Black Canary

For the comic book, see Black Canary (comic book).
Black Canary

Black Canary. Art by Ed Benes.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Flash Comics #86
(August 1947)
Created by Robert Kanigher (writer)
Carmine Infantino (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Dinah Drake Lance
Dinah Laurel Lance
Team affiliations Justice Society of America
Justice League
Birds of Prey
Team 7
Black Canary (band)
Partnerships Barbara Gordon
Green Arrow
Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
Larry Lance
Notable aliases Siu Jerk Jai, Operative Canary, D.D., Dangerous Diva
Abilities Black Canary is a highly trained martial artist and gymnast, with the ability to produce a destructive ultrasonic scream known as the Canary Cry.

Black Canary is a fictional superheroine in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by the writer-artist team of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, the character debuted in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947). One of DC's earliest super-heroines, Black Canary has appeared in many of the company's flagship team-up titles including Justice Society of America and Justice League of America. Since the late 1960s, the character has frequently been paired with archer superhero Green Arrow professionally and romantically.

At her Golden Age debut, Black Canary was the alter ego of Dinah Drake and participated in crime-fighting adventures with her love interest (and eventual husband), Gotham City detective Larry Lance. Initially, the character was a hand-to-hand fighter without superpowers who often posed as a criminal to infiltrate criminal gangs. Later stories depicted her as a world-class martial artist with a superpower: the "Canary Cry", a high-powered sonic scream which could shatter objects and incapacitate enemies. When DC Comics adjusted its continuity, Black Canary was established as two separate entities: mother and daughter, Dinah Drake and Dinah Laurel Lance. Stories since the Silver Age have focused on the younger Black Canary, ascribing her superhuman abilities to a genetic mutation. In 2011, DC Comics again reset its continuity, re-establishing Black Canary as a singular super-powered heroine, Dinah Drake Lance, whose powers derive from experiments involving alien DNA.

Black Canary has been adapted into various media, including direct-to-video animated films, video games, and both live-action and animated television series, featuring as a main or recurring character in the shows Birds of Prey, Justice League Unlimited, Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and Arrow. The character is ranked the 71st-greatest comic-book character of all time by Wizard,[1] and IGN rated her its 81st-greatest all-time comic-book hero.[2] She was number 26 on Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[3]

Publication history

Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino created the character in 1947 to be featured in Flash Comics as a supporting character. Appearing first as a clandestine crime-fighter who infiltrates criminal organizations to break them from the inside, Black Canary was drawn with fishnet stockings and a black leather jacket to connote images of a sexualized yet strong female character.[4] She appeared as a character in a back-up story featuring "Johnny Thunder":

I was drawing Johnny Thunder, which was not much of a character. I suppose he could have been better because his 'Thunderbolt' was interesting, but the situations they were in were pretty juvenile. Bob Kanigher wrote those stories, and he had no respect for the characters. These stories were nowhere near as good as 'The Flash' stories. DC knew it — they knew 'Johnny Thunder' was a loser, so Kanigher and I brought the Black Canary into the series. Immediately she got a good response, and it was, 'Bye, bye, Johnny Thunder.' Nobody missed him." [5]
Carmine Infantino

According to Amash & Nolen-Weathington (2010), Black Canary is "really" Carmine Infantino's "first character."[5] According to the artist: "When Kanigher gave me the script, I said, 'How do you want me to draw her?' He said, 'What's your fantasy of a good-looking girl? That's what I want.' Isn't that a great line? So that's what I did. I made her strong in character and sexy in form. The funny part is that years later, while in Korea on a National Cartoonists trip, I met a dancer who was the exact image of the Black Canary. And I went out with her for three years.

Bob didn't ask me for a character sketch [for the Black Canary]. He had a lot of respect for me, I must say that. He always trusted my work… Bob loved my Black Canary design."[5]

Fictional character biography

Before 1983

Blonde woman jumping through hoop held by two other superheroes
Cover of Flash Comics #92 (February 1948); art by Carmine Infantino

Dinah Drake made her debut in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947) as a supporting character in the "Johnny Thunder" feature, written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino. Initially appearing as a villain;[6] Johnny is instantly infatuated with her, and is reproached by his Thunderbolt. Dinah is later revealed to have been infiltrating a criminal gang.

In Flash Comics #92 (February 1948) she has her own anthology feature, "Black Canary", replacing "Johnny Thunder".[7] The new series fleshed out Black Canary's backstory: Dinah Drake was a black-haired florist in love with Larry Lance,[8] a Gotham City Police Department detective. She first meets the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #38 (December 1947-January 1948),[9] joining them in All Star Comics #41 (June–July 1948).[10]

Black Canary is revived with the other Golden Age characters during the 1960s, and lives on the parallel world of Earth-2 (home of DC's Golden Age versions of its characters). Married to Larry Lance since the 1950s, Dinah participates in annual team-ups between the Justice Society and Earth-1's Justice League of America.[8]

In a 1969 JLA/JSA team-up against the rogue star-creature Aquarius, who banished Earth-2's inhabitants (except the JSA) to another dimension, Larry Lance is killed saving Dinah's life and Aquarius is defeated.[11] Grief-stricken, Canary moves to Earth-1 and joins the Justice League. She begins a relationship with JLA colleague Green Arrow and discovers that she has developed an ultrasonic scream, the Canary Cry.[12]

