Jimmy Palmiotti Weirdly Defends Harley Quinn’s Portrayal in BOP


Jimmy Palmiotti defends Harley Quinn’s portrayal in Birds of Prey film, even though she doesn’t belong in the lead


It seems artist/writer Palmiotti is defending the abortive Birds of Prey film’s depiction of the overrated villainess, even though that’s hardly the issue:


An authority on the subject has come out in support of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn portrayal in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): DC Comics writer Jimmy Palmiotti. […]

Birds of Prey’s box office performance has caused some to attack one aspect of the film: Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. However, Harley Quinn comic co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti isn’t having it. Earlier today on Twitter, Palmiotti spoke out in favor of Robbie’s performance, saying in part, it’s “exactly as we have been writing the character since 2013.” Palmiotti has a long history in comics writing and was responsible for relaunching DC’s Harley Quinn series with Amanda Conner in 2013. The two are credited with helping the character rise in popularity, allowing for her entry into the DCEU. Take a look at Palmiotti’s tweet praising Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey below:

I don’t see how that justifies making HQ the star of the show at Black Canary and Oracle’s expense, or the dumbing down of sexuality in the script, which was additionally insulting. Yet jarring violence is allowed, and if that’s what Palmiotti and Connor think makes a great role model, they’re throughly mistaken. Did they even consider the wafer-thin plot poses a problem?


Though many fans love Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn, it’s nice to see her receive support from someone who knows the character so well. There are many factors that went into Birds of Prey’s box office performance, and it seems reductive to assume Robbie was the deciding factor. Many of those who had a positive reaction to the film are likely fans of the character and thus familiar with how she’s portrayed in the comics. Now that Palmiotti has weighed in, it will be hard to suggest going forward that Robbie’s performance isn’t comic-accurate, which may convince those who haven’t seen Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to give it a shot.


I’m not amused by this defense either. It completely obscures a valid issue – turning a villainess into the prime star, while Black Canary isn’t just relegated to a secondary status, she’s even race-swapped, and Huntress was watered down horribly too. It’s no better than celebrating the violence of the Joker, and if the Clown Prince of Crime were turned into the leader of a team that’s supposed to be on the good side, that’d be more likely to drawn frowns. So why put this kind of emphasis on a villainess either? The writer at Screen Rant can say what she likes, but this whole film is a disgrace to the source material it supposedly builds upon, and I won’t give a try at all. My belief is that heroes are the ones we should look up to, not villains, and Palmiotti’s defense is insulting to the intellect.


Originally published here.

Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1