The Hall of Justice Presents:
by John Wells
The Black Canary Timeline
The DC Universe has produced dozens of costumed heroines in the past six decades, some major, most relatively minor. Of the best known heroines, more than a few owe their existence to male heroes and, yes, we're speaking of Supergirl and Batgirl here as the most prominent examples. It's been far more difficult to establish a niche with a unique identity but the Black Canary, both mother and daughter, has done it! Created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino in 1947, the Black Canary has gone on to become DC's second most successful unique costumed heroine, trailing only the venerable Wonder Woman. It's a credit to her popularity that she's bounced back from a failed series a decade ago to become a regular in two ongoing monthlies and even have enough of a following to support an Archive Edition of her earliest exploits.
With a history that spans nearly 55 years, it's understandably difficult to keep tabs on the careers of Dinah Drake Lance and Dinah Laurel Lance and that's where this chronology comes in. In the entries below, I've constructed a timeline for the Black Canaries and their world, one that will hopefully serve as a source of information and insight as you read the latest issues of Birds of Prey and JSA . This chronology has, incidentally, been posted previously on the DC Message Boards but has been modestly updated for its appearance here. Happy reading!
A nearly two-hundred year family tradition in law enforcement begins when a member of the Drake family begins service "in the original London police -- the Bow Street Runners, under John Fielding." ( DC Special Series # 10)
Dinah Drake is born to Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Drake on April 10 ( 1976 Super DC Calendar ). After Mrs. Drake dies, Richard, a lieutenant on the Gotham police force, begins training his "little bird" to "become a total crimefighter ... to hate crime and criminals with a passion as deep as his own." ( DC Special Series # 10)
In January, Richard and rookie cop Lawrence S. "Larry" Lance go out on a routine bust at a gambling den only to find themselves trapped by a veritable "machine-gun nest." Only Dinah's intervention, displaying a stunning mastery of the martial arts, saves their lives. "Richard Drake couldn't help wondering if, after Dinah's success at the casino, certain politicians had decided that the last thing they needed was another crusading Drake on the (Gotham City police) force ... even as he wondered how his informant could have been so wrong about the tip that could have -- should have, but for Dinah -- resulted in his death." Deeply depressed, Richard died from a massive heart attack after his daughter's application to the police academy was rejected. ( Secret Origins # 50, based on DC Special Series # 10; Larry's given name appeared in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly # 3).
At Richard's funeral, Dinah tells Larry that she has abandoned her dream to be a policewoman. "Before she died, my mother taught me a lot about flowers, Larry. She loved living things as much as my father loved the force. There's some insurance money ... not much. I'll use it to open a small shop." Larry become "a private Detective, as disgusted with the organized police as she had become." ( DC Special Series # 10)
The heroic efforts of Gothamites like the Green Lantern inspires Dinah to adopt an alter-ego with a name inspired by the "little bird" nickname her father had given her ( DC Special Series # 10). Clad in a blue-black costume with fishnets and a blonde wig, the Black Canary strikes back at Gotham City's criminal element, adopting a Robin Hood approach in which she steals loot from hoodlums. In April, the Black Canary crosses paths with JSA member with Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt, leading to a several month partnership between Dinah and the smitten Johnny ( Flash Comics # 86-88, 90, 91).
In November, the male members of the JSA are beaten to death but Johnny's dying message to Black Canary leads her to the the team's headquarters. Her quick intervention allows Wonder Woman and Paula von Gunther to revive them and the Amazing Amazon suggests that the young heroine should join the team ( All-Star Comics # 38, reaffirmed in Starman Annual # 2).
While trailing an escaped convict, Black Canary is drawn into another Justice Society case and helps them quell an "invasion from Fairyland" in January. ( All-Star Comics # 39, reaffirmed in Infinity, Inc. # 50)
When Black Canary begins working with Larry Lance in some of her adventures, a disgusted Johnny Thunder proclaims their partnership ended ( Justice League of America # 220). Johnny resigns from the JSA soon after, his access to the Thunderbolt unwittingly inhibited by a Badhnisian shaman who forces him to become the island's puppet ruler ( Superman Family # 204).
In February, Black Canary suffers a humiliating defeat at the hands of flame-wielding villainess Pyra, later captured by the GCPD ( Detective Comics # 554).
Thanks to an unknown supernatural source, Black Canary is granted the ability to call a literal flock of black canaries to her service, in this case cushioning her fall as she plummets from a building ( Comic Cavalcade # 25). Apparently preferring to rely on her natural abilities, Dinah rejects the bequeathment.
Black Canary helps Larry Lance solve a hijacking caper ( Flash Comics # 92).
A cult known as the Sacred Order of the Crimson Crystal is exposed as a fraud by Black Canary ( Flash Comics # 93).
Dinah and Larry are framed for murder as part of a scheme to steal a miniaturized photon smasher ( Flash Comics # 94).
Black Canary substitutes for Johnny in the JSA during the team's March battle with the Crimson Claws ( All-Star Comics # 40). Two months later, she is formally inducted into the team in recognition of her critical role in freeing the entranced members from the Wizard's revived Injustice Society ( All-Star Comics # 41, reaffirmed in Green Lantern Corps Quarterly # 3).
Evicted from his apartment at 15 Clark Street (cited in Flash Comics # 92), Larry briefly moves his office into Dinah's flower shop and becomes involved in a case involving a Black Canary impersonator ( Flash Comics # 95).