Black Canary teams with Batman five times in The Brave and the Bold[13][14][15][16][17] and once with Superman in DC Comics Presents.[18] Appearing frequently as a guest in the "Green Arrow" backup feature of Action Comics,[19] she was a backup feature in World's Finest Comics #244 (April–May 1977) to #256 (April–May 1979) (when the title was in Dollar Comics format).[20] Black Canary's backstory was featured in DC Special Series #10 (April 1978).[21] After the "Black Canary" feature in World's Finest Comics, she appears as a guest in its "Green Arrow" feature and in Detective Comics.[19]

In Justice League of America #219 and #220 (October and November 1983), the contemporary Black Canary is revealed to be the daughter of the original Black Canary.[8] Born during the 1950s, the infant was cursed by the Wizard with a devastating sonic scream. As a solution, Dinah sought help from Johnny Thunder to summon his Thunderbolt genie to cure her. The Thunderbolt was only able to keep the younger Dinah in suspended animation in his Thunderbolt dimension, erasing the tragedy from all memories and leaving the belief that she had died.

After the battle with Aquarius, Superman of Earth-1 discovered Dinah was dying from radiation exposure, and she asked to see her daughter's grave one last time. Shown the body of her now-adult daughter (still in suspended animation), Dinah wished that she could somehow be her successor. The Earth-1 Superman discussed a solution with the Thunderbolt. They transferred Dinah's memories into her daughter's body and modified her memories. This retcon dealt with Black Canary's activity since the late 1940s (making her nearly 60 years old),[8][22][23] and explained the origin of her powers.

After 1983

Blonde woman in fighting stance on yin-yang symbol
Dinah sparring with Rabbit of the Twelve Brothers in Silk; Birds of Prey #82 (July 2005), with art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson

After the 1983 retroactive continuity change, Black Canary became mother-and-daughter characters Dinah Drake Lance and Dinah Laurel Lance, with the younger Dinah the current Black Canary. Although some references (for example, those in James Robinson's Starman series) tried to distinguish the two Canaries by calling the first "Diana", recent accounts have confirmed Dinah as the mother's given name.

A miniseries by writer Greg Weisman and artist Mike Sekowsky was planned in 1984. Although its first issue was pencilled, the project was shelved due to the character's use in writer-artist Mike Grell's high-profile Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters series. Elements of the project were used in Weisman's short film, DC Showcase: Green Arrow.[24]

In Secret Origins #50 (August 1990) the first Dinah is trained by her father, detective Richard Drake, intending to follow him on the Gotham City police force. When she is turned down, her disillusioned father dies shortly afterwards. Determined to honor his memory, Dinah fights crime and corruption by any possible means. She becomes a costumed vigilante, using her inheritance to open a flower shop as her day job.[25]

Dinah marries her lover, private eye Larry Lance, and keeps her flower shop. In a Birds of Prey retrospective, Lance is an acquaintance of Jim Gordon (father of Barbara Gordon). Several years later their daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance, is born. In Birds of Prey #66 (June 2004), a flashback of a cold case investigated by the elder Dinah, Laurel was the name of a librarian Dinah befriended during the case.[26]

Dinah Lance grows up surrounded by her mother's friends in the disbanded JSA (seeing them as uncles and aunts), and wants to be a costumed hero like her mother. The elder Dinah discourages her, feeling that the world has become too dangerous for her daughter to succeed.

Younger Dinah has her own "Canary Cry"—in this version, the result of a metagene absent from both her parents—which (unlike the Silver Age Black Canary) she can control.[25] With this weapon, young Dinah finds fighters (including former JSA member Wildcat) who help her hone her skills. After years of dedication and training Dinah assumes her mother's mantle, despite the latter's opposition. Like her mother, Dinah operates out of Gotham, with a day job in the family floral business.

In an early Birds of Prey issue, writer Chuck Dixon has Dinah briefly married and divorced at a young age. Although ex-husband Craig Windrow seems to need her help, he actually wants to reconcile after he embezzles from the mob.[27] Dinah's early marriage and ex-husband are not mentioned again until the 2007 Black Canary limited series.

After joining the Justice League, Dinah meets Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). Although she dislikes him at first, they become romantically involved despite their age difference; opposite the earlier depiction, in the Modern Age stories Oliver is considerably older than Dinah. Dinah is a League member for about six years, including a brief stint with Justice League International (JLI, which she helps found). After her mother's death from radiation poisoning received during her battle with Aquarius, Dinah feels that her time in the JLA is over. She moves to Seattle with Green Arrow and opens a flower shop, Sherwood Florist.

