Season 4 of Max’s Harley Quinn concluded with episode 10 last Thursday. The episode began with a tribute (pictured below) to Arleen Sorkin, both the original voice of Harley Quinn and the inspiration for the character. She brought the criminal clown to life not only in Batman: The Animated Series, but also in several other DC cartoon television series from the late 90s and early 2000s as well as video games such as Arkham Asylum. Sorkin passed away on August 24, 2023, at age 67.
While the beginning of the episode looks to the past, the ending looks to the future by setting up a new plotline. Even though season 5 has not been officially confirmed yet, season 4’s finale suggests that it may be in the works. The season ends with Catwoman inviting Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Barbara Gordon to meet her at a cemetery. When Poison Ivy asks why she’s interested in working with the other three women, Catwoman posits, “Maybe the call of the Gotham City sirens was just too seductive,” to which Harley exclaims that “Gotham City Sirens” would make a great nickname. Most people who have been in the DC fandom for a long time will recognize that this is the name used to refer to the trio of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. Batgirl is one of the heroes who often thwarts their schemes, so why would the series set it up as if she’s going to be part of the gang? Well, Barbara may not be a Siren, but she does belong to another group that Harley Quinn has appeared in: the Birds of Prey.
In the 1988 graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (and the 2016 film of the same name), the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon, leaving her paraplegic. Her injury forces her to retire as Batgirl, but instead of quietly disappearing, she takes on a new moniker: Oracle. Under this new persona, she becomes the head of an all-female team of vigilantes called the Birds of Prey. In episode 9 of this most recent season, the Joker shoots Batgirl and leaves her in a wheelchair, which suggests that the Max series is headed in a similar direction.
The Birds of Prey were the focus of the 2020 live action film Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Although this movie did include core members Black Canary and Huntress, since it was produced as a sequel to the 2016 Suicide Squad their leader was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn instead of Oracle. Barbara is nowhere to be found in this film, but she is at the center of the live action Birds of Prey TV show from 2002. Many other women have been part of this group over the years, so perhaps we’ll get to see some of them in Max’s Harley Quinn if there is a season 5; however, with the way that the Sirens quickly shot down the group name “Birds of Prey” as soon as Barbara suggested it, this is unlikely.
Harley Quinn is now streaming on Max.