Black Canary and Larry recover a stolen topaz brooch ( Flash Comics # 96).
Black Canary and Larry solve the murder of a chemical magnate, slain because of the revolutionary dye formula that he'd conceived ( Flash Comics # 97).
Dinah Drake's flower shop is converted into a delicatessen by crooks as part of an elaborate scheme to steal a rare stamp ( Flash Comics # 98).
Black Canary clashes with Vandal Savage for the first time during his June skirmish with the JSA, part of a secret agenda to gain access to the heroes' DNA ( Damage # 12).
Black Canary and Larry find themselves imprisoned in an hourglass deathtrap as they investigate a smuggling operation involving a radioactive metal ( Flash Comics # 99).
As they trail a mad sculptor-turned-thief, Larry and Black Canary find themselves imprisoned on another giant prop deathtrap, this one a music box ( Flash Comics # 100).
A giant hourglass proves to be the latest menace to Larry and Black Canary as they struggle to help millionaire James Taylor ( Flash Comics # 101).
Dinah's flower shop becomes entangled in a plot involving a stolen emerald ( Flash Comics # 102).
While on an ice skating excursion, Black Canary and Larry defend a scientific formula ( Flash Comics # 103).
Evicted from his apartment again, Larry takes up root inside Dinah's shop, having now acquired a key. Soon after, Black Canary and Larry are nearly killed when their tied behind targets in a shooting gallery ( Flash Comics # 104).
In January, the JSA apprehends several villains empowered by cosmic energy ( ASC # 45).
One month later, a third resurgence of the Injustice Society finds the Wizard, the Brain Wave, Degaton, the Fiddler, the Huntress, the Icicle, the Shade, Solomon Grundy and the Sportsmaster joined with the Cheetah, the Rag Doll and the Ultra-Humanite. With several of their teammates missing in Action, Black Canary, the Flash, Hawkman and Wonder Woman recruit Doctor Fate, Johnny Thunder, Starman, Wildcat, Captain Triumph, Doll Man, Gimmick Girl and the Grim Ghost to help bring the rogues to justice ( Starman # 62). The same period finds Black Canary and Hawkman joining with Fate and Wildcat to defeat Ravenna in the country of Rheelasia ( Robin 80-Page Giant # 1).
Black Canary helps clear Larry of a murder charge ( DC Special # 3) and thwarts the theft of the Landall diamond collection ( Adventure Comics # 399).
In May, Ted Grant's girl friend Irina gives birth to their son, Jake. The infant is abducted by Wildcat's foe, the Golden Wasp, and never seen again ( Secret Origins # 50). Wildcat's career effectively ends at this point.
Critically ill Edmund Blake is inspired to live thanks to visions of the future provided by the JSA during July ( All-Star Comics # 48).
During the JSA's battle with the Diamond Men in January, the Perisphere (one-time headquarters of the All-Star Squadron) is destroyed ( All-Star Comics # 51).
In June, the Flash and Black Canary free Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt from the control of the Badhnisian shaman. Johnny opts to remain as Badhnisia's ruler temporarily until a new government can be established ( Superman Family # 204). The Flash and Black Canary are suggested alternates for Superman and Lois Kent in the current version of this story.
During November, the Justice Society is brought to the 31st Century to deal with the threat of the Chameleons. Upon their return, they lose all memory of the adventure ( All-Star Comics # 56) until "Wonder Woman's magic sphere filled (them) in" ( America Vs. The Justice Society # 4). After Johnny Thunder helps her finally defeat Dark Angel ( Adventure Comics 80-Page Giant # 1), Wonder Woman returns to the future ( Wonder Woman [ current ] # 133).
A January battle with Vandal Savage reunites the JSA with a despondent Ted (Starman) Knight. Starman's request to rejoin the team is granted ( Justice Society of America [ first series ] # 1-8) but he sees no further Action with the JSA before they disband. (With details such as Black Canary's presence in the wartime JSA and the contradictions with Starman's previously recorded history, this mini-series is an awkward addition to the JSA chronology.) Soon after, the Justice Society rescues four kidnapped Detectives from the Key ( All-Star Comics # 57).
After their February defeat of the leader of Eliminations, Inc., the Atom, Black Canary, Doctor Mid-Nite, the Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman are called before Congress, who demand that they unmask and reveal their secrets. Refusing, the JSA disbands and vanishes from the session using Thanagarian technology ( Adventure Comics # 466, reaffirmed in Hawkworld # 21 and others).
Learning that his "takeover" of Badhnisia was cited as one of the reasons for the Congessional inquiry, Johnny Thunder abdicates the throne and leaves the country ( Justice League of America # 220). The last of the island nation's magic leaves with the Thunderbolt and the Badhnisians disperse to other lands ( Justice Society of America [ second series ] # 7).
Dinah Drake and Larry Lance get married ( DC Special Series # 10, reaffirmed in Secret Origins # 50) and open a private investigation agency in Gotham known as Lance & Lance ( SO # 50).
Through "an arrangement with the Justice Society of America," National Comics continues to publish fictionalized accounts of the team's adventures in All-Star Comics at least through # 105 in 1957 ( Martian Manhunter: American Secrets # 2).
Black Canary and Miss America temporarily resume their costumed identities as they contribute to a documentary being filmed at Television Town. Thanks to Edmund Blake, they also help capture a pair of criminals ( All-Star Comics # 48). All-Star # 48's glimpses of 1954, 1958 and beyond are a bit problematic in light of the JSA's 1951 retirement. I've speculated here that a JSA documentary was responsible for putting Miss America (originally Wonder Woman) and Black Canary back in costume.
