Black Canary


Black Canary

Fearless street fighter and partner to Green Arrow, Dinah Drake tackles injustice with her unmatched martial arts skills and her ear-piercing "Canary Cry".


Alias: Dinah Lance, Dinah Drake

First Appearance: FLASH COMICS #86, 1947



Sometimes the most beautiful things are also the most deadly. Such is the case with Dinah Lance, a.k.a. the Black Canary, a silver-tongued songstress who just so happens to have the power to turn her voice into a super sonic blast she calls a "Canary Cry."


A highly trained martial artist and master of disguise, Dinah's life hasn't always been easy. Before her career as a musician took off, she spent most of her time just trying to survive on the streets of Gotham City. It was this rough upbringing that taught her the value of her strength and gave her the skills to fight -- something that would later prove a huge asset as she put on a mask and became a Super Hero.


Dinah spends her time working both solo and on various teams. Most notably, she helps with the Birds of Prey alongside her best friend and fellow hero, Barbara Gordon. But when she's not fighting for the betterment of Gotham, chances are you can find her roaming Seattle alongside the on-again-off-again love of her life, Green Arrow.



blackcanary-origin-FlashComics-#86-P1-v1.jpg An orphan raised on the streets of Gotham City, Dinah Lance was eventually found and trained to fight in a dojo run by a man name Desmond Lamar. Lamar took Dinah in and raised her as best he could until he succumbed to terminal cancer.


In his will, Lamar left the dojo to Dinah, and she did her best to keep it running but quickly fell on hard times. The local gangs extorted every business in the area for protection money and Dinah was forced to close down and go right back to fighting for survival on the streets. Eventually, an opportunity to join a metahuman fighting squad was presented to her by a man who realized her martial artist potential. The gang forced all recruits through grueling physical training and experimentation, the result of which granted Dinah her own metahuman ability: her "Canary Cry," a high-powered blast she can create with her voice.







Powers and Abilities

In addition to her expert martial arts and peak human strength and agility, Dinah can use her voice to produce what she calls a "Canary Cry," an extremely loud sonic energy that can cause objects to explode or people to fall deaf.


Dinah is also an accomplished musician and well-trained in the use of multiple forms of weaponry.


Essential Storylines and History


Golden Age 

During the late '40s, Dinah Lance, formerly Dinah Drake, was actually a name used by a different Super Hero who resided on Earth-2 before the continuity-altering events of 1985-1986's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. This Dinah was the wife of a detective named Larry Lance and a frequent supporting character in Johnny Thunder stories, in which the two heroes shared a flirtatious relationship independent from her husband.


This Dinah had jet black hair in her civilian life that she would hide beneath a wig while she was in costume. Prior to the evolution of her Canary Cry ability, Dinah relied exclusively on her physical strength and acting abilities to help her fight crime. She was frequently sent in to infiltrate various organizations and gangs to serve as a spy for her teammates on the outside.



Silver Age

Eventually, Dinah and Larry had a daughter who they named Dinah after her mother -- but she was "killed" by a wizard's curse (that also happened to give young Dinah a super sonic cry). Devastated and with the help of Johnny Thunder, older Dinah had her memories transplanted into the body of her daughter to revive her.




blackcanary-essential3-postcrisis-GABCWS-Cv1ds-1-v1.jpg Following the events of 1985-1986's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Dinah's history was streamlined. The memory transplanting story was removed and younger Dinah, now called Dinah Laurel Lance, became the primary Black Canary, inheriting the name from her mother, Dinah Drake-Lance, who maintained her Golden Age marriage to Larry Lance, now a private detective.


This version of Dinah had a fully formed metagene allowing her to produce her Canary Cry at no physical cost to herself. She was raised around Super Hero teams like the Justice Society of America and quickly fell in line with the "family business" of costumed vigilantism at the age of 19.


Dinah joined the Birds of Prey alongside Oracle and, eventually, Huntress. She also began working occasionally with the Justice League and Justice League International, where she met Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. Over the next several years, Dinah and Ollie would fall in to a torrid on-again-off-again relationship.


For most of the 1990s and early '00s, Dinah worked as a core member of the Birds of Prey, eventually trading in the blonde wig part of her costume (a trick she had borrowed from her mother) for actually dyed blonde hair.


Following Oliver Queen's resurrection (in 2001's "Quiver" storyline), Dinah and Ollie were engaged to be wed. Their marriage took place in 2007's GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY WEDDING SPECIAL #1, which led to a GREEN ARROW/BLACK CANARY ongoing series. Their marriage was unofficially dissolved following Green Arrow's murder of the super-villain Prometheus (in 2010's GREEN ARROW #32).



The New 52

blackcanary-essential4-new52-BOP_Cv0-1-v1.jpg After DC's history was reimagined following 2011's FLASHPOINT, Dinah's origin and personal history were dramatically changed. No longer the daughter of two Golden Age heroes, this incarnation was known as Dinah Drake, and was the orphaned daughter of a single mother who wound up fighting on the streets of Gotham City for survival. Eventually taken in and trained by the owner of a local dojo gym, and later made a member of a gang known as Team 7, Dinah took on the name Operative Canary and was put through grueling physical conditioning that unlocked her metahuman Canary Cry ability.


But after things with Team 7 went brutally and violently south, leaving the group in disarray and Dinah on the run, she changed her codename to Black Canary and began working as a freelance vigilante.


Dinah later formed the Birds of Prey with Katana, Poison Ivy, and later Batgirl (in 2011's BIRDS OF PREY #0). The team stuck together for the next several years before officially disbanding.


Later, it was revealed that Dinah became the lead singer of a popular rock band, Ashes on Sunday, in the wake of her somewhat disastrous Super Hero career. With Ashes, Dinah attempted to leave her past behind and focus on art, though she still occasionally was pulled back into the world of vigilantism thanks to the numerous skeletons in her closet.




blackcanary-essential5-rebirth-GA_Cv1_ds-1-v1.jpg Following the events of 2016's DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, Dinah's story was modified yet again. The Birds of Prey were officially formed in this new continuity by herself, Batgirl, and Huntress (BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY, 2016), and Dinah's relationship with Oliver Queen was rekindled (in 2016's GREEN ARROW: REBIRTH #1).


Dinah now divides her time between Gotham City and Seattle.















Team Affiliations

  • • Birds of Prey
  • • Justice League
  • • Justice League International
  • • Team 7

Appearances in Other Media





  • • Birds of Prey





  • • Arrow
  • • Legends of Tomorrow



  • • Justice League Unlimited
  • • Batman: The Brave and The Bold
  • • DC Super Hero Girls



Video Games

  • • Justice League Heroes
  • • DC Universe Online