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Heroine Overview

So you're just going to let them take over, is that it? Maybe then they'll leave you alone but I wouldn't count on it if you don't stand up and fight for what's yours you won't have anything left worth fighting for.
~ Black Canary.
Scars. You'd have to go under the knife to remove those. But the psychological disfigurement -- no blade for that. Except the cutting edge of life itself. Otherwise, you remain a cheerless bird in a gilded cage. Truly... a Black Canary.
~ Black Canary (Dinah Lance).
Don't get me wrong. We're not freaks. We weren't born different. But we became different the moment we stepped into the hero role. Now we have to live up to it... or die trying.
~ Dinah Laurel Lance.

Black Canary is the name of a fictional super heroine appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. There are two canaries, the first and original was Dinah Drake, and the second canary is Dinah Drake's daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance.

One of DC's earliest super heroines, the Black Canary has featured on many of the company's flagship team-up titles, including both Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America. Since the late 1960s, the character has often been paired with the archer superhero Green Arrow professionally, romantically and sometime as man and wife.

Black Canary was created by the writer-artist team of the late Robert Kanigher and the late Carmine Infantino, and Dinah Drake debuted in Flash Comics #86 in August of 1947, and Dinah Laurel Lance's debuted in Justice League of America #75 in November of 1969.

History

As introduced during the Golden Age of Comic Books, the Black Canary was the alter-ego of Dinah Drake, and took part in crime-fighting adventures alongside her love interest and eventual husband, Gotham City detective Larry Lance. The Black Canary did not possess superpowers, but was a hand-to-hand fighter who frequently posed as a criminal in order to covertly take down criminal organizations.

She also featured as a member of the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team to appear in comic books. Later stories, published during the Silver Age of Comic Books, depicted the Black Canary as a world-class martial artist with a superpower — the "Canary Cry" — a high powered sonic scream that could shatter objects and incapacitate enemies.

DC Comics later adjusted its continuity to explain that Black Canary was in fact two characters, mother and daughter Dinah Drake and Dinah Laurel Lance, with stories since the Silver Age primarily focusing on the younger Black Canary and ascribing her superhuman abilities to a genetic mutation. In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its continuity, and in the process re-established Black Canary as a singular super-powered heroine, Dinah Lance (née Drake).

Biography

Early Life

Dinah Laurel Lance is the daughter of police officer Larry Lance and costume crime fighter Dinah Drake, who was best known as the costume superheroine "Black Canary" and a member of the Justice Society of America. Dinah's power to use the "Canary Cry" has two different origins, with the first being that Dinah Laurel was cursed a child by the Wizard, but the other origin states that her power comes from Dinah possessing a metagene. By the time shew as nineteen, Dinah Laurel wanted to become a costumed vigilante despite her mother not wanting her to. Dinah Laurel began training with Wildcat, and also took the title of "Black Canary" with her mother.

Heroic Career

After debuting as the next Black Canary, Dinah Laurel became a founding member of the Justice League, and she was the one who suggested the newly formed name of the team. Once becoming a member of the Justice League, she met Oliver Queen (also known as the Green Arrow), and the two later partnered and became romantically involved. When Green Arrow decided to leave the League, Dinah Laurel followed suit and joined him to Star City. During their journey, she was run off the road by a motorcycle gang, and was hypnotized by a cult leader named Joshua. While under the influence of Jonah, Black Canary fought Green Arrow and Green Lantern when they came to save her, and she broke free when she was ordered to kill Oliver. Ashamed of being involved with Jonah's cult, she helped the Native Americans that Jonah intended to murder out of guilt despite being hypnotized. Once returning with Green Arrow, Black Canary attended the trial of Old Timer, fought Sinestro, and helped Green Arrow's partner Roy Harper get over his drug addiction.

When Green Arrow disappeared from his superhero and public persona, Green Lantern sought Dinah's help to locate Oliver, and her investigation found her to a cult lead by Jonah's sister. After dealing with the hate gang, Black Canary was hit by a driver while making a call in a phone booth, and Hal sought Oliver since he had a the rare blood type to save Dinah. Hal managed to have Oliver return to save Dinah, and managed to do in the knick of time. Around this time, Black Canary became a founding member of Maxwell Lord's Justice League International. Dinah and Oliver's relationship started to became strain, as the latter wanted to marry and have children while suffering from a mid-life crisis. When Dinah was tortured to near death, Oliver saved her and went by the title "Emerald Archer", and Dinah was reluctant to return to crime fighting. Dinah lost her Canary Cry from the incident, and returned to crime fighting once she realized that she was feared not being able to fight back anymore. Despite her return, Dinah's relationship with Oliver became further strained once the incident left her permanently infertile, and broke up with Oliver once she got him kissing his assistant.

