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Gotham City Sirens: Here’s what you should know about DC and Warner Bros.’ new movie

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The female-led series has an interesting story

DC Comics

Warner Bros, announced yesterday that it was going to be adapting the short-lived DC Comics series, Gotham City Sirens, into its own stand-alone movie.

The film will act as a sequel to this year’s Suicide Squad, and reunite actress Margot Robbie (who played Harley Quinn in the film) with director David Ayer. It not only marks the first ensemble movie from DC Comics and Warner Bros. featuring a female-led team, but also the first female-led superhero team ever.

Despite the series featuring three well-known and beloved characters, Gotham City Sirens — a term used for the collective adventures of Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman, though they probably wouldn’t use it to describe themselves — still isn’t a household name in the same way Spider-Man or Iron Man are. Harley Quinn is, without question, one of the breakout comic book characters of 2016, but Warner Bros.’ decision to include Catwoman and Poison Ivy essentially introduces the characters to the DC Cinematic Universe (DCU).

Following the release of Gotham City Sirens, it’s more than likely that Poison Ivy and Catwoman will appear in future DC movies. There are stand-alone Batman movies, more Justice League films and a slew of other franchises that have yet to launch. Bringing in more characters — especially iconic characters — helps build Warner Bros.’ cinematic world while also enticing new viewers.

The question remains, however, just what Gotham City Sirens is? How did it come to be? What are the major events that happen within it? In an attempt to figure it out, Polygon dove in to try and get an idea of what the Suicide Sequel may look like.

So what exactly are the Gotham City Sirens?

Gotham City Sirens was a comic book series that ran from June 2009 to August 2011. It was written by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Gotham) and featured art by Guillem March. At that particular point in comics continuity, Bruce Wayne was presumed dead and Dick Grayson, the first Robin, had taken the role of Batman. Sirens followed Catwoman as she stole the fortune of a supervillain who had recently tried to kill her, and used it to put herself, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn up in a nice apartment together — actually, it’s the Riddler’s apartment, but they steal it. Selina proposes that the three women band together to survive in Gotham’s literally cut-throat villain community.

The comic ran for 26 issues, debuted the trio as a new team and then focusing on individual stories about each of the three women, with the final chapter ending in the dissolution of the group following Harley Quinn’s betrayal — in order to make way for the New 52 reboot.

Is it related to Batman: The Animated Series at all?

Yes! Before Gotham City Sirens was published by DC and after Batman: The Animated Series went off the air, there was a Flash-animated web series called Gotham Girls released by Warner Bros. Animation and Noodle Soup Productions in 2002, written by Paul Dini and drawn to match the late-series designs of Batman: The Animated Series. The show starred Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Catwoman, police detective Renee Montoya and magician Zatanna — each voiced by the same actress who’d played them in the television show — and was mainly inspired by the daily lives of each woman.

Gotham Girls lasted three 10-episode seasons before it was cancelled. It did, however, inspire a five-issue comic book series of the same name in 2003, with each issue focusing specifically on one of the aforementioned characters. A three-issue series, Batman: Harley and Ivy, came next before DC finally published Gotham City Sirens in 2009.

What does this mean for the movie?

This is the million dollar question. As previously stated, all of this seems like a way for DC Comics and Warner Bros. to capitalize on the success of Harley Quinn — and to keep Margot Robbie, the actress behind her, happy, as Robbie was reportedly a big force in pushing for the film.

Suicide Squad had Batman appear as a cameo, and considering both Poison Ivy and Catwoman are major adversaries in the Batman comics, it only makes sense to have them appear in future Batman films, as well as Justice League projects. This gives Warner Bros. a way to introduce them, while bringing in other Suicide Squad characters — like the Joker — and continue building to its universe.

It will also be interesting to see if other villains from the Gotham City Sirens comic make their way into the film. For example, the Riddler is a recurring annoyance in the comic and it could be a way for Warner Bros. to bring him into the DCU. Gotham City Sirens would be a perfect film to introduce a cast of new characters, like Suicide Squad did, and decide on future spinoffs from there.

There isn’t too much more information about Gotham City Sirens available at this time, but David Ayer is returning to Warner Bros. to direct with DC Films head Geoff Johns producing. Gotham City Sirens will be written by Geneva Robertson-Dwore, the writer behind the upcoming Tomb Raider remake and the third upcoming Sherlock Holmes installment.

There is no release date at this time.