Wonder Women Wednesday: “Birds Of Prey”

"Birds of Prey" (2002) TV series

Before Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) liked dressing his girls up as CW’s Arrow, before there were ladies were taking down ladies as the “Birds of Justice” for Star City, before Melissa Benoist took flight as Supergirl, before Ruby Rose suits up as Batwoman, there were a trinity of women starting a revolution of their own.  

On October 9, 2002, Ashley Scott, Dina Meyer and Rachel Skarsten soared as the Birds Of Prey.  Airing a year after Smallville, the series was set as the follow up to the Superman prequel series for the then WB Network.
Seven years after Batman vanished, New Gotham was without its Dark Knight/Caped Crusader.  But he left behind his legacy in the form of his daughter Helena (Scott), whose mother is Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Batman’s frenemy and true love. 

Protecting the people of the night as the Huntress, Helena works alongside with Barbara Gordon (Meyer), one of many protegees Batman has trained under his wing over the years in his war on crime, corruption and injustice.  The daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon, one of Batman’s most trusted allies and closest friend, Barbara lived one life as Batgirl, but was caught in the crossfire in the war between Batman and the Joker. 

Though in a wheelchair, Barbara is still fighting the good fight as Oracle, a master of the cyber world and mentor/trainer to heroes.  Together, Barbara and Helena takes in Dinah (Skarsten), a young metahuman with powers that she’s beginning to explore and understand.  As the Birds of Prey, they’re the protectors of New Gotham on a mission: stopping Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn (Mia Sara), the Joker’s girlfriend, and her plans of taking over the city.  Helping them are Batman butler Alfred Pennyworth (Ian Abercrombie) and honest cop Jesse Reese (Shemar Moore), the son of a mobster.  

After a strong debut, ratings for Birds Of Prey began declining and the series lasted 13 episodes, but continues to maintain a cult following over the years (for instance, check out the episode “Split” on CW Seed).  It has been confirmed that Scott will suit up again as Huntress in the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event in the Arrowverse, while Skarsten will unleash terror as Alice, the leader of the Wonderland gang on Batwoman.  

Thanks to the DC Extended Universe, Birds Of Prey will be emancipated on the big screen with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) cutting ties with the Joker and forming new ones with Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez): teaming up to protect a young girl from crime boss Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).  The film is set for a February 2020 release.

“Birds of Prey” official movie trailer by Warner Bros. Pictures

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