Major spoilers for Suicide Squad lurk within, you've been warned. Don't read on if you don't wanna know!
Suicide Squad is finally here and — regardless of the critical panning it received prior to release — there's actually a lot of bright spots in the movie. One such bright spot is Margot Robbie's enthusiastic portrayal of Doctor Harleen "Harley Quinn" Quinzel, which she arguably nails the whole way through.
Suicide Squad, whilst it does link to other movies in the DC Extended Universe, is fairly contained as part of a shared universe. The events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are referenced multiple times and have a major effect on the decision to put Task Force X into effect, and we have cameos from not one but two Justice League members.
But there's a very interesting Batman v Superman reference that comes in a "blink and you'll miss it" moment during Harley Quinn's introduction. Did you catch it?
When the title card for Harley's dossier pops up during Amanda Waller's (Viola Davis) briefing we get a quick run down of a few facts about the Clown Princess. One such fact informs us that she was wanted as an accomplice to the murder of Robin, which is kind of a huge deal.
Harley AND Joker Killed Robin?
So what? I hear you say. We've known that Joker (Jared Leto) killed the DCEU Robin for ages, way back before Batman v Superman was even close to release. But here's the rub — it was never actually explicitly confirmed within the confines of the movie that it was Joker who killed Robin.
Sure, we saw the suit, we saw the "HA HA HA joke's on you, Batman" scrawled across the chest, we saw the way Bruce looked at it. Because we have external knowledge of the DC Universe and the history and characters within it, we're able to pretty easily put the pieces together to deduce that it was Joker who killed Robin.
But, this is the first time the DCEU has come close to officially acknowledging that fact within the structure of a film. And even here they still dance around stating "Joker killed Robin" — though saying Harley was an accomplice to the murder does all but confirm that as fact. Maybe this will be expanded upon in one of the many deleted Joker scenes of the movie?
A more jaded person than I may claim that this is a case of David Ayer doing Zack Snyder's job for him, as filling in more of the Robin backstory would've made for a much more interesting and useful moment in Batman v Superman than, say, that scene with Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in the bathtub. But it's certainly an interesting point to see associated with Harley here, and likely will become important later.
It Might Not've Been Jason Todd
Even though we know there's been a fallen Robin, it was never actually officially confirmed to be Jason Todd. As comic book fans will know, there's been several characters to carry that name, beginning with Dick Grayson (now Nightwing) and most recently Damian Wayne (son of Bruce and Talia al Ghul).
The closest we came to having an official confirmation was a Warner Bros. tour guide who referred to the suit as the "Jason Todd/Robin suit" but, again, the identity of Robin hasn't yet been clarified within any of the DCEU movies.
Having Harley be present at the murder of Robin could be telling, as at the time of Jason Todd's death in DC comics Harley Quinn did not even exist. Harley, as we all know by now, was introduced in 1992 in Batman: The Animated Series, whereas Jason Todd met his gruesome death at the hands of Joker four years earlier, in 1988's Batman: A Death in the Family. Likely though this is just the DCEU juggling with the continuity, as comic book adaptations commonly do.
Batman Out For Revenge, Or Is He?
This reveal also adds another layer to the scene where Batman (Ben Affleck) saves Harley Quinn from drowning and takes her into custody. We know that the Caped Crusader of the DCEU is harsher and darker than we've seen before, with no qualms about killing — but he still saved Quinn's life when he could've left her to drown with clean hands (it was, after all the Joker's fault that they crashed into the water in the first place).
Though this is just a little reveal, the fact that the DCEU is still to properly address the matter of Robin makes it likely that the stage is now being set for a major confrontation between Joker, Harley and Batman. Perhaps we'll finally get that Death in the Family inspired flashback? Or will Jason Todd return as Red Hood?
Now that Harley has been sprung from jail by her puddin' you can bet that the Clown Prince and Princess of Crime are going to have another run in with the Caped Crusader at some point in the near future. Especially after Robbie cemented Quinn's character so nicely in Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. would be foolish not to capitalise and build upon her popularity right now (c'mon Warner, give us a Harley Quinn solo movie).
Though we know outwith the context of the movie that Joker was the one behind the death of Robin — as Snyder told IGN following the release of Batman v Superman — the DCEU has so far been tiptoeing around explicitly exploring that big plot point in Batman's backstory. For now though, Suicide Squad takes us one step closer towards solving the mystery of Robin's death.
What do you think happened to Robin in the DC Extended Universe? Have your say in the comments, and check out Harley Quinn's greatest hits below!