Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Black Canary (DC Comics) Character Review

Black Canary (DC Comics) Character Review

Black Canary (DC Comics) Character Review

Black Canary is the name of a fictional superheroine appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Black Canary was created by the writer-artist team of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, and debuted in Flash Comics (August 1947). One of DC's earliest superheroines, 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 romantically and professionally with the archer superhero Green Arrow. More about Black Canary (DC Comics) Character Review - keep on reading !!

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 organisations. 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 twice adjusted its continuity; firstly to explain the two character versions as existing in distinct parallel universes, and later to depict them as mother and daughter (Dinah Drake becoming the mother of Dinah Laurel Lance). Stories since then have primarily focused on the younger Black Canary, ascribing her abilities to a genetic mutation. In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its continuity, and in the process re-established Black Canary as a singular superpowered heroine, Dinah Lance (née Drake).

Black Canary is ranked as the 71st greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard. IGN also placed Black Canary as the 81st greatest comic book hero of all time. She was ranked 26th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.

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Fictional Character Biography

Dinah Drake Lance - Dinah Drake first appeared in Flash Comics (August 1947), as a supporting character in the Johnny Thunder feature written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino. Initially, she seemed to be a villain. Johnny Thunder was instantly infatuated with her and was reproached for this by his Thunderbolt. However, she was in fact infiltrating a criminal gang.

In Flash Comics #92, she was given her own anthology feature, Black Canary, replacing the Johnny Thunder feature. The new series fleshed out Black Canary's backstory; in her real identity, Dinah Drake was a black-haired florist whose romantic interest was Larry Lance, a detective on the Gotham City Police Department.

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Black Canary was revived along with the other Golden Age characters during the 1960s, and was shown as existing on the parallel world of Earth-Two (home of DC's Golden Age versions of its characters).

It is also revealed Dinah has married Larry Lance during the 1950s. Dinah also takes part in various annual team-ups between the Justice Society and Earth-One's Justice League of America.

In a 1969 JLA-JSA team-up against the rogue living star-creature Aquarius, who had banished all the inhabitants of Earth-2 to another dimension except for a JSA group, Larry Lance is killed while saving Dinah's life from an attack of energy. There is a brief funeral for him after which Aquarius is defeated. Out of grief, Canary decides to move to Earth-One to make a fresh start, where she joins the Justice League. Sometime afterwards, she begins dating her JLA colleague Green Arrow, and discovers she has somehow (possibly due to exposure to radiation) gained the ultrasonic scream later dubbed the Canary Cry.

In Justice League of America #219 and #220 (October and November 1983), it is revealed this Black Canary is actually the daughter of the original Black Canary and her husband. Born in the 1950s, the infant is cursed by the Justice Society foe the Wizard with the "gift" of a devastating, yet uncontrollable, Canary Cry. Dinah asked her old friend Johnny Thunder to summon his Thunderbolt in hopes of a cure, but it was to no avail.

Instead, the Thunderbolt keeps the child in suspended animation (aging all the while) in his native Thunderbolt dimension, until, the Lances hope, a way to cure or control her power can be found. Seeing his friends in pain, the Thunderbolt decides to erase all memory of the child, letting everyone think she has died.

After the battle with Aquarius, Dinah realizes she is dying from the radiation she was exposed to. She discusses possible solutions with the Thunderbolt and Superman of Earth-1. The three arrange to transfer Dinah's memories into the body of her now-adult daughter, still held in suspended animation, while not letting Dinah believe anything unusual has happened to her (this retcon was established in 1983 to deal with the fact Black Canary had been active since the late 1940s and would therefore have had to been nearly 60 years old by that time).

