'Arrow's New Black Canary Has A 70-Year DC History

by Kayla Hawkins
Diyah Pera/The CW

Arrow recently revealed that new Season 5 character Tina Boland is actually a metahuman named Dinah Drake, who'll be taking over the Black Canary mantle. She's still a mystery for Oliver and friends, but a savvy fan could look to the show's source material in order to find out more about the literary history of the Laurel's successor. Dinah Drake's DC Comics background does indeed help explain what role she might play in the upcoming episodes of Arrow, and why Oliver Queen was so eager to invite her to become the new Black Canary. Because in the DC Comics universe, Dinah Drake has been the Black Canary for 70 years already.

In the Arrow Season 5 winter premiere, Black Siren (an evil version of Laurel) transported from Earth-2 to Starling City. Like Black Siren, Dinah is another Arrow universe woman who is great at fighting, wears a mask, and uses a powerful scream. While Dinah became the Black Canary in a very different way on Arrow than her comics counterpart, she's already become a major asset to the team. And if you're wondering what other similarities and differences there are between Arrow's Dinah and the original version, here are a few of the highlights from Dinah Drake's tenure as the Black Canary in DC Comics.

She's The Original Black Canary

On Arrow, Dinah will be the third person to use the Black Canary identity. But in the comics, she originated the secret identity, which she first adopted in Flash Comics Issue 86 in 1947. She's a true golden age of comics character.

She's Laurel's Mom

Perhaps Dinah will have a daughter in the future and name her in honor of the previous Arrow Black Canary, Laurel Lance. But in the comics, Dinah passed on the Canary legacy to her daughter with police officer Larry Lance, also named (Dinah) Laurel. By the way, Arrow has already featured Laurel's mother, Professor Dinah Lance, and revealed that Laurel's first name is actually also Dinah, so there's a little complication there.

She Got Her Powers In A Specific Way

Diyah Pera/The CW

Black Canary in the comics didn't always have her powers. They were given to her by magical villain Aquarius, one of her arch-nemeses, while she was fighting him. It's only after she fights him that she gets her signature "scream." In Arrow, Dinah is a metahuman, while the other Black Canaries aren't, making her a lot more like the comics version.

She's An Inter-Universe Traveler

The barrier between Earth-1 and Earth-2 on Arrow is permeable, since that's where the "bad" Laurel came from earlier this season. And in the comics, Dinah would go between the different versions of Earth, particularly when she was fighting Aquarius.

She Joined The Justice League

While Arrow hasn't really incorporated the Justice League, the Justice Society is featured frequently on Legends of Tomorrow, and Dinah has been a member of both organizations in various comics.

There Could be A Romance Brewing

Olicity fans, you might be in trouble. No relationship on Arrow has ever stood up to that one, but Dinah Drake did have a romantic attachment to the Green Arrow at some point in the comics.

There are a lot of possibilities for the addition of Dinah Drake on Arrow, and maybe even more of this comic book history will be incorporated into her role on the series.