When Dinah belonged to the JLI during the 1980s she wore a new costume, a blue-and-black full-body jumpsuit with a bird motif and a slightly looser fit instead of her traditional, skin-tight black outfit with fishnet stockings. The change was poorly received and short-lived, and later artists restored her original look.[19]

Birds of Prey

When former Batgirl Barbara Gordon is seriously injured by the Joker, she reestablishes her crime-fighting career as Oracle, information broker to the superhero community. After briefly working with the Suicide Squad, she forms a covert-mission team. Since Barbara thinks that of all the superheroes Dinah has the most potential, Oracle asks Black Canary to become an operative.[25][28]

Black Canary reinvents herself, trading her blonde wig for bleached blonde hair. Her relationship with Oracle is rocky at first, since her impulsiveness clashes with Oracle's organization. Gradually, they learn to work together and became friends. When Oracle flees from Blockbuster Dinah rescues her and meets Barbara Gordon,[29] deepening their friendship.

Two female superheroes back to back
Shiva and the Black Canary; Birds of Prey #95 (August 2006) cover by Brian Hurtt

Infinite Crisis gives Earth a new timeline, with Wonder Woman again a founding member of the Justice League. In a Week 51 back-up feature of 52, Black Canary is at the battle which forms the League. Its core is Black Canary, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), the Martian Manhunter, the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. In the 2007 Black Canary miniseries, she and Green Arrow join the Justice League after its founding and are tested by founding member Batman early in their membership.

During publication of the Infinite Crisis limited series, most DC Universe comic books advanced one year. After this "One Year Later" jump, Dinah trades life experiences with Lady Shiva to soften the warrior and begins a harsh training regimen in an unidentified Vietnamese shanty town. The regimen replicates Shiva's early life and training, and Shiva assumes Dinah's role in Oracle's group.

During Countdown, several series include tie-ins and run-ups to the wedding of Dinah and Ollie.[30] The Black Canary Wedding Planner details the preparations; in Birds of Prey #109, Dinah and Barbara discuss the wedding (and Ollie). Countdown: Justice League Wedding Special, and Justice League #13 deal with the bachelor and bachelorette parties. A plot thread throughout is a plan by the Injustice League to attack the wedding.

Dinah resigns as JLA chairwoman after the team's confrontation with the Shadow Cabinet. After learning that Ollie began his own Justice League with Hal Jordan, she confronts him when he arrives at the Watchtower to warn her of an attack on the world's superheroes.[31] Prometheus arrives and attacks the team, severing Red Arrow's arm and maneuvering Dinah into the path of an energy bolt fired by Mikaal Tomas.[32] After Prometheus is defeated, he destroys Star City with a teleportation device.[33] In their search for survivors, Dinah and Ollie discover the bloody body of Roy's daughter, Lian.[34] Dinah goes to Roy's hospital bedside with Donna Troy to break the news about his daughter when he emerges from his coma.[35]

In Blackest Night, Dinah travels to Coast City to fight Nekron's army of Black Lanterns. According to Nekron, he can control the heroes (including Ollie) who have died and been resurrected.[36] Dinah fights her husband, now a Black Lantern, with Mia and Connor. Ollie regains control of his body long enough to miss his wife with a shot which severs a hose containing liquid nitrogen. Dinah orders Connor to use the hose on Ollie, freezing him solid, and the three join the rest of the heroes in battle.[37]

When Ollie returns to normal, it is discovered that he secretly murdered Prometheus and left his body to rot at his headquarters. After Barry Allen and Hal Jordan confront Ollie and Dinah with the news, Ollie escapes. Dinah, Hal and Barry search the ruins of Star City for him, finding him looking for one of the men who worked for Prometheus. Ollie overpowers them, leaving Dinah in a restraining fluid.[38] After Green Arrow surrenders for Prometheus' murder, Dinah visits him in jail and realizes that he wants to be left alone. She removes her wedding ring, leaving it with him, and does not attend his trial.[39]

In Brightest Day, Dinah returns to Gotham in a relaunch of Birds of Prey with Gail Simone. In Birds of Prey #1 (July 2010), she is sent to save a child with Lady Blackhawk. After receiving a call from Oracle, the team (including Huntress) is reunited. They are confronted by a new villainess, White Canary, who has a grudge against Dinah and exposes her civilian identity.[40] After capturing White Canary (the vengeful sister of the Twelve Brothers in Silk), Dinah learns that Lady Shiva is behind the attack on the Birds.[41] Dinah and White Canary travel to Bangkok; when the Birds arrive a short time later, Dinah attacks them dressed as White Canary.[42] Later, Dinah reveals that Sin and her foster parents are being held hostage, their lives threatened unless Dinah challenges Lady Shiva to a fight to the death. Huntress offers to take Dinah's place instead, reasoning that she has too many people who love her. However, this gives Dinah the opportunity to rescue Sin with the help of one of White Canary's students, Terry, and race back to halt the dual between Helena and Shiva. While the duel is understood to be a matter of duty and honor, Dinah brings to their attention that there was no time mentioned and for now the fight must end, and to be resumed at a later time. While White Canary is displeased, Shiva sides with Black Canary and the Birds and the fight is over.[43]


Although the Black Canary–Zatanna graphic novel Bloodspell, written by Paul Dini and drawn by Joe Quinones, was scheduled for a 2012 release, it was delayed until May 2014.[44] The story centers around the meeting of 16-year-old Dinah and Zatanna.[45]

The New 52

Main article: The New 52

In the New 52, Dinah Lance, a founding member of the Birds of Prey, recruits the team beginning with her friend Ev Crawford, known as Starling. Eventually Katana and Poison Ivy also join the team. Initially reluctant to join, Batgirl becomes a regular addition to the cast by the fourth issue of the series.[46] Black Canary's maiden name is Dinah Drake instead of Lance (based on the original character), and was never married to Oliver Queen in this continuity.[47] Black Canary joins Team 7 in a flashback,[48] and is drafted into the Justice League to assist in the "Throne of Atlantis" crossover, and after which she remains a reserve member.[49]

Post-Flashpoint, Dinah Drake was born the child of a teenage single mother, handed into foster care at the age of four. Considered a troublemaker, she moved from foster home to foster home, and finally ran away at the age of ten. Taking to the streets of Gotham, she was caught dumpster diving by Desmond Lamar, an ex-Special Forces agent and martial arts sensei who took her in, offering her a job to clean his dojo after classes, and in return he would provide her with food and a safe place to sleep. At her request, Lamar took to teaching her the same teaching he provided his students, and she became his regular. When Lamar contracted fatal brain cancer, he left her his dojo. Unfortunately, he was the only one who could keep the local gangs from getting protection money out of them. Dinah's martial arts prowess could only keep them at bay for so long. Eventually she began losing students who feared the possibility of their retaliation. Flashbacks show that during Zero Year, Dinah's dojo was destroyed in a fire. It was at this point, John Lynch, impressed by her martial arts prowess in taking down several ninjas during an attack, recruited her into Team 7.[50][51]

During her tenure with Team 7, Dinah works as a covert ops agent in charge of infiltration.[52] She is given the codename Operative Canary. It is during this time that Dinah secretly marries her longtime partner, Kurt Lance. Her powers are subsequently awakened after being tested metagene-positive.[53] Toward the end of the Team 7 run during a mission to retrieve Pandora's Box, Dinah's sonic scream surfaces and are amplified by Kurt's, the after-effect of which ultimately destroyed the island of Gamorra. In the aftermath, Kurt is presumed dead and Team 7 is mothballed, leaving Dinah a fugitive on the run from authorities and an outlaw codenaming herself Black Canary.[54]

After Team 7, Black Canary continues freelance covert operations hunting the terrorist network known as Basilisk,[55] and later attempts to form a team recruiting Starling, Katana, Poison Ivy, and later Batgirl. The team is ambushed by treachery from Poison Ivy[56] and eventually Starling,[57] pressuring Dinah to question her leadership. As the team roster progresses and evolves following the departure of Katana[58] to include Strix and Condor, Dinah's questioning reaches its peak to erupt trust issues and notably with Batgirl when she discovers her powers are being manipulated by an apparently alive Kurt Lance.[59]

Throughout her missions with the Birds, Dinah encounters and protects an elderly woman, Miss Ettie, later revealed to be known as Mother Eve, a centuries-old woman hunted by Ra's al Ghul for her immortality which takes place in the form of her metamorphosis into her youth after every life. She claims that in nearly every life, she was a mother and outlived her children, some of whom have developed unique abilities genetically, and believes that Dinah might have gained her abilities through a genetic link to her.[60]

When Dinah's husband Kurt is found to have no memory of his past life with her, and realizes Amanda Waller is involved, she summons Waller to seek for answers during a mission against the Suicide Squad.[61] Confronting Waller, she is informed that Kurt was revived by a Samsara Serum, and the resurrection process damaged his memory. With the truth of Dinah's past and her setting up of this meeting with Waller shared with the Birds, Batgirl confronts Dinah on her leadership and angrily disapproves of Dinah's actions in keeping it from the team. As a result, the Birds of Prey part ways.[62]

After a long rift, Dinah returns to apologize to Barbara, and is forced to move in with her when her dojo is burned down (which was partially Barbara's fault).[63] It is later revealed that Dinah has become the lead singer of a band called Ashes on Sunday.[64] Black Canary's appearances on Batgirl lead to the spin-off Black Canary, which focuses on Dinah's attempts to balance a musical career with the difficult life she leads as a vigilante. After her stint with Ashes on Sunday, Dinah received an offer from A&B Records for an album and go on tour,[65] and joins a rock band she named Black Canary.[66] As the lead singer of Black Canary, Dinah attempts to leave her past life behind and takes to the stage name D.D., joining the likes of drummer Lord Byron, keyboardist Paloma Terrific and mute guitarist Ditto—all of whom are accompanied by the band's tour manager, Heathcliff Ray. However, when her friends' lives are threatened, Dinah dedicates herself to training them in battle.[67] Over the course of the title, Dinah learns more about her powers, which derive from an alien girl named Ditto, and finds that the frontwoman she replaced, Maeve, has been given identical powers by a criminal syndicate. The series ends with issue 12.

DC Rebirth

In Geoff Johns' DC Rebirth #1, Wally West reflects, from outside the universe, on how Black Canary and Green Arrow hardly know each other any more, when they should be husband and wife, as a result of sinister alterations to the timeline. The comic shows the pair briefly meeting, by chance, and then separately staying up at night, contemplating what is missing from their lives. They meet again in Green Arrow Rebirth #1, and instantly hit it off. In the ensuing Green Arrow series, Dinah is the first to notice something awry with Oliver's apparent suicide (in fact, an attempted assassination by Shado) and disappearance.

