Birds of Prey | Book Club Wks 12 & 13: SPOTLIGHT: Black Canary 1-4/ Kicking & Screaming 1-3

Hey everyone! For this round of reading we’ll be spotlighting one of our favorite metahumans: :00_black_canary: Black Canary! First, we have a 4 issue solo mini where she takes on the League of Assasins!

Black Canary 1-4 (2007)

Next, after years as a vigilante, Canary hits the road with a band, but is it really that simple? No—no! It never is!

Black Canary: Kicking & Screaming 1-3

What did you like? What did you not? Have you read them before? What did you think of the artwork? Anything about the books you’d like to talk about—drop you thoughts below when you’re ready!

We’ll take the first week (3/22 - 3/28) to read, then discuss during the second week, (3/29 - 4/4). See ya soon! :purple_heart:

:birds_of_prey_club_oracle: You can join or learn more about Birds of Prey HERE

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Ps. Here’s a track from the EP that accompanied Kicking & Screaming.

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Alