If there is one issue that has made it hard for me to fully love Arrow, it is how they've handled Black Canary. The writers made a mistake by creating the character of Sara Lance to have the mantle of Black Canary and then killing her in the most disrespectful way possible. This means that as Arrow's new Black Canary, Laurel Lance has a lot to live up to. And not just because of Sara, but the comic book character as well. For example, will Laurel develop the superpowers Black Canary has in DC Comics?
Dinah Lance is the first to take on the mantle of Black Canary in DC Comics. Then we see her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance (confusing I know) as this badass superhero with one very important difference: she has a superpower. The Canary Cry is a high powered sonic scream that can take down opponents and shatter even solid objects. Doesn't sound powerful enough for you? Dinah Laurel has used the power to fly over long distances and in Injustice: Gods Among Us we've even seen her use to overpower Superman. Will we see Laurel Lance gain the Canary Cry on Arrow? Probably not in the way comic fans may be expecting.
Superpowers now exist in the Arrow universe, thanks to its far superior spinoff The Flash. The writers know they need to differentiate Laurel's Black Canary from her now-dead, fan favorite sister's version. The end of Arrow's midseason premiere seemed to definitely hint at Laurel having the Canary Cry. But that may have just been a tease.
Either way, making sure she gains the Canary Cry is the perfect way to align her more so with her comic book counterpart and make sure she becomes the badass hero she needs to be. In my opinion, you can't have a great Green Arrow show and completely misrepresent Black Canary. They're too important to each other's stories.
When asked in an IGN interview if her character would gain the actual Canary Cry, Katie Cassidy said, "That's a really good question for our producers and writers. [Laughs] Having said that, I believe so, but not necessarily in the same form."
Yes! This is totally what the character needs. But what does Cassidy mean by "not necessarily in the same form"? Could her powers will come from some sort of metahuman-esque accident rather than a genetic mutation like her comic book counterpart? We'll see. But I'm excited that Black Canary will gain the Canary Cry at all on Arrow.
If you can't tell, I love Black Canary in the comics. At her best, she's a multilayered superhero with humanity. She's so badass that Barbara Kean said she could probably beat Batman. Her friendship with Barbara and the other women of Birds of Prey remain some of my favorite interactions in DC Comics. So, why isn't more of this showing up in how Arrow is writing Laurel Lance? While Black Canary's Canary Cry would be an awesome addition to the character, she also needs to be written better, and it looks like that's finally happening.
“What Laurel very clearly lacks in skill, she makes up for in grit and determination. In a lot of ways, she helps everyone else comes to terms with Oliver’s absence and helps them find within themselves what this crusade means to them and helps them get back on track.”
Actually now that I think about it, can Laurel just ditch Oliver Queen completely and form the Birds of Prey?
Images: Cate Cameron/The CW (2); f***yeahlaurellance/Tumblr