Powers, abilities and equipment

Although various depictions of Black Canary have changed over the years, she is often portrayed as a prodigious hand-to-hand combatant with Boxing and Judo being the most notable of her style. She is regarded as one of the DC Universe’s top martial artists having been trained with other top-tier fighters such as Wildcat, Lady Shiva, Cassandra Cain, Wonder Woman and more.[68] In addition to her martial arts skills, Black Canary has also been depicted as an expert motorcyclist, gymnast, covert operative, and investigator. She is also an excellent leader and tactician, having served as the field commander of the Birds of Prey and was the leader of the Justice League for a time.

Her superpower, the Canary Cry,[69] allows her to create ultrasonic vibrations from her mouth whenever she screams allowing her to severely damage both organic and inorganic objects. Her Canary Cry has been depicted as having the same capabilities as most sonic weapons and has even been depicted as having the resonance to affect and shatter steel and other metals.[40] In the New 52, her Canary Cry now grants her the ability to glide and propel herself across long distances in by screaming downwards.[70] Despite its power, Black Canary often relies on her martial arts skills instead preferring to use her Canary Cry only during urgent situations such as against super-powered opponents.

The origin of Black Canary’s Canary Cry has been retconned over the course of her character history, with it being depicted as magical in origin due to being cursed by the Wizard. Later, the cry is depicted as an inborn metahuman ability. As of the New 52, her ability is result of human experimentation by the executive leaders of Team 7 involving her being treated with genes from an alien girl named Ditto.[71]

Other versions

JLA: The Nail
In JLA: The Nail, Black Canary leads the Outsiders after Oliver Queen is crippled by Amazo; the partnership dissolves when Queen says he feels like a mascot. In a previous battle, the character's sonic scream and Black Lightning's blasts vaporize Brainiac.
Kingdom Come
In the DC Elseworlds comic Kingdom Come, Black Canary and Green Arrow are Batman's generals. In this future world, the romantic partners have a daughter: Olivia Queen, also known as Black Canary.
Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl
In another DC Elseworlds comic, Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Black Canary is an African-American woman who makes a brief appearance.
All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder
Frank Miller's All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, drawn by Jim Lee, features a character based on Black Canary. An immigrant from County Monaghan, Ireland, she is an unnamed[72] barmaid in the seedy Black Canary.
The Dark Knight Strikes Again
In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Black Canary is a member of the Superchix, a pop-music trio.
League of Justice
Black Canary is a goddess-like character in League of Justice, a Lord of the Rings-type Elseworlds story.[73] Although she has many names, she is most commonly called "the lady of the birds". Her hair is blonde on one side and black on the other.
In Justice, the widowed Black Canary is involved with Green Arrow.
In the 52 multiverse, an African-American Black Canary is a member of the Crime Society. In JLA: Earth 2, White Cat is an evil counterpart of Black Canary.
On Earth-11, a world of reversed genders, Black Condor is a male version of Black Canary.[74]
In the Superman/Batman storyline "Mash-Up", elements of Black Canary combine with Starfire, creating Star Canary.
Justice League: Generation Lost
An African-American version of Black Canary is part of a future Justice League in Justice League: Generation Lost. She is a descendant of Black Canary's teammates Hawk and Dove.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
In the comic prequel based off the video game, Black Canary appears. In Year One, she is a member of Batman’s insurgency alongside her husband, Green Arrow. Although initially skeptical and distrusting, like her husband she forms an unusual attachment to Harley Quinn after Oliver saves her from Superman’s wrath. After Oliver dies giving his life to deliver a pill that can grant people superhuman physical abilities, Dinah instinctively knowing her husband is dead orders the retreat with the other members of the insurgency. In Year Two, Dinah attempts to breaks off her friendship with Hal Jordan and declares to Superman that she will personally take him down for murdering her husband; during which she is revealed to be pregnant with Oliver’s child. She later gives birth to a son, Connor Lance-Queen, who she leaves with Doctor Fate and Zatanna. Using the super pill, Dinah is able physically match Superman and manages to immobilize him with a Kryptonite bullet. Her victory is short lived as Superman is given a Sinestro-Corps ring to remove the bullet and fatally injures Dinah with his Heat Vision. Dinah reveals that she was recording all of Superman’s actions and the footage was broadcast by Oracle via camera contact lenses so that Superman can no longer convince the public he is still a hero. Black Canary is considered dead by the insurgency, but secretly she was healed and transported to alternate universe with her son where a different version of Oliver Queen exists, but his own Dinah Laurel Lance was killed. Doctor Fate leaves the two together, giving them a chance at happiness.

In other media

Although she has a lower profile than DC flagship characters Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, Black Canary has appeared in live-action and animated adaptations of DC properties and in video games based on the comic books.