After breaking up with Green Arrow, Black Canary was contacted by Barbara Gordon, and formed a partnership and co-founded the Birds of Prey. Seeing that she was in Gotham City, Dinah abandoned her blonde wig and began to bleach her natural hair, and began using electronic weapons to fight opponents since she lost her Canary Cry. Dinah later had her powers restored by taking a dip into the Lazarus Pit, and reopened her flower ship with the help of Barbara. Around this time, Dinah learned that Oliver was dead from his illegitimate son, Connor Hawke. Black Canary would go own to lead the new incarnation of the Justice Society, but reassigned when she learned that Oliver was resurrected by Parallax. Though the two happily reunited, Dinah decided not to restart their relationship, as she feared Oliver would possibly try to take advantage of his ward Mia Dearden.

Black Canary would later switch places with Lady Shiva to enrich both of their perspectives, and Dinah returned a year later with a young girl named Sin, who was trained to be Shiva's successor. Upon her return to Gotham City, Dinah told the Birds of Prey she was leaving to raise Sin, and the young girl was adopted and named "Cynthia Lance". However, Dinah was named the chairwoman of the new Justice League, but returned to Star City to help Green Arrow and his allies against Merlyn and Roadblock.

Incarnations

Dinah Drake

Main article: Black Canary (Dinah Drake)

Dinah Drake was the original Black Canary during the Golden Age and World War II, and was originally a florist who posed as a criminal to break up gangs. Eventually, she decided to become a vigilante and joined the Justice Society of America, and was later succeeded by her daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance.

Dinah Laurel Lance

Dinah Laurel Lance is the daughter of Dinah Drake, and succeeded her mother during the Silver Age, and became the partner and love-interest of Green Arrow. In addition, Black Canary has been a member of the Justice League, Justice Society, the Birds of Prey, and Team Arrow.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Abilities

  • Master Combatant: Black Canary is skilled in boxing, krav maga, muay thai, tae Kwon do, savate, dragon style kung fu, wing chun, hapkido, aikido, and judo

Portrayals

Films

  • In Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), she was portrayed by Jurnee Smollett.

Television

  • In Legends of Superheroes, she was portrayed by Danuta Wesley.
  • In Birds of Prey, she was portrayed by Rachel Skarsten.
  • In Justice League Unlimited, she was voiced by Morena Baccarin, who also plays Vanessa Carysle in the Deadpool films, and played Leslie Thompkins in Gotham.
  • In Smallville, she was portrayed by Alaina Huffman.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, she was voiced by Grey DeLisle, who voices Daphne Blake in the Scooby-Doo franchise.
  • In Young Justice, she was voiced by Vanessa Marshall, who also voiced Irwin in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Hera Syndulla in Star Wars Rebels.
    • Marshall reprised her voice for the character in Injustice 2.
  • In CW's Arrow, she is portrayed by Katie Cassidy, who also played Kelli Presley in Black Christmas.
  • In the DC Nation Shorts, she was voiced by Kari Wahlgren, who also voiced Starfire in the DC Animated Film Universe and Injustice 2, and Chloe Carmichael in The Fairy OddParents.
    • Wahlgren reprised her voice for the character in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

Video Games

  • In DC Universe Online, she was voiced by Kelly Hutson.

Quotes

Oh, I knew he'd catch up with me eventually. But a good detective needs to keep a clear head.
~ Black Canary
I'm loyal to my friends Selina.
~ Black Canary in Injustice 2.
I promise it's for a good cause. How about a wager if I can get out of this hold you help me.
~ Black Canary in Justice League Unlimited.
Such misplaced pride you have.
~ Black Canary.

Trivia

  • Ranked 81st "greatest all-time comic book hero" by IGN.
  • Ranked 71st "greatest comic book character of all time" by Wizard.
  • Ranked 26th on "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list by Comics Buyer's Guide.
  • Black Canary would wear a blonde wig to hide her identity until she decided to bleach it.

See Also

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Justice League: Justice League (Superman | Batman | Wonder Woman | The Flash | Cyborg | Aquaman) | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Mera | Lois Lane | Hippolyta | Zeus | Artemis | Green Lantern Corps
Zack Snyder's Justice League: Justice League (Superman | Batman | Wonder Woman | The Flash | Cyborg | Aquaman) | Alfred Pennyworth | James Gordon | Mera | Lois Lane | Hippolyta | Nuidis Vulko | Martian Manhunter | Zeus | Artemis | Green Lantern Corps

Direct-to-video Movies
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox: The Flash | Batman | Thomas Wayne | Cyborg | Kal-El | Cole Cash | Godiva | Steve Trevor | Lois Lane | Etrigan | S.H.A.Z.A.M. | Samuel Lane
Justice League: War: Justice League (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Shazam, & Cyborg) | Steve Trevor | Freddy Freeman |Sarah Charles | Thomas Morrow | Silas Stone
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis: Aquaman: | Atlanna | Mera | Justice League (Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Shazam, Superman, & Wonder Woman) | Steve Trevor | Lois Lane
Justice League vs. Teen Titans: Teen Titans (Raven, Robin, Starfire, Blue Beetle, Beast Boy, & Nightwing) | Justice League (Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Superman, & Wonder Woman)

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