Green Lantern is gravely injured after coming out of retirement to battle the Reaper. In response, the JSA briefly returns to Action to track down the villain ( Secret Origins # 50).
Joined by the Shade and the Thinker, the Fiddler puts Keystone City into suspended animation in another dimension. While the Flash is helpless within, the outside world forgets that Keystone existed ( Secret Origins # 50). Flash Secret Files # 1 places Keystone's descent into limbo in 1956, requiring the Reaper Flashback (including Flash) to precede it.
35 YEARS AGO:
Black Canary and Starman briefly come out of retirement to fight foes such as the Mist and, with Wildcat, the Huntress and Sportsmaster ( Showcase # 61-62, reaffirmed in Starman Annual # 2). After an operative of the Mist attempts to blackmail the heroes with allegations of an affair, Starman and Black Canary bring the crook's gang to justice and end their partnership ( Starman Annual # 2).
31 YEARS AGO:
The first glimmers of a resurgence in super-heroes are seen, culminating in teams such as the Echoes of Justice ( Wonder Woman [ current ] # 66) and the Justice Experience ( Chase # 6). Relieved of some of the burden of safeguarding society, the members of the JSA finally begin to start families of their own.
Dinah Laurel is born to Larry and Dinah Lance ( Secret Origins # 50). The couple depicted playing with the young Dinah Lance in SO # 50 must be John and Libby Chambers, not Jay and Joan Garrick, who are still in limbo. The Flash does not meet the second generation Black Canary until she is nineteen years old, sometime between JLA: Year One # 4 and 11.
30 YEARS AGO:
The Lance family moves to "safe, suburban Bay Ridge outside Gotham" and Larry establishes a security consultancy ( Secret Origins # 50). Larry and Dinah sell their interest in Lance & Lance to their chief field agent, Jack Lynch, who continues the operation as the Drake Detective Agency ( Black Canary # 12).
18 YEARS AGO:
Though forbidden by her mother from following her example in the hero game, young Dinah receives encouragement from her father and accompanies him on several cases ( Batman: Shadow of The Bat # 36).
16 YEARS AGO:
Unknown to her parents, Dinah begins training with Ted (Wildcat) Grant alongside Yolanda Montez and learns the tragic story of his lost son, Jake ( Secret Origins # 50). Dinah, Sr. is furious when she learns of her daughter's training sessions but the argument is cut short when Dinah, Jr. unexpectedly exhibits a sonic scream, a secret endowment from Green Lantern and Doctor Fate at the suggestion of Wildcat ( Secret Origins # 50). The training sessions with Ted resume ( Black Canary [ second series ] # 1).
13 YEARS AGO:
An exiled cosmic being wipes Earth out of existence save for a small group of Justice Society members and Larry Lance. The team's victory over Aquarius comes with a price. Larry is killed and a grieving Black Canary largely abandons costumed heroics, unaware that she has been stricken with cancer by the same celestial sphere that took her husband's life ( Justice League of America # 73-74, reaffirmed in Secret Origins # 50). Although SO # 50 kept the Aquarius battle at its proper point in continuity, subsequent references in Batman: Shadow of The Bat # 36, JLA: Year One # 4 and the text page in the Birds of Prey pilot all place Larry's death as occurring before young Dinah becomes the new Black Canary.
Reworking the story without the Justice League is not as difficult as one might think. JLA # 73 is already a Justice Society solo story and Hal Jordan is the only Justice Leaguer in # 74 who is essential to the victory over Aquarius. The obvious replacement for Hal is his predecessor, Abin Sur, who would surely have investigated the disappearance of a planet in his space sector. (Note that Superman and the Red Tornado are absent from the JSA in the current account.)
With everything in Gotham reminding her of what she had lost, Dinah, Sr. moves to the West Coast, near the Quinault Indian Reservation, home of tribal leader/activist and longtime friend (and Dinah, Jr.'s "aunt") Wren Kole. In Star City, Dinah opens Pretty Bird Florist. Meanwhile, Dinah, Jr. seeks solace in the arms of her boyfriend Craig Windrow, impulsively marrying the twenty-three-year-old. They divorce within nine months and, against her better judgment, young Dinah moves to Star City with her mother ( Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey # 1 -- text page; Craig's name revealed in BOP: Wolves # 1; Wren is first mentioned in Green Arrow Annual # 2 and seen in Black Canary [ first series ] # 1 & 4 and others).
12 YEARS AGO:
Young Dinah Lance becomes the new Black Canary and joins the Justice League of America ( Secret Origins # 32) to the delight of most of the JSA ( JLA: Year One # 4). Elsewhere, Dinah, Sr. turns over the reins of her floral shop to Dinah, Jr. ( JLA: Year One # 1).
11 YEARS AGO:
A growing mutual attrAction between the new Flash and Black Canary leads to Dinah giving him a kiss ( JLA: Year One # 11). Learning of Barry Allen's commitment to Iris West, Dinah lets the matter drop (# 12).
Captured by the invading Appellaxians, the JSA and other heroes join the Justice League in crushing the threat. The elder Black Canary confides in Doctor Mid-Nite that her daughter is "better than I ever was. And if you ever tell her I said that, I'll kill you." ( JLA: Year One # 12).
The Justice League battles Despero ( Justice League of America # 1, reaffirmed in Justice League Task Force # 32).
