08 November 2011

Onscreen History of Black Canary

Black Canary made her debut in the pages of Flash Comics #86 in 1947. The sonic screamer joined the Justice Society of America, the original superhero team. Sometime in the 80's Black Canary was reimagined as two separate characters, with the modern Justice Leaguer Black Canary Dinah Lance as the daughter of the original Canary Dinah Drake.

Poor Dinah was unfortunate enough to make her onscreen debut in live action on the 1979 Legends of the Superheroes variety show mockery.

Before Black Canary would make her next appearance, a couple of other animated characters would serve as homages to the heroine. In the uncut version of 2000's Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie, a lady of the night with an uncanny resemblance to Black Canary made a quick showing.

In the classic 2002 Justice League episode Legends, Black Siren appeared as a member of the Justice Guild of America, a superhero homage to the JSA.

In short lived 2002 live action Birds of Prey series, the Black Canary Carolyn Lance came out of hiding to protect her daughter Dinah Redmond in the episode Sins of the Mother.

While Carolyn did possess a canary like whistling ability, her daughter Dinah possessed precognition and telepathy acharacteristic of Black Canary. Had the series lasted longer, Dinah may have taken on that alias, but as it was, she was just Dinah.

In 2003, the Black Canary look-alike returned in the musical Batman and Catwoman short, Chase Me.

Finally, the Justice League Unlimited series delivered a respectable and true interpretation of Black Canary in 2004 which saw an evolution of a romantic relationship between the Canary and Green Arrow as well as mentoring relationship between Black Canary and JSAer Wildcat.

In 2008, Smallville introduced Black Canary in the episode Siren. Dinah would reprise her role several times as a member of the newly formed Justice League.

In the season nine event Absolute Justice, the original Black Canary appeared in a painting of the JSA, second from the right.

Also in 2008, Dinah was back in her cameoing ways in Justice League: The New Frontier. Although the film opened with the original Canary hanging her head in defeat,

the films closing sequence presented an optimistic future for the rising generation of heroes including the  new Black Canary holding her trademark symbol. 

The Black Canary would debut on Batman: The Brave and the Bold in 2009 and would find herself defeating the likes of the Music Meister and Solomon Grundy as well as forming the Birds of Prey with the Huntress and Catwoman.

The episode The Golden Age of Justice! told the story of the original Black Canary as a charter member of the JSA.


In 2010, not only did Black Canary appear as one of the Justice League's newest recruits in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths,

her evil counterpart Scream Queen, resident of Earth 2 and member of the Crime Syndicate also made a showing.

Later in 2010, Black Canary saved the day in the DC Showcase short, Green Arrow

Most recently, the Black Canary has served as the trainer to the young heroes on the 2011 Young Justice animated series and with moves like hers, its only a matter of time until we see her again.

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