It's the end of the year, which means it's time for news outlets, pundits, blogs, and well, basically anyone with an opinion and the means to express it to formulate his/her Best of the Year lists.
I didn't think I would make a Top 10 Black Canary Moments. Despite her starring role in not one but two ongoing series for a chunk of the of the year, there was very little to celebrate about Birds of Prey and Team 7. If you read those comics or my reviews of them, you understand why I'd find it hard to make even a Top 3 list.
Then, like a dunce getting whacked in the head, I was reminded that Black Canary's appearances were not limited to those comics, or even just within the medium of comics. A live-action version of the character made a welcome addition to TV's Arrow this season; a 2-D version continued to guide the young stars of the Young Justice animated series; and a non-playable version provided support in the smash hit video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. (Note: I haven't seen Young Justice, so I couldn't include it.)
With that in mind, what was good (or great) enough to make the list?
10. Speaking of Lists...
Black Canary was considered for two different Justice League teams in 2013. She made neither, of course, but as the saying goes, "It's an honor just to be nominated."
After Atlantis attacked the United States in the crossover event
Atlantis Attacks "Throne of Atlantis", the Justice League decided to open their ranks to new members. Black Canary was invited up to the satellite for a little costumed mixer that ended predictably with a robot trying to destroy all humans.
|From Justice League #18, art by Jesus Saiz.
Alas, Batman filled the openings with the precocious Firestorm, the treacherous Atomica, and the heretofore unknown Element-Woman. Yeah, Black Canary, who chaired the Justice League in another universe, lost her spot to Element-Woman. I think Batman still had a grudge against Dinah for choosing Poison Ivy for her Birds of Prey. I mean, who wouldn't question her competence after that?
|From Justice League of America #5,
art by Brett Booth.
But that wasn't the only time Black Canary could have been part of a Justice League. When the inaugural mission of the government sponsored Justice League of America went... well, let's just say "sucky", Amanda Waller wanted to revamp the roster.
The conceit of this JLA is that each member was assigned a specific opponent in the Justice League should the need or event season arise to go to battle. In a more perfect continuity, Black Canary's fighting ability ought to be superior to Katana's; I'm not sure that's true now. And if the goal was to pit someone against Wonder Woman, I have to imagine Dinah's Canary Cry would be more formidable against the Amazon than Katana's, um, katana. (Actually, I think Hawkman would have been a better foe for Wonder Woman, while Canary could have used her sonic powers to disorient Aquaman.)
Again, Dinah was passed over. The only character Steve Trevor added to his lineup was Doctor Light... who died immediately after, so maybe it's for the best she got snubbed this time.
9. Cry for Help
In November, Black Canary made a guest appearance in Batman: The Dark Knight #25. I wrote about this cameo when the issue came out, but the gist is that Batman recruits Canary and Condor to help him track down Clayface.
|From Batman: The Dark Knight #25, art by Alex Maleev.
She accomplishes nothing in the story and could have been omitted from the script without any consequence to Batman's investigation. Still, it was nice to see her popping up in better selling and better quality books. And she gets a motorcycle again!
8. Victory at Last
More than two years into the New 52, Black Canary has fought and beat exactly one real super villain who previously existed in comics. And it wasn't in Birds of Prey and it wasn't in Team 7. It happened in the pages of Justice League, where Dinah earned her first credible takedown in a rooftop battle with Copperhead.
|From Justice League #18, art by Jesus Saiz. Again.
Oh man... I just realized she didn't even beat him by herself, Cyborg helped. Jesus! I know there are characters who have been more blatantly--and possibly spitefully--mistreated by the New 52, but the ways in which everything positive about this once respectable character have been perverted or discarded since September 2011 is utterly depressing.
I'm going to tell you right now that nothing from the past year of Birds of Prey or Team 7 make this list.
To Be Continued...