Green Arrow joins the Justice League ( Justice League of America # 4, reaffirmed in Hourman # 16)
10 YEARS AGO:
The JLA defeats Doctor Light ( Justice League of America # 12, reaffirmed in Secret Origins # 37).
The Atom joins the Justice League ( Justice League of America # 14, reaffirmed in Power of The Atom # 6).
After pitting the League against a robotic threat in a ploy to acquire samples of their genetic material ( Damage # 12), Vandal Savage abducts several Justice Society members. The JSA joins Barry Allen in defeating the villain and decides to formally regroup ( The Flash [ first series ] # 137).
The elder Black Canary makes a rare return to costume when she and the JSA join forces with the JLA to defeat the Crime Champions ( Justice League of America # 21-22, reaffirmed in Secret Origins # 50).
9 YEARS AGO:
Black Canary's pursuit of Catwoman is postponed by the JLA's third encounter with Despero ( Silver Age Secret Files # 1).
The alien Agamemno enables the Injustice League to swap bodies with the Justice League members. Black Canary winds up in the body of Catwoman ( The Silver Age # 1). During the climax of the case, once the heroes regain their bodies, Green Arrow is forced to make a difficult decision when Doctor Light sends a burst of energy towards his sub-team. Choosing to spare the Canary from unconsciousness over Batgirl, GA informs her that "we have a date next Friday."
"Since when ?"
"Since now." ( Silver Age 80-Page Giant # 1)
After the younger Black Canary and her Justice League teammates are apparently killed, a grief-stricken Dinah Drake Lance returns to costume as she attends their memorial service. Miraculously, the Justice Leaguers return but, when a rift (partly influenced by the mystic Wotan) splits the JLA and JSA, the elder Dinah proclaims, "The Black Canary is my creation. I'm taking it back ." The feud ultimately escalates into a full-scale brawl -- including mother vs. daughter -- before Wotan's influence is curtailed. In the aftermath, Hawkman joins the Justice League as a liason between them and the Justice Society ( JLA: Incarnations # 1), soon helping them defeat Joe Parry and Super-Duper ( Justice League of America # 31).
The Justice Leaguers powers are halved by Amos Fortune and the Royal Flush Gang ( Justice League of America # 43).
Created as an agent of the evil T.O. Morrow, the android Red Tornado takes on a life of his own and is admitted to the JSA ( Justice League of America # 64-65).
Oliver Queen's fortune is embezzled by John Deleon ( Justice League of America # 75).
The Justice League's battle with evil twins created by an Id-Actualizer represents a turning point for Black Canary as she channels her hostility towards her mother into the clash with her own double and realizes afterwards that she's purged much of that anger from her system ( Justice League of America # 75). In pre-Crisis history, this was Black Canary's induction into the JLA and my speculation about Dinah working out her frustrations with her mom is my way of still giving this episode a degree of significance in current DCU history.
Black Canary encounters the Joker for the first time when the madman convinces Snapper Carr to betray the Justice League ( Justice League of America # 77, reaffirmed in Hourman # 16).
Black Canary is brainwashed by cult-leader Joshua but is unable to carry out the madman's command to murder Green Arrow ( Green Lantern [ second series ] # 78).
Black Canary cools the plans of other-dimensional Amazons to invade Earth ( Green Lantern # 82).
Dinah takes a job as a physical education instructor at the Meadowhill School only to find the facility in the control of a madman named Grandy and a mutant girl named Sybil. The school is destroyed in a clash between Sybil and Grandy ( Green Lantern # 83).
Spurned by Black Canary, a writer with latent metahuman powers named Harlequin Ellis pulls Green Arrow and Black Canary into a fantasy world ( Justice League of America # 89).
8 YEARS AGO:
Dinah helps Roy Harper kick his drug habit ( Green Lantern # 86 and Arsenal # 1).
When Green Arrow accidentally kills a thief named Richard Hollinger and disappears ( Flash # 217), Black Canary and Green Lantern launch a search for their friend, crossing paths with Joshua's sister in the process ( Flash # 218). The hunt takes on renewed urgency when the Canary is left gravely injured in an auto accident. With Dinah now in need of a blood transfusion, Green Lantern realizes that Oliver Queen also possesses her rare RH Negative blood-type. ("They once considered getting married ... and had their blood-types checked.") Finally coming to terms with his Actions, Green Arrow returns with GL to save Dinah's life ( Flash # 219).
Through his new public relations agency, Oliver Queen agrees to have Black Canary sponsor a new motorcycle known as the Trumpmobile without asking her permission. Canary agrees but her exhibition is disrupted by Green Arrow when he discovers that the cycle is rigged to explode. Soon after, a tearful Dinah tells Ollie that "I can't be sure, and I don't know why ... but I think I love you --" ( Action Comics # 428)
Dinah designs new costumes for Red Tornado and, in a move bound to horrify preservationist Hawkman, the Amazo android in the JLA trophy room ( Justice League of America # 110 and 112).
Black Canary is abducted while seeking information on the leaders of a major drug cartel known as the Four Horsemen. Green Arrow locates the Canary and learns the the fourth Horseman is a woman -- socialite Cherry Noller ( Action # 444-446).
An immortal "teenager" named Davy Tenzer alerts Green Arrow and Black Canary to the threat of the nuclear terrorists known as the Organization ( Action # 450-452).
The Joker becomes infatuated with Dinah Lance after he encounters her at Pretty Bird Florist. When the villain kidnaps her, Dinah gambles that Green Arrow will rescue her rather than forcing her to reveal her sonic powers ( The Joker # 4).