In 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, which attempted to combine the histories of various multiversal Earths into a cohesive whole, removed the divide between Earth-One and Earth-Two. It altered the history of the Justice League of America and Black Canary was now a founding member, in place of Wonder Woman. To further expand this revised history, Secret Origins (August 1990) revealed the first Dinah had been trained by her father, Detective Richard Drake, and intended to follow in his footsteps on the Gotham City police. She was turned down by the force, however, and her disillusioned father (unable to use his connections to change the decision) died of heart failure shortly thereafter. Dinah was determined to honor his memory and fight crime and corruption by whatever method possible. This led to her debut as a costumed vigilante; she would use her inheritance to open a florist shop as her day job.

Eventually Dinah married her beau, private eye Larry Lance (still maintaining her florist business). In a Times Past-style story in Birds of Prey, Lance was an acquaintance of Jim Gordon, father to Barbara Gordon (Batgirl). A few years later, their daughter, named Dinah Laurel Lance was born. In Birds of Prey #66 (June 2004), which is a flashback to a cold case investigated – but never solved – by the elder Dinah, Laurel was the name of a librarian that Dinah consulted during the case and later befriended.

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Dinah Laurel Lance - Dinah Laurel Lance was born to Dinah Drake, the original Black Canary, and Larry Lance. While growing up, Dinah was surrounded by her mother's friends in the disbanded JSA and regarded them as uncles and aunts. Dinah wished to become a costumed hero like her mother before her. Her mother forbade it, however, thinking the world had become a darker, more dangerous place than when she herself fought crime, and too dangerous for the younger Dinah to succeed.

The younger Dinah, however, had her own "Canary Cry" – the result of a metagene not present in either parent – which she was fully able to control. With this weapon, she next sought out numerous fighters to help her hone her skills, including former JSA member Wildcat. Years of training and intense dedication paid off, and Dinah eventually took on her mother's mantle, albeit initially against the elder Dinah's wishes. She took an active role among the 'Silver Age' heroes, operating, like her mother before her, out of Gotham, while maintaining a day job in the family florist business.

In an early issue of Birds of Prey, writer Chuck Dixon established that Dinah, at a very young age, had been married briefly before divorcing. Her ex-husband Craig Windrow featured in a storyline apparently needing her help (Birds of Prey: Wolves), but actually wanting her to rejoin him after he had stolen funds from the mob. This marriage and her ex-husband were not referred to again until the 2007 Black Canary miniseries.

Shortly into the League's history, she met Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). While Dinah at first detested him, they later became romantically involved, despite the difference in their ages. (In the Modern Age Oliver was substantially older than Dinah, the reverse of the earlier depiction. However, the character later died, and later still was resurrected, at which point he was de-aged by an unspecified amount.) Dinah remained a member of the League for roughly six years, including a brief stint with Justice League International (JLI), of which she was a founding member. During that time her mother died due to radiation poisoning experienced during a battle with the villain Aquarius. Her mother's death affected Dinah deeply, and led her to accept that her time in the JLA was over.

After the breakup of the Justice League, Dinah moved to Seattle with Green Arrow, opening her own florist shop named "Sherwood Florist". The move to Seattle brought a string of bad luck for her.

During this period, she took part in a failed operation to bust a drug ring. Kidnapped, Black Canary was tortured before being rescued by Green Arrow. The effect was severe: Dinah's vocal cords were mutilated, she lost her Canary Cry, and she became unable to bear children. She required extensive counseling afterward, as did Oliver Queen.

Simultaneously, she and Green Arrow had major conflicts in their relationship. She learned that Green Arrow had fathered a son, Robert, with the villainess Shado (albeit against his will), and was taking money from the florist business (Black Canary #1). The relationship ended when Dinah walked in on Green Arrow kissing her shop assistant, Marianne.

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Later, Sherwood Florist was destroyed, leaving Dinah with no means of paying the debt collectors now calling.

Later still, she learned from Connor Hawke (the Second Green Arrow) that Oliver had been killed (Green Arrow #101), and that Connor was yet another of his offspring. Although Dinah and Connor later developed a close friendship, the knowledge that Oliver had kept his existence from her remained painful.