Live action

Black Canary's first live-action appearance was Danulta Wesley's 1979 portrayal in NBC's two Legends of the Superheroes specials. The character appeared in the short-lived 2002 television series Birds of Prey, an adaptation of the comic book. Dinah Lance became Dinah Redmond (played by Rachel Skarsten), a teenage runaway with psychic powers. Her mother Carolyn Lance (played by Lori Loughlin) was Black Canary with a supersonic Canary Cry. In 2008, Smallville introduced Black Canary (played by Alaina Huffman) as an assassin who is recruited for Green Arrow's team of superheroes. She appears in a number of episodes, including several season premieres and finales.

Young masked blonde woman, with a truck in the background
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance / Canary in Arrow.
Young masked blonde woman, dressed in black against a dark background
Katie Cassidy as Dinah Laurel Lance / Black Canary in Arrow.

In the TV show Arrow (2012-), and other shows in its fictional universe, Dinah Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) is an attorney who commonly goes by the name Laurel. Her sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) returns in season two after a six-year absence as a trained assassin for the League of Assassins who works alongside the Arrow (Stephen Amell) to protect Starling City as the Canary. When she dies, Laurel trains to replace her, operating as the Black Canary until her murder in season four. In the spin-off show Legends of Tomorrow (2016-), a resurrected Sara Lance resumes heroism under the moniker White Canary. Cassidy also portrayed Laurel in crossover appearances on The Flash, including as her villainous Earth-Two doppelgänger, the Black Siren.


The Dinah Drake version of the character is the basis of the character Donna Nance, the Black Siren (voiced by Jennifer Hale), in the Justice League animated series episode "Legends" (2002). The Dinah Laurel Lance version (voiced by Morena Baccarin) appears in the sequel series Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006), where she is a member of the Justice League, develops a romantic relationship with Green Arrow and a partnership with Huntress during the series.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-2011) featured Black Canary (voiced by Grey DeLisle) in a number of episodes. In one, she forms the Birds of Prey with Catwoman and Huntress.[75] In another, her canary cry is used to break a spell done by the Music Meister.

Young Justice (2010-2013) features Black Canary (voiced by Vanessa Marshall) as a member of the Justice League and combat trainer for the show's team of teenage superheroes. Her relationship with Green Arrow links her to his family of superheroes.

Classic and modern versions of the character appear in several DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Kari Wahlgren voices Black Canary in the Green Arrow series of DC Nation Shorts.[76][77]

The Dinah Drake version of Black Canary makes a cameo in DC Super Hero Girls, graduating from Super Hero High.

Video games

Jennifer Hale and Grey DeLisle reprise the character in video games, appearing in Justice League Heroes for PlayStation Portable and Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame respectively. In DC Universe Online, Black Canary is a non-playable character voiced by Kelley Huston. The character appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham voiced by Kari Wahlgren. She's also included in Young Justice: Legacy.


In 2016, DC Comics released a three-track musical album called EP 1 to promote the comic book, in which Black Canary becomes the lead singer of a band that shares her name. Caveboy lead singer, Michelle Bensimon provided Dinah's singing voice.[78]