Black Canary rescues comedian Danny Harris when he's kidnapped from the stage of his annual telethon but discovers that "Harris" is actually Lex Luthor, intent on field-testing a "hypno-beam" on the heroine. The Canary is ordered to kill Green Arrow but, using a meditation technique, she hypnotizes herself into seeing Luthor as GA. In a murderous rage, Black Canary brings all her martial arts skills to the fore, smashing in the side of Luthor's helicopter with one blow. When a desperate Luthor teleports away, the Canary's compulsion to kill is extinguished ( Action # 456-458).
Sonar's nucleo-sonic device creates chaos throughout the United States, including granting sentience to animals and insect life. Black Canary negates the effect with her own sonic abilities, pushing back a massive swarm of bees as she does so ( Justice League of America # 132).
During a tour of Star City, the Calculator has separate clashes with Black Canary ( Detective Comics # 464), the Elongated Man (# 465) and Green Arrow (# 466), culminating in a battle with the entire Justice League (# 468).
The Rainbow Archer's return to Star City proves short-lived thanks to Black Canary's intervention ( World's Finest # 244).
Black Canary investigates the mystery of Doctor Moreau's Ani-Men ( World's Finest # 245-247).
Dinah is left disoriented after the alien Mocker confronts her in the guise of her father ( Green Lantern # 98).
With profits at the flower ship in a down cycle, Dinah considers a career in fashion design, much to the delight of a friend in the business named Ruth Anderson. Meanwhile, Black Canary and Green Arrow become involved in the threat of the Hellgrammite's "Rebirth, Inc." ( World's Finest # 248-249) The current account of this story does not involve John Deleon and a subplot that hinged on Star City existing on the East Coast and in the general proximity of Gotham.
Black Canary meets Thunderlord, a Taiwanese hero with sonic powers of his own ( Super Friends # 8).
Green Arrow and Black Canary defeat a Star City gang known as the Blazing Infernos ( Green Lantern # 100).
After the Justice Leaguer's dreams are manipulated by Doctor Destiny, Black Canary knocks the villain cold with a punch to his skeletal jaw ( Justice League of America # 154).
Dinah Lance's fashion show debut is disrupted by Vlatavan rogue Count Vertigo ( World's Finest # 251), who joins forces with the Stinger in a futile attempt to defeat both Green Arrow and Black Canary (# 252).
Black Canary, Batman and Alfred Pennyworth join forces to capture the Joker ( The Brave and the Bold # 141).
On the eve of Ray Palmer and Jean Loring's wedding, Black Canary and other heroines unite to defeat the male Justice Leaguers who have been ensorcelled by the Siren ( Justice League of America # 157). In the original account, the heroines in question were Supergirl and Wonder Woman.
Black Canary is abducted by an other-dimensional insect race known as the Glorn, who hope to use her sonic cry to completely open the barrier between their world and Earth ( World's Finest # 253-254).
Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Black Canary battle the threat of Replikon ( Green Lantern # 108-109).
While enhancing her sonic abilities at a condemned amusement park, Black Canary clashes with a madwoman known as the Gypsy Queen ( World's Finest # 256).
Black Canary combines her sonic cry with Zatanna's magic to defeat the Amazing Allegro and his demonic keyboard ( Justice League of America # 164).
Oliver Queen becomes a columnist for the Daily Star ( World's Finest # 258).
7 YEARS AGO:
Green Arrow quits the JLA but Black Canary refuses to join him: "This is my home, Arrow." ( Justice League of America # 181-182)
Black Canary helps clear a policewoman framed for murder ( World's Finest # 267).
Black Canary temporarily loses her sonic cry when the Key taps into the "natural lifespan" of her powers and those of other Justice Leaguers ( Justice League of America # 190).
The Ultra-Humanite's attacks on the Justice League and Justice Society include pitting the Mist against Black Canary ( Justice League of America # 195-197).
With Oliver Queen in jail for refusing to reveal a source, Black Canary helps the immigrant family of a man Green Arrow put in prison and, as Dinah, provides the man's wife with a job at Pretty Bird Florist ( World's Finest # 275).
After helping the Justice League defeat the revived Appellax aliens, Green Arrow returns to the team ( Justice League of America # 200).
6 YEARS AGO:
Richard Hollinger's mother hires Slingshot to kidnap Black Canary while secretly planning to psychologically cripple Green Arrow by manipulating him into killing the villain. Suspecting a plot, GA frees the Canary's gag and her sonic cry takes down Slingshot ( World's Finest # 282-283).
In the wake of an alien invasion ( JLA # 228-230), the Justice League is reorganized by Aquaman, whose call for full-time commitment from the members leads Green Arrow and Black Canary to resign ( Justice League of America Annual # 2).
Black Canary is temporarily sidelined when a sniper shoots an arrow into her shoulder ( Detective # 550).
Green Arrow and Black Canary encounter the Predator while investigating the reason behind stolen memories of an earlier visit to Coast City ( Green Lantern # 190).
After failing to capture a metahuman arsonist known as Bonfire, Black Canary recalls her mother's 1948 failure against the similar Pyra. Theorizing that her mother's defeat was subconsciously holding her back, Dinah symbolically breaks her ties with the past by adopting a new costume and defeating the villainess with her sonic cry ( Detective Comics # 553-554).