Though Black Canary continued to fight crime off and on (she became a pen friend of the youthful hero The Ray, who had a crush on her, participating in some of his adventures and even having a brief romance), the effects of her misfortunes took their toll.

Powers, Abilities and Equipment

The original Black Canary possesses no super-powers but is highly proficient in Judo, acting and impersonation. Her costume consisted of a blond wig, fishnet stockings, pirate boots, bustier, and an unbuttoned jacket. Initially, she also wore a domino mask, though this was soon jettisoned. Black Canary soon joined the Justice Society of America, first helping them in All-Star Comics #38 and joining in #41 after helping them when they have been hypnotized by the Injustice Society, but ceased being published along with the rest of the team by the early 1950s.

Dinah Lance, the second Black Canary, possesses a "Canary Cry" – a high-pitched, sonic scream which she can deploy to shatter objects and incapacitate her opponents. Analyzing her capabilities, Dr. Mid-Nite found that she can reach ultrasonic frequencies outside the audible spectrum which render human beings unconscious. However, the cry has been shown to be completely useless when Dinah's mouth is covered with a gag, piece of tape, or any other means of forcing her mouth closed. When Canary is close enough she can unleash her cry to literally destroy an opponent but this is an absolute last resort. She has also been able to convert her sonic powers into brainwave form, resulting in the ability to read others' minds.

Dinah states that her Canary Cry is able to inflict serious damage to beings even as durable as Wonder Woman (she has used this ability to overpower Giganta, blow Amazo's head off, and managed to overscream Silver Banshee). Moreover, in JLA/JSA: Vice and Virtue it is shown that Dinah is capable of not only creating sonic blasts, but also could generate an ultrasonic attack, which renders everyone within an ear range unconscious; this specific use of the Canary Cry requires the full capacity of Dinah's lungs. Black Canary rarely utilizes her metahuman abilities during fights, preferring to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Lately, Dinah uses the Canary Cry only against considerably more powerful metahuman opponents. Black Canary is one of the very few characters who chooses not to take advantage of their superpowers, preferring physical skill over inborn abilities. During times of extreme stress, Canary has displayed the ability to create sonic vibrations capable of destroying whatever was obstructing her mouth.

Black Canary lost the Cry during the Green Arrow series. Although she fought crime without it for several years, she regained it after being immersed in a Lazarus Pit during her time with the Birds of Prey.

Black Canary is extremely proficient in the various styles of martial arts, and is among the world's best fighters (in Birds of Prey #125, Oracle suggests that Dinah could outfight even Batman). Moreover, Dinah possesses uncanny reflexes, on many occasions showing the ability to catch or destroy arrows in flight. Dinah is also an expert motorcycle rider.

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Dinah is a strong leader and strategic thinker — qualities recognized by the other superheroes, who have selected her as the Chairwoman of the JLA (John Stewart speculated that Black Canary is "tactically the best chairperson the Justice League has ever had", placing her strategic skills next to Batman, with charisma comparable to that of Superman). Having fought crime for many years, she also possesses great detective skills, though not on a par with Batman, the Question, or the Elongated Man.

A running gag in the Birds of Prey series is Black Canary's lack of proficiency with computers (and very little interest in them). She is the polar opposite of team leader Oracle (who is a computer genius). The first page of Birds of Prey #1 features Dinah's desire to have a distasteful item removed from her presence – the next page shows the object of her dislike to be a desktop computer.

For a brief period in the 1980s coinciding with her membership in the JLI, rather than her traditional skintight black outfit with fishnet stockings she wore a blue and black costume with a bird motif notably looser and less revealing than traditional female superhero garb. This change proved short-lived, and later artists restored her original look.

In The New 52, Birds of Prey #10 (2012), Black Canary glides across a gorge by rebounding on sonic waves. She explains that she has been holding back ever since her husband died. In subsequent issues, she is shown using the Canary Cry to propel herself large distances in the air.

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Title: Black Canary (DC Comics) Character Review; Written by GTS Baskoro; Rating: 5 dari 5

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