Saturday, December 5, 2015

Episode 21: Black Canary Goes Hardcore

Reviewing Black Canary (1993) issues #9, #10, and #11. Black Canary takes on Symitar to save hundreds of women from slavery. Guest starring: The Huntress and Rightwing.

These are the final issues illustrated by Trevor Von Eeden.

Flowers & Fishnets is available for download on iTunes by clicking here, or you can check out the show's RSS feed right here.

Sample pages of Black Canary #9, #10, #11 written by Sarah Byam and illustrated by Trevor Von Eeden.

Music this episode:
"Hold Your Head High"
Heartless Bastards
Partisan Records, 2009.



  1. When you went on a rant about that first cover, I came here in a contrarian frame of mind thinking it couldn't possibly be as bad as you were making it out to be. HOLY CRAP, if anything you underplayed how bad that cover is. It reminds me the worst possible version of those thin "character dictionaries" that I used to pick up from the Scholastic Book Fair: if you don't remember these it was something clearly designed as a marketing item by people who had little to no idea about or interest in the thing they were marketing.

  2. Man, those covers are just hideous...and pretentious. And I have to argue about the artwork getting better, at least by the scan of issue #9, page 11. Dinah has the legs of an overweight midget wrestler there. How can anyone draw Black Canary so UNsexy? It should be against the law.

    I hate to say Aparo's cover for #11 isn't very good,he was obviously following an editorial mandate to copy issue #9's cover layout...such as it was. I agree that it looked like Aparo had lost some his magic in the early 90s, and I think most editors at DC agreed, BUT, it may just be the saddled him with bad inkers. Check out Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #1 just two years before this. Aparo inks his own pencils on a wraparound segment in that one, and it's classic Aparo. Easily the best stuff he had published from the mid-80s on, and not overpowered by Mike DeCarlo or Bill Sink-ev-itch (I'm not spelling that).

    Dinah's look is hideous. It's easily the most horrendous look she ever had. I know you aren't fond of the original BOP costume, but it's 100 times better than this garbage. Ugh.

    Nightwing's involvement is REALLY odd. This was really before the Bat-office took Dick back. The same month these issues were coming out, Knightfall was wrapping up, and New Titans just got past issue #100. He didn't really return tot he Bat-fold until Knightsend, several months down the road. The Huntress had been brought in to Detective Comics several months before this.

    Kinda looking forward to hear how this series is put down. It must be a mercy killing.


  3. I have to agree that you are shining Von Eeden a bit more than I would. The pages you post are still pretty rough.

    I have never read these issues so I am relying on your reviews. But It seems like this title never quite 'got' Dinah. Add to that the departure from her classic look, and you are really dealing with a non-Canary Canary book. I'm not surprised it disappeared.

    Interested In the retooled podcast. Already have some stories I might suggest!

  4. I'm somewhat sorry to say it ... but not really ... hearing you struggle through a bad issue of Black Canary is sometimes more entertaining than when you're reviewing a good issue ... just saying :-)

    1. It's understandable. If I need to slog through the crappy issues, I can at least make them entertaining.

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  6. Hey, I think I still own two of these issues I bought new for Nightwing and haven't touched again in 22 years. I honestly can't recall particularly liking or disliking them, but obviously Von Eeden disappointed me by comparison to the last time I saw him draw Dick Grayson in a beloved Batman annual a decade and change earlier. I don't hate the cover design as much as everyone else, as it does grab your attention, but the actual words and art and the story not living up to the selling of it dispel any potential the tactic might have had (plus I think it was lifted from a Moon Knight or something.)

    As for the new look... I wasn't comfortable with butch women when I was younger, but I've gotten more liberal with age, and today I really don't mind it. Certainly less an eyesore than the flame-welcoming DeStefano design. Much more practical for a street level vigilante than her classic suit, while at the same time being just as impractical because her boobs will definitely come out in every fight and her legs are even more exposed. So in essence, I'm saying that between the costume and relationship status changes combined with a new uncommonly macho female sidekick who openly comments on what she finds sexy in her super-heroines, what I'm actually fine with is Dinah's coded coming out as bi-/lesbian before that aspect was dropped as soon as this series ended. Also, if Bob Fingerman ever comes to Houston, I totally want a Riot Grrl Dinah commission.

    White slavery, especially out of the United States instead of into it, is a reach. Maybe out of Europe, maybe from a family of very modest means, but an unwilling Carly Fiorina would not end up in a harem in the 20th century. Even in 1993, this story was racist as all hell against an easy target post-Gulf War. You still had radio hits about rocking and killing Arabs, not to mention "Sheik Yerbouti." Legal/custody issues? Sure. Unprosecuted rapes & other crimes? Probably. Abduction, imprisonment and murder of American women of any decent means with impunity? Pure fiction derived from (surprise) Islamophobic hysteria/propaganda from the turn of the last century. This is straight up Yellow Peril ported to the Casbah, but as an apolitical dummy kid who was a fan of Morton Downey Jr. and Rush Limbaugh's TV shows, that had exactly zero impact on my reading back then.