During the Great Crisis, Green Arrow and Black Canary meet Harbinger ( Green Lantern # 194), encounter the transformed Red Tornado alongside the new Justice League ( Justice League of America Annual # 3) and fight the husband and wife team of Punch and Jewelee ( Crisis On Infinite Earths # 9).
With the new League incapacitated, GA and BC are among the reservists who rush to their assistance ( JLA # 250).
Dinah's landlord triples the rent for Pretty Bird Florist, leaving the shop's future in doubt ( Detective # 560).
Black Canary takes on a Star City crimelord known as Steelclaw, secretly the city's own mayor, hoping to play the local gangs against one another ( Detective # 561-565).
An attack on the Spectre by Kobra and the Spear of Destiny ( Armageddon: Inferno # 3 and The Spectre [ third series ] # 21) leads to most of the Justice Society members being trapped in an other-dimensional limbo, endlessly fighting the battle of Ragnarok ( Last Days of the Justice Society Special # 1).
While taking down villains such as Count Vertigo and the Laser League, Black Canary finds herself under siege by law enforcement officers thanks to the rampant anti-hero sentiment induced throughout the nation by Glorious Godfrey. At the invitation of Doctor Fate, the Canary joins a team to stop Godfrey's mind-control and, afterwards, agrees to be part of a revived Justice League ( Legends # 4-6).
5 YEARS AGO:
Black Canary participates in what proves to be her final Justice League mission for several years, a JLI-Suicide Squad clash that results in freedom for imprisoned hero Nemesis ( Justice League International # 13 and Suicide Squad # 13).
Seeking a new start, Dinah and Ollie move to Seattle, Washington, where she sets up a new flower shop called Sherwood Florist with spacious living quarters above it. She also provides Green Arrow with a new costume as a birthday gift, one more appropriate to the chilly Seattle climate. Dinah vetoes Ollie's desire for fatherhood, explaining that "I'd love to make babies with you. But I won't make orphans." ( Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters # 1)
Black Canary vanishes while trailing the source of crack cocaine that was in the possession of teenage addict Rita Librado. Tortured and brutalized by a sadist named Jankowski, Dinah is finally rescued by Green Arrow, who murders the sadist while in a rage ( GA: The Longbow Hunters # 2). While GA joins a mysterious female archer known as Shado in tracking down the mastermind of the drug operation ( Longbow Hunters # 3), Dinah, Sr. maintains a vigil at her daughter's bedside, "wishing (she'd) never put on a costume" and inspired her. Among the medical reports is the fact Dinah had "damaged the extra ligaments (in her throat) ... beyond the range of human hearing." The younger Black Canary had lost her sonic power ( Green Arrow Annual # 2).
Seeking help with their intimacy problems, Ollie and Dinah have a series of consultations with psychiatrist Anne Green ( Green Arrow [ second series ] # 1-2).
Chancing upon a robbery by two punks, Dinah springs into Action and captures them. Bruised and bleeding, she tells Ollie that "for the first time in a very long time ... I am alright. I now realize that this is what I was afraid of all along -- that when the moment came, I wouldn't be able to fight back. And you know what ? When it happened, I didn't even think about it. I just moved . God, it felt good to be me again." ( GA # 3).
The O-Sensei and Lady Shiva meet Dinah while seeking to recruit Green Arrow for a mission. Invited by Shiva to participate in a workout, Dinah winds up with bruises, a black eye and renwed enthusiasm for her craft. "I learned a tre men dous amount, I'm twice the fighter I was an hour ago" ( GA Annual # 1).
Working on a tip from Rita Librado, Dinah begins easing back into her heroic persona, wearing a black leather outfit while on a surveillance detail ( GA # 7). Dinah offers Rita a job at Sherwood Florist soon after and, as Black Canary, investigates the men terrorizing the Librado family ( Action Comics # 609-616). Now wearing a refinement of her recent leather costume, Black Canary returns to wearing her blonde wig (# 610).
Black Canary confirms that she won't be returning from her leave of absence from the Justice League ( JLI # 19).
The murder of Dinah's old friend Walt Sarno leads her into a madwoman's revenge plot ( Action # 624-634). In the course of the case, Black Canary is arrested on suspicion of involvement in the death and fingerprinted. Although she requests that the files be destroyed, the incident effectively ends her secret identity ( Action # 628).
Back in her mother's costume, Black Canary joins Green Lantern, Superman and members of Blackhawk Express in defeating Colonel Diaz, a dictator in the counry of Sumango ( Action # 635).
4 YEARS AGO:
Dinah, Sr. visits Seattle, helping her daughter track down a purse snatcher and begging the younger Black Canary to abandon crimefighting now that she no longer possesses her sonic cry ( GA Annual # 2). Soon after, the elder Dinah finally succumbs to cancer ( Secret Origins # 50).
Green Arrow's assault on a drug warehouse goes awry and he endures days of torture before a heavily-armed Black Canary (minus her wig) rescues him from the stronghold ( GA # 32). Ollie renews his counseling sessions with Anne Green while Dinah, affected by how close she came to losing him, agrees to carry his child ( GA # 33). Sadly, Dinah learns that, because of her earlier injuries at the hands of the slasher, she can no longer have children ( GA # 34).
GA becomes a fugitive after being arrested on treason charges and Dinah calls Shado for help ( GA # 35), discovering in the process that Ollie had unknowingly conceived a son with the woman (# 36-37). Green Arrow is cleared (# 38) but, still troubled, embarks on an open-ended spiritual journey, leaving Dinah behind (# 39). In gratitude for help during the "Black Arrow" affair, Ollie also convinces Dinah to hire a street person named Marianne as a driver for Sherwood Florist (# 39).
