Black Canary is getting married.And I’m not going to the wedding.
It’s not because I don’t like Black Canary.Rather, the opposite is true.I like Black Canary and that’s why I don’t
want to see her get married.
And it’s not because I have an unrequited love for Black
Canary of my own.I’m human and I’m a
guy so I’ve had my crushes on celebrities and comic book characters.But Black Canary was never that for me.
Rather, I don’t want Black Canary to get married because I
look at Dinah as a friend.I’ve seen how
she’s grown over the years.She’s become
somebody I enjoy spending time with.She’s become somebody I respect and admire.And getting married, especially in this way,
seems like a step backwards for her.
Let’s see if I can explain.
I remember meeting Black Canary for the first time as a
member of the Justice League International.At the time, she wasn’t one of my favorite characters.She didn’t have the authority of Batman.She wasn’t as memorable as Guy Gardner.She was wearing a particularly bad costume,
mostly navy blue with these weird black wings sticking out from her
collarbone.And she wasn’t someone that
you would look at as a love interest.Not like Ice or Fire.But over
time, I began to appreciate her as the straight woman to all of the antics
going on around her.Yet even then, I
think that Sue Dibny worked better in that role when she joined the sister team
in Europe.Black Canary wasn’t a character that I actively disliked.But I didn’t care much for her either.She was just there.
But that was just my first impression.I saw her grow from there.For one thing, I learned more about her
past.I collected back issues of Justice
League of America.I got to know her as a newer hero, trying to
become her own woman in the shadow of her successful mother.I bought reprints of the Green Lantern/Green
Arrow series.I learned about her time
on the road.I saw her as a peacemaker,
as a friend who cared, as the one who truly loved Roy Harper when he got caught
up in drugs.And I saw how this new
hero, this good friend, could become the solid, yet boring straight character
that I knew from the Justice League.
Even as I learned about her past, she also grew in the
present.She was given a new role in the
Justice League.She was retroactively
made a founding member of the team.Now,
I realize that a lot of older fans objected to the change.But personally, I wasn’t invested in the old
status quo.It didn’t mean anything to
me that Wonder Woman was supposed to be a founding member and not Black
Canary.After all, I was enjoying Wonder
Woman’s stories as a new hero.I didn’t
need for Diana to have an illustrious past in order to enjoy her present.Yet I found that the opposite was true for
Dinah.Because I wasn’t that impressed
with her present, I appreciated that she was given a more illustrious
past.Now she had a role to play in the
Justice League.She was a founding
member.She was the source of
stability.And that meant that she
brought something more to the table than being the person who rolls her eyes
when Blue Beetle and Booster Gold roll their eyes.
So my impression of Dinah Lance had grown.She had gone from a boring character in a bad
costume to long-standing, legacy character.She still wasn’t a personal favorite.After all, I hadn’t grown up fantasizing about her fishnet
stockings.But she was at least a
character I liked seeing in stories.
Then, she became so much more.Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl, tabbed
her to be an operative in a new team: the Birds of Prey.I admit that I missed the first Oracle/Black
Canary: Birds of Prey special.But I was
there for the second one.I enjoyed this
team.I enjoyed the pairing of brain
with brawn.Yet the brain could still
fight when her home was invaded, and the brawn could still think on her feet
when the situation called for it.Plus,
it didn’t hurt that both the brain and the brawn had beauty.
Birds of Prey quickly became one of my favorite titles.I loved reading about the adventures of
Oracle and Black Canary.And while Black
Canary was still being defined by her relationships in a way, at least it was a
new relationship and one in which she could become more.At first, she would occasionally rebel at
Oracle’s instructions and perceived interference.Yet their friendship grew.And eventually Black Canary was the one
reeling in the rebellious tendencies of other heroines like Huntress.She was back in the mentor/mother role that
she had once filled in JLI but now as a matter of choice than because there was
no other role for her to play.She was
becoming esteemed as one of the preeminent heroes, yet not because she had been
granted founding status.Rather, because
she was doing great things and appearing in great stories right now.
Black Canary grew so much that she eventually grew out of
the Birds of Prey.She adopted a
daughter and retired from the superhero business in order to be a mom.I knew that it couldn’t last.It seems like only Jack Knight/Starman can be
granted that happy ending.Yet it still
seemed like a good move for her.It
seemed like growth.
And that’s why I was dismayed when I found out that Black
Canary was going to come back from parental leave.But not to rejoin the Birds of Prey.No.She was coming back in order to re-team with her former flame, Green
Arrow, and to marry him.It seemed like
such a step backward for her.She had
finally become her own hero instead of one who was always defined by her
relationships.Plus, her relationship
with Green Arrow was one best left in the past.Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) had not been faithful to her.And while she may have forgiven him for his
flirtations, I didn’t want to see Black Canary put herself back in that
situation. Not as her friend.Instead, I wanted to take her aside and
remind her that this guy was no good for her.I understand that she still has feelings for him.No one forgets a love like that.But she’s better off without him. She’s
better off with someone new.And if
Green Arrow really has become a new man, then he’s better off with someone new,
And that’s why I’m not going to the wedding or, in this
case, buying the wedding special.I
suppose that if Dinah Lance was a real person and a real friend, I’d go to her
real wedding anyway.It would be too
much of an insult not to.But since
she’s a fictional character and since I’d have to pay money to read about a
story that I think is heading in the wrong direction, I can happily choose to
pass.I may be wrong, of course.This could be a good move for Black Canary.But, right now, it doesn’t look like one to