SPOILER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FROM ARROW, THE FLASH, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW AND SUPERGIRL.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! :)
When you hear the words "Birds of Prey", you might think of it in the literal sense. However, you might also think of the iconic DC comic-book series about a string of legendary female superheroes. The lineup featuring the likes of Black Canary, the Huntress and Oracle had a successful run and ultimately led to the short-lived 2002 Birds of Prey TV series. However, low ratings subsequently resulted in the series' cancellation. Well that was almost 14 years ago and I think that NOW is the perfect time to resurrect the idea of a Birds of Prey TV Series.
I decided to write this article for many reasons, including the fact that I have always felt that Birds of Prey is an incredibly interesting yet under-rated concept and deserves the chance to be explored in some form of on-screen media. But nothing compelled me to write this article more than Arrow's creative decison this week to kill the Black Canary (Laurel Lance) a mere year after she took up the mantle and was subsequently reduced to a sidekick instead of having her own adventures. But we'll get to that in a moment. In order to truly make Birds of Prey work this time around, all they would need to do is:
1. Set it in the 'Arrowverse'
This would be a very quick way to get fans on board for the show. Having the same team behind it that runs The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow could most certainly help get the show off the ground (although, I doubt that it would need the push). Even though it would be set in the same universe and perhaps feature crossovers with characters from any of the parent shows, it wouldn't necessarily have to have the same tone. A darker, grittier tone would be more appropriate - much like the tone of Arrow during it's Season One and Two days. Having the Arrow-Verse iterations of these characters doing their crime-fighting thing would most definitely be a resounding success!
2. Justice for Black Canary
In the comic book mythos, the Black Canary is an even greater warror than the Green Arrow himself. And while Arrow should be commended for it's original storytelling in Seasons 1-3, which drove Laurel to become the Black Canary, many people were left dissatisfied with the character's storylines. However, many had finally begun to warm to it and felt satisfied with her position and story in Season Four...until the ridiculous creative decision to kill her was made. So after getting it 100% right for about 5-7 episodes...they decided to kill her off. As much as I love Arrow, taking away one of it's strongest female characters to provide "good storylines on how it will affect the others" is just a sign that we need more female-centric superhero shows. It's also a sign that the character deserves better than being relegated to a sidekick and killed for shock value.
Birds of Prey would be the perfect platform for Katie Cassidy's iteration of the Black Canary to shine. Laurel would finally be her own hero - a sidekick to nobody. Being the face (or one of the faces) of the team would put the spotlight on her - and deservedly so. It wouldn't be that hard to revive her at all. There is a theory that the conversation that was mysteriously absent between her and Oliver right before she died is evidence that she faked her death. Furthermore, in the "Arrowverse", it's pretty easy to believe in the impossible - with the Lazarus Pit and time travel at their disposal, it's safe to say anything can happen. The Black Canary should not be considered expendable for anyone and if she truly remains dead, well then Arrow may have indeed made a GRAVE mistake.
3. Lack of Female-Centric Superhero Films
Yes, female characters play an important role in all of the superhero shows and many of the superhero films. However, there is still a little bit of a lack of female superheroes that get told. Yes, Marvel have the brilliant Agent Carter and the thrilling Jessica Jones while DC have the awesome Supergirl but there is also an abundance of many great superheroines that would make great TV adptations. The cinematic universes also lack female superhero films - although that is set to change with Wonder Woman unleashing her awesomeness next year. But anyways, the point is that creating a FlarrowVerse spin-off of Birds of Prey now would automatically have fans who are eager to see strong female heroes tuning in.
4. Abundance of Female Characters to Choose From
This point follows on from what I said in the first two points. The (Fl)ArrowVerse has a vast amount of female characters to choose from. First and foremost, Katie Cassidy's Black Canary should without a doubt be one of it's stars. However, there is also the equally as awesome White Canary/Canary from Legends of Tomorrow (previously from Arrow) played to perfection by Caity Lotz. Seeing Laurel and Sara team up as their respective Canary counterparts would certainly be a treat. Furthermore, another Birds of Prey headliner from the comics was the Huntress, who also happens to be in the ArrowVerse. Jessica De Gouw's Helena Bertinelli certainly made her mark on the first two seasons of Arrow and now would definitely be the right time to resurrect the character for more vengeance on those who wronged her. Not being afraid to cross that line, it would be interesting to see how she would work with either Canary, both of whom she has had run-ins with before.
Let's not forget about Nyssa Al Guhl - the daughter of Ra's Al Guhl, lover of Sara, friend of Laurel and sister-in-law to Thea (Speedy). She has become a formidable force on Arrow and it is positively glorious to see Katrina Law every time she shows up. One of my favorite recurring characters on the show. Moreover, we also have Arrow's Speedy, Thea Queen, who has certainly developed into quite the warrior since her Season One days. Then there is also Rila Fukishima's compelling portrayl of Katana who kicks an extreme amount of ass and I'm sure her big-screen counterpart will do the same in Suicide Squad later this year. Finally, we have Megalyn Echikunwoke who portrayed Vixen/Mari McCabe on both the animated web-series Vixen and in an episode of Arrow. I loved Mari and would love to see what she would add to a potential Birds of Prey spin-off series.
As for the computer genius, they could always stay true to the comics and bring Oracle into the fold, but that may prove tricky as there's still no solid proof that Batman and his Bat-family exist in the Arrowverse (although Oracle did get a shoutout on Arrow). They could use Felicity/Overwatch or Caitlin Snow from The Flash or perhaps even have Allison Mack reprise her Smallville role as an alternate version of Chloe Sullivan/WatchTower. The possibilites for a Birds of Prey series are endless and so are the possibilities of great female characters.
Thus, in conclusion, NOW is the time for a Birds of Prey TV series set in the Arrow-verse. It could be darker and grittier but still feature these same popular characters. It's about time we have a television series about a league of extraordinary women and with Laurel's abominable untimely death on Arrow, now is the time to not only revivie the Black Canary but to revive the entire Birds of Prey concept. It has the potential to be a huge success and give these strong female superheroes a chance to shine - a chance that they most definitely deserve.