After helping subdue a pair of purse snatchers, Dinah gets an offer for a date from Seattle police officer Aloysius "Kaz" Kazcinski. She initially declines ( GA # 44) but, as Ollie's long absence continues, Dinah finally agrees to dinner atop the Space Needle. A terrorist attack on the restaurant coincides with Green Arrow's return to the city. Dinah, the police officer and the archer successfully stop the killers. While Dinah and GA embrace, Kaz glares ( GA # 50). Soon after, Dinah and GA deduce that Kaz was responsible for a vigilante-style slaying and confront the policeman, who kills himself (# 51-52).
Wren Kole introduces Dinah to radio personality and political activist Gan "Duke" Nguyen. Together, they expose a major drug racket with ties to a prominent Senator ( Black Canary [ first series ] # 1-4).
3 YEARS AGO:
Green Arrow and Black Canary pursue an unrepentant stalker and allow the villain to drown in a submerged van ( GA # 59-60).
Two years after their exile, the Justice Society returns to Earth ( Armageddon: Inferno # 3-4). Soon after, the JSA visits the gravesite of Dinah and Larry Lance ( Green Lantern Corps Quarterly # 3).
Black Canary escapes possession by Eclipso but Gan and Wren remain in the villain's power ( Green Arrow Annual # 5). Joining a metahuman strikeforce, Black Canary helps free Eclipso's slaves ( Eclipso: The Darkness Within # 2).
Seattle billionaire Jakob Whorrsman's various criminal operations attract the attention of Black Canary ( Black Canary [ second series ] # 1-4).
As part of the Justice League Reserves, Black Canary assists Justice League Europe in their conflict with Sonar ( Justice League Europe # 47-50).
Black Canary battles Blynde, a female assassin with an invisibility cloak ( Black Canary # 5-6).
After discovering Ollie in an embrace with Marianne, Dinah kicks him out ( Green Arrow # 75).
Hoping to get Dinah out of her dark mood, Gan invites her to a nightclub where Black Canary discovers a martial artist/assassin named Capoeira ( Black Canary # 7).
While pursuing a material witness in Philadelphia, Black Canary is knocked unconscious, discovered by the Ray and taken to the young hero's apartment. Infatuated, Ray follows Dinah back to Seattle and finds himself in the middle of her squabble with Green Arrow ( Black Canary # 8). Over coffee soon after, Dinah tells Ollie that "we had a good run ... while it lasted. It just didn't last." ( GA # 79)
Black Canary's internal anger is reflected in her new look, including abandoning the wig for a buzzcut, brass knuckles, reinforced boots and bodice -- and fishnets. When the Canary is abducted by Symitar ( Black Canary # 9), the Huntress asks Oracle to connect her with Nightwing to arrange a rescue ( BC # 10). In the end, Dinah takes down Symitar herself with a series of strikes to his knees and face ( BC # 11).
Dinah meets Jack Lynch and helps him defend himself against Prime Number, the enforcer of a secret genetic engineering operation. When Prime Number detonates the explosives on his body in an attempt to kill Lynch and Dinah, Sherwood Florist is burned to the ground ( BC # 12).
2 YEARS AGO:
Black Canary takes part in a Justice League Task Force mission to capture the Aryan Brigade ( Justice League Task Force # 10-12).
Now back in her original outfit, Black Canary asks the Ray for back-up when she discovers a strange portal in a Seattle building. The duo winds up transported through space ( The Ray [ second series ] # 6-8) and into the past (# 9-10) and future (# 11) before returning home. Dinah sleeps with Ray upon their return (# 11), immediately realizing, as she tells him soon after, that "I've ... we've ... made a terrible mistake" (# 12).
In Gotham, Black Canary avenges the death of her father's godson, Larry Lance Hibbs ( Batman: Shadow of The Bat # 36).
Connor Hawke delivers the news of Oliver Queen's death to Dinah ( Green Arrow # 101).
During chaos inspired by Neron, Blockbuster, Grodd and Metallo battle Batman, Robin, Black Canary and the Huntress in Gotham ( Underworld Unleashed # 3).
With her finances tapped out and feeling adrift, Black Canary eagerly agrees to leave Seattle to became a regular operative as Oracle. As part of the package, the Canary receives a new costume complete with a necklace and earrings that operate as sender/receiver. Dinah also dispenses with the wig and dyes her hair blonde. For her first mission, Black Canary faces the eco-terrorists known as the Green Brotherhood and the assassin Lynx ( Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey # 1).
Black Canary and Lois Lane expose a warehouse of slaves in Metropolis ( Showcase '96 # 3).
The Huntress and Black Canary meet again, with the Canary (now sporting a new look) reintroducing herself. Against Oracle's better judgment, the Canary joins the Huntress and Catwoman in pursuit of Braun and Lady Shiva ( Birds of Prey: Manhunt # 1-3).
Lady Shiva seeks a rematch with Black Canary, hoping to fight the woman she knows only by reputation rather than the semi-retired martial artist she encountered a few years earlier. Rather than proceed with a battle that would surely spell their deaths, the Canary, Catwoman and Huntress flee after Braun's defeat ( Birds of Prey: Manhunt # 3-4).