See also


  1. "Wizard's top 200 characters". Wizard. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014.
  2. "#81 Black Canary". IGN. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013.
  3. Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. p. 24. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
  4. Madrid, Mike (2009). The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines. Exterminating Angel Press. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-1935259039.
  5. 1 2 3 Amash, Jim; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2010). Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-1605490250.
  6. Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Debuting as a supporting character in a six-page Johnny Thunder feature written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Carmine Infantino, Dinah Drake [the Black Canary] was originally presented as a villain.
  7. Daniels, Les (1995). "The Also-Rans: Trapped in the Back of the Book". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 86. ISBN 0821220764. [Carmine] Infantino and writer Robert Kanigher were evidently tired of Johnny Thunder's comical antics and eager to promote the Black Canary, who in February 1948 bumped Johnny from both Flash Comics and the Justice Society stories in All Star Comics.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Markstein, Don (2006). "The Black Canary". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014.
  9. Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 57: "In a sign of the character's growing popularity, Black Canary made her first appearance outside of Flash Comics in a feature by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Alex Toth... By the story's end, Black Canary was considered for JSA membership but wouldn't officially join until All Star Comics #41."
  10. Thomas, Roy (2000). "The Golden Age of the Justice Society". All-Star Companion Volume 1. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 150–151. ISBN 1-893905-055.
  11. O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Greene, Sid (i). "Where Death Fears to Tread" Justice League of America 74 (September 1969)
  12. McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 135: "November [1969] saw Black Canary both relocate and develop her 'canary cry'...The crime-fighting beauty at the behest of writer Denny O'Neil and artist Dick Dillin, left the JSA on Earth-2 to join the JLA on Earth-1."
  13. Haney, Bob (w), Cardy, Nick (p), Cardy, Nick (i). "A Cold Corpse for the Collector" The Brave and the Bold 91 (August–September 1970)
  14. Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "The Warrior in a Wheel-Chair" The Brave and the Bold 100 (February–March 1972)
  15. Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "The 3-Million Dollar Sky" The Brave and the Bold 107 (June–July 1973)
  16. Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "Pay -- or Die!" The Brave and the Bold 141 (May–June 1978)
  17. Fleisher, Michael (w), Giordano, Dick (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Requiem for 4 Canaries!" The Brave and the Bold 166 (September 1980)
  18. Conway, Gerry (w), Swan, Curt (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "A Dream of Demons!" DC Comics Presents 30 (February 1981)
  19. 1 2 3 Kingman, Jim (May 2013). "The Ballad of Ollie and Dinah". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 10–21.
  20. Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (57): 39–41.
  21. Conway, Gerry (w), Vosburg, Mike (p), Austin, Terry (i). "The Canary Is a Bird of Prey" DC Special Series 10 (April 1978)
  22. Thomas, Roy; Conway, Gerry (w), Patton, Chuck (p), Tanghal, Romeo (i). "Crisis in the Thunderbolt Dimension!" Justice League of America 219 (October 1983)
  23. Thomas, Roy (w), Patton, Chuck (p), Tanghal, Romeo; Marcos, Pablo (i). "The Doppelganger Gambit" Justice League of America 220 (November 1983)
  24. Wells, John (February 2011). "Failure to Launch: The Black Canary Miniseries That Never Took Flight". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (46): 45–52.
  25. 1 2 3 Beatty, Scott (2008). "Black Canary". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 50. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
  26. Simone, Gail (w), Golden, Michael (p), Manley, Mike; Hanna, Scott; Golden, Michael (i). "Sensei & Student Part Five Murder & Mystery" Birds of Prey 66 (June 2004)
  27. Dixon, Chuck (w), Giordano, Dick (p), Faucher, Wayne (i). Birds of Prey: Wolves 1 (1997)
  28. Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Dolan, p. 286: "Oracle and Black Canary were finally rewarded with their own ongoing series by scripter Chuck Dixon and penciller Greg Land."
  29. Dixon, Chuck (w), Guice, Jackson (p), Guice, Jackson (i). "Part Four: The Deep" Birds of Prey 21 (September 2000)
  30. Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 331: "Two of DC's best-loved characters were married in the Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special - or so it seemed."
  31. Robinson, James (w), Cascioli, Mauro (p), Cascioli, Mauro (i). "The Beginning" Justice League: Cry for Justice 1 (September 2009)
  32. Robinson, James (w), Cascioli, Mauro; Clark, Scott (p), Cascioli, Mauro; Clark, Scott (i). "The Lie" Justice League: Cry for Justice 5 (January 2010)
  33. Robinson, James (w), Clark, Scott (p), Clark, Scott (i). "The Game" Justice League: Cry for Justice 6 (March 2010)
  34. Robinson, James (w), Cascioli, Mauro; Clark, Scott; Roberson, Ibraim (p), Cascioli, Mauro; Clark, Scott; Roberson, Ibraim (i). "Justice" Justice League: Cry for Justice 7 (April 2010)
  35. Robinson, James (w), Bagley, Mark (p), Hunter, Rob; Alquiza, Marlo; Wong, Walden (i). "Team History" Justice League of America v2, 41 (March 2010)
