helena in a church, praying with a rosary. In the comics, Helena is a devout Catholic who carries a rosary on her, even when in costume.
3. Bruce the Hyena
Harley's pet hyena is actually a two-for-one deal. In the animated series, Harley had two pet hyenas named Bud and Lou--get it? Because she's clown-themed and hyenas are famous for laughing? In Birds of Prey, there's only one hyena but his name is Bruce, the movie's only nod to Batman.
4. Ace Chemicals
Harley's tragic dip into a vat at Ace Chemicals (which she later blows up) is also pulled directly from the comics--or, well, some of them. Joker and Harley tend to have their origin stories shuffled around semi-frequently, but this is one of them.
5. Janus Corp
All around Gotham are signs for Roman Sionis's company, Janus, usually with the "J" blocked out so that it reads "Anus," get it? This is actually from the comics as well--well, minus the gag--though in the comics, rather than a real estate development company, Janus was a cosmetics empire.
6. False Facers
Roman's cronies arrive at the Booby Trap wearing their very own masks, a nod to their comic book counterparts, the "False Facers," or False Face Society, a mask-wearing cult that Roman once started.
7. Roller Derby
Harley's brief stint in roller derby was inspired by her solo comics in the New 52 era.
8. Harley's costumes
Most of Harley's outfits in the movie are street clothes, but during the Boopy Trap fight scene, Renee Montoya wears a bustier that's directly inspired by her Animated Series look. Similarly, Dinah pulls out Harley's Suicide Squad t-shirt (the white top that says "daddy's little monster," remember?) which Harley says still has sentimental value.
9. Dinah's mother
Renee was working with Dinah's mother, who was a police informant that wound up killed on the job. This is an extremely surface-level nod to Dinah's comic book past which is very, very complicated (seriously, it has a lot to do with various reboots merging Dinah and her mother into one character for a while) but appreciated none the less. In the comics, fighting crime is a family business for the Lances, and apparently it is in Birds of Prey as well.
10. Canary cry
Dinah's super-sonic scream is another comic book pull, and her one meta-human ability.
11. Dinah's musical career
It's slightly different in Birds of Prey, but the New 52 era of DC Comics actually reinvented Black Canary to be a singer in a punk rock band. We see echos of that idea here where she's a lounge singer for Roman's club.
12. Harley's backstory
Harley gives an abbreviated version of her personal history, including her time spent as an orphan, her stint as a psychologist in Arkham and so on. All of that comes directly from her animated series origins.
13. Captain Boomerang
Harley spots a wanted poster at the GCPD for a guy she happens to know: Captain Boomerang from Suicide Squad, who will be making a comeback alongside Harley in the James Gunn reboot.
14. Voted for Bernie
Harley's not exactly a topical gal, but one of the grievances that Roman has with her is that she voted for Bernie Sanders. Later, she tells Cass that she should never pay federal income tax, though, so we can assume Harley isn't exactly an informed voter.
15. "Bomb in your neck"
Harley briefly talks about surviving a bomb in the neck, an obvious nod to her time with the Suicide Squad which kept its members in line by implanting bombs in each of their necks. One wrong move and their heads would explode at Amanda Waller's say so.
16. Zsasz's scars
Birds of Prey's Victor Zsasz may not look that familiar to fans of modern Batman comics or shows like Gotham, but he still shares some major similarities. Before he tries to kill Harley, he explains that he gives himself a scar for each kill--they're not the neat, uniform tally marks that we see in the comics, but the ritual is definitely still the same.
17. Amusement Mile
The plan to meet up at the Booby Trap leads everyone to the abandoned Amusement Mile, a real location from Gotham City over in the comics. It's clearly seen some better days--but that's pretty par for the course for Batman's home turf.
18. Beat with a crowbar
After open season is officially declared on Harley, one of Roman's hired goons comes at her wielding a crowbar, which just so happens to be the now infamous weapon of choice Mr. J decided to use on Jason Todd, the Robin he murdered.
19. Looney Tunes
Harley and Cass camp out in her apartment watching Looney Tunes on TV while hiding from the cops--you know, in case you missed Harley's own personal Looney Tunes stylings, including her very Bugs Bunny "disguise" when breaking into the police station.
Harley's favorite nickname for Joker, "Puddin," gets a shoutout during her break up story. We wouldn't expect any less.
Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot's parent company