A difference of opinion breaks up Oracle and Black Canary ( Birds of Prey: Revolution # 1) but circumstances eventually lead to a reconciliation. On Dinah's end, she was reunited with ex-husband Craig Windrow, who wanted her help in evading hoods from whom he'd stolen an encrypted bank card. "The rat kept trying to make a deal until the cops came." ( Birds of Prey: Wolves # 1)
Cheshire, Pistolera, Termina and Vicious join forces as the Ravens ( Birds of Prey: The Ravens # 1).
Black Canary and the Bronze Tiger travel to the stronghold of the Cult of the Monkey Fist ( Detective # 723; Robin # 55) but wind up in captivity ( Nightwing # 23) until Eddie Fyers frees them ( Green Arrow # 135).
Black Canary is reunited with Roy (Arsenal) Harper for a case centering around Vandal Savage ( Arsenal # 1-4).
Black Canary meets Jason Bard on a case in Rheelasia that leaves the private eye temporarily blinded ( Birds of Prey # 1-3).
1 YEAR AGO:
Wesley Dodds dies after a confrontation with Mordru, the Dark Lord ( JSA Secret Files # 1) and Black Canary joins past and future members of the Justice Society to honor the Sandman's memory ( JSA # 1). Those in attendance become embroiled in a race to prevent Mordru from seizing the reincarnated Doctor Fate for himself ( JSA # 2-4). With Sandy "Sand" Hawkins as leader and financier, the Justice Society decides to formally regroup and Black Canary is among the members ( JSA # 4).
Black Canary battles the Ravens while Oracle diverts Major van Lewton's forces in the direction of Blockbuster as they seek their mystery hacker ( Birds of Prey # 4-6).
With the rest of the Justice Society consumed by Obsidian's darkness, Black Canary finds herself on the run until the new Doctor Mid-Nite arrives on the scene. Sentinel expels the darkness from Earth and defeats his son but a weakened Obsidian flees before he can be taken into custody ( JSA # 7-9).
Black Canary acquires a new/old weapon in the form of the Canary Cry, a small electronic globe that emits the equivalent of her old sonic shriek. Oracle and Black Canary are manipulated into freeing a war criminal in Koroscova ( BOP # 9-11).
The villain responsible for the Koroscovan debacle is revealed as Pharzoof, a Parademon who pulls the Canary and a train of metahuman criminals to Apokolips. Oracle calls in Power Girl for a rescue mission ( BOP # 12-14).
Dinah takes an apartment in Gotham ( BOP # 15).
The Joker's threat to launch a nuclear strike on Manhattan forces Oracle to call in Power Girl once more and reveal her existence to Major van Lewton ( BOP # 16-17).
Oracle becomes a fugitive as Blockbuster begins hunting for her in earnest ( Nightwing # 45-46; BOP # 20-21). Black Canary rescues the wounded, drowning Barbara Gordon. Black Canary. As they meet for the first time and hug one another, Oracle insists that Dinah "call me Barbara." Now surrounded by the Blockbuster's army, Black Canary surrenders herself to the power broker, claiming to be Oracle. A concealed Barbara is rescued soon after by Nightwing, Robin and Alfred ( BOP # 21).
Blockbuster sends Black Canary, Deathstroke, Lady Vic and Grimm to Gorilla City on a mission to retrieve a new heart from one of the hidden land's apes. With Oracle secretly feeding her information, Black Canary fakes computer skills. While Ted Kord backs up Barbara at home, Oracle dispatches Mace "Militia" Gardner to rescue the Canary from Gorilla City ( BOP # 22-24).
Black Canary crosses pathes with Bane and the forces of Ra's al Ghul in a temple in Dhabar. Talia notes that her father will upset at the loss of one of his sanctuaries but, observing Dinah from a distance, she adds that she "may have found something to leaven his disappointment" ( BOP # 26).
Dinah's first date with Pieter (Dr. Mid-Nite) Cross goes disastrously wrong when they are attacked by Count Vertigo ( JSA # 16). With the rest of the JSA, Black Canary and Dr. Mid-Nite help defeat Vertigo, Johnny Sorrow and the other members of Injustice Society ( JSA # 17-20).
Dinah and Pieter have a more relaxing second date at Coney Island ( JSA # 21).
Black Canary is recruited for a mission in the distant past to recapture the time-lost Ravens. In that era, Dinah falls in love with Jon Haraldson, the Viking Prince ( Birds of Prey # 28-30).
In Austria, Black Canary, Nemesis and Wildcat take on the forces of the Council ( JSA Secret Files # 2).
While vacationing on the French Riveria, Dinah develops a romantic attraction to Ra's al Ghul, unaware of his true nature ( Birds of Prey # 31-33).
Apprised of the fact that sightings of the original Green Arrow has been reported in Star City ( Green Arrow [ current ] # 4), Black Canary seeks out Arsenal (# 5) and the duo has an emotional reunion with Oliver Queen (# 6).
John "Mikishawm" Wells, the pride of Batavia, Iowa, is a lifelong comics fan, working his way forward from Disneys in 1969 to newspaper strips in 1973 to SHAZAM! and the rest of the DC Universe in 1974. During the 1980s, he began compiling a lists of DC character appearances, a massive database that he's tapped into when writing articles for publications such as the DC Index series, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer’s Guide, Comic Effect, Comic Book Marketplace, It’s A Fanzine, The O‘Neil Observer and, of course, Fanzing. He is Kurt Busiek's unofficial reference guide, as the keen-eyed may have noticed in Power Company #2.
All characters are DC Comics
This piece is © 2001 by John Wells.
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All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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