content by

Caroline Perny

No Jokers, No Masters: Birds of Prey and the Emancipation of Harley Quinn’s Narrative

I didn’t expect to love Birds of Prey so much, but I’m currently sitting on my bed in a gold lamé jumpsuit, eating a breakfast sandwich and pretending my cat is a hyena, so here we are. On the surface, it’s just a dumb superhero action movie that gave me cause to yell things like “HELL YEAH MURDER SLIDE!” or “KICK HIM IN THE NADS!” at full volume in a movie theater. The film is designed to be pure fun, a carnival of sartorial delights and one-liners tied together by glittery explosions and a soundtrack that can only be described as “bitchin’.” I’m a simple woman, and that would have been enough for me.

But there’s actual substance lurking beneath the surface. This isn’t the first time we’ve gotten a Harley Quinn story, but it’s finally the version of Harley Quinn I’ve always wanted to see—and it’s because she gets to choose who she becomes, and choose the people around her.

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