  36. Johns, Geoff (w), Reis, Ivan (p), Albert, Oclair; Prado, Joe (i). "What is Nekron?" Blackest Night 5 (January 2010)
  37. Krul, J. T. (w), Neves, Diogenes (p), Jose, Ruy; Cifuentes, Vicente (i). "Lying to Myself" Green Arrow v4, 30 (April 2010)
  38. Krul, J. T. (w), Dallocchio, Federico (p), Dallocchio, Federico (i). "The Fall of Green Arrow" Green Arrow v4, 31 (May 2010)
  39. Krul, J. T. (w), Dallocchio, Federico (p), Dallocchio, Federico (i). "The Fall of Green Arrow, Part II" Green Arrow v4, 32 (June 2010)
  40. 1 2 Simone, Gail (w), Benes, Ed; Melo, Adriana (p), Benes, Ed; Benes, Mariah (i). "Endrun, Part Two of Four: The Rage of the White Canary" Birds of Prey v2, 2 (August 2010)
  41. Simone, Gail (w), Benes, Ed; Melo, Adriana (p), Benes, Ed; Mayer, J. P. (i). "Endrun, Part Four of Four: Impact Fracture" Birds of Prey v2, 4 (October 2010)
  42. Simone, Gail (w), Lee, Alvin; Melo, Adriana (p), Purcell, Jack; Mayer, J. P. (i). "Aftershock Part One of Two: Two Nights in Bangkok" Birds of Prey v2, 5 (November 2010)
  43. Simone, Gail (w), Lee, Alvin; Melo, Adriana (p), Purcell, Jack; Mayer, J. P. (i). "Two Nights in Bangkok, Part Two of Two: Heart of Pain, Life of War" Birds of Prey v2, 6 (January 2011)
  44. Sims, Chris (May 21, 2014). "Black Canary & Zatanna: Bloodspell Is The Finest Crossover To Ever Be Based Entirely Around Fishnet Stockings". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on July 6, 2014.
  45. Arrant, Chris (May 12, 2011). "Paul Dini, Joe Quinones working on Zatanna/Black Canary team-up". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  46. Swiercynski, Duane (w), Saiz, Jesus (p), Saiz, Jesus (i). "Let Us Prey" Birds of Prey v3, 1 (November 2011)
  47. Swiercynski, Duane (w), Molenaar, Romand (p), Cifuentes, Vicente (i). "First Flight" Birds of Prey v3, 0 (November 2012)
  48. Jordan, Justin (w), Merino, Jesus (p), Rapmund, Norm; Hunter, Rob (i). "Mission Zero: The Majestic Seven" Team 7 v2, 0 (November 2012)
  49. Johns, Geoff (w), Reis, Ivan (p), Prado, Joe (i). "Throne of Atlantis Chapter Three: Friends and Enemies" Justice League v2, 16 (March 2013)
  50. Walker, Landry Q.; Fawkes, Ray; Marx, Christy (w), Hepburn, Scott; Isanove, Richard; Burchett, Rick (p), Hepburn, Scott; Isanove, Richard; Burchett, Rick (i). "Red Roots; John Constantine; Code Black" Secret Origins v3, 11 (May 2015)
  51. Marx, Christy (w), Molenaar, Romano; Sampere, Daniel; McDaniel, Scott (p), Glapion, Jonathan; Cifuentes, Vicente (i). "Sunrise" Birds of Prey v3, 25 (January 2014)
  52. Jordan, Justin (w), Merino, Jesús; Frenz, Ron (p), Merino, Jesús; Alquiza, Marlo; Geraci, Drew; Marzan Jr., José (i). "Black Diamond Probability, Mission One: Black Ops" Team 7 v2, 1 (December 2012)
  53. Jordan, Justin; Bedard, Tony (w), Merino, Jesús; Alixe, Pascal (p), Merino, Jesús; Alixe, Pascal (i). "Mission 2.3: Majestic" Team 7 v2, 7 (June 2013)
  54. Jordan, Justin; Bedard, Tony (w), Merino, Jesús (p), Merino, Jesús (i). "Mission 2.4: The Doom that Came to Kaizen" Team 7 v2, 8 (July 2013)
  55. Swierczynski, Duane (w), Molenaar, Romano (p), Cifuentes, Vicente (i). "First Flight" Birds of Prey v3, 0 (November 2012)
  56. Swierczynski, Duane (w), Foreman, Travel; Green II, Timothy (p), Huet, Jeff; Silver, Joseph (i). "Tangled Up Inside" Birds of Prey v3, 11 (September 2012)
  57. Marx, Christy (w), Molenaar, Romano (p), Glapion, Jonathan (i). "The Cruelest Cut" Birds of Prey v3, 20 (July 2013)
  58. Swierczynski, Duane (w), Ryp, Juan Jose (p), Cifuentes, Vicente (i). "Sayonara, Katana" Birds of Prey v3, 15 (February 2013)
  59. Marx, Christy (w), Molenaar, Romano; McDaniel, Scott (p), Glapion, Jonathan (i). "Torn Apart" Birds of Prey v3, 26 (February 2014)
  60. Marx, Christy (w), Sampere, Daniel; Rocha, Robson; McDaniel, Scott (p), Glapion, Jonathan (i). "Loose Ends" Birds of Prey v3, 27 (March 2014)
  61. Marx, Christy (w), Rocha, Robson; McDaniel, Scott (p), Oclair, Albert (i). "Pretty Lies and Ugly Truths" Birds of Prey v3, 33 (September 2014)
  62. Marx, Christy (w), Rocha, Robson; McDaniel, Scott (p), Oclair, Albert (i). "Things Fall Apart" Birds of Prey v3, 34 (October 2014)
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  64. Fletcher, Brenden; Stewart, Cameron (w), Tarr, Babs; Stewart, Cameron (p), Tarr, Babs (i). "Likeable" Batgirl v4, 38 (March 2015)
  65. Fletcher, Brenden; Stewart, Cameron (w), Tarr, Babs; Stewart, Cameron (p), Tarr, Babs (i). "Ghost in the Cowl" Batgirl v4, 40 (May 2015)
  66. Fletcher, Brenden (w), Guerra, Pia; Jarrell, Sandy (p), Guerra, Pia; Jarrell, Sandy (i). "Cry in the Wind" Black Canary v4, 5 (December 2015)
  67. Fletcher, Brenden (w), Wu, Annie (p), Wu, Annie (i). "The Most Dangerous Band in America" Black Canary v4, 1 (August 2015)
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    Hannigan, Ed (w), Hannigan, Ed (p), Giordano, Dick (i). "Stave Two: Hero War" League of Justice 2 (1996)
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  76. "Resume – Kari Wahlgren – Voiceover". (Kari Wahlgren official site). Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  77. Jeff Mednikow [Jeff_Mednikow] (April 28, 2014). "@tinsmm @KariWahlgren ... Check it out, now on youtube from Cartoon Network!" (Tweet). Retrieved September 15, 2014 via Twitter. See also followup tweets in the thread confirming her role in the series.
  78. McMillan, Graeme (March 2, 2016). "DC Entertainment Releases 3-Track EP to Promote Black Canary Comic Book". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. DC Entertainment's current Black Canary comic book series takes the superhero out of the Justice League and sends her on a tour of the U.S. as the lead singer of a band that shares her name — and to promote the release of the series' first collected edition, DC has bent reality to release a 3-track EP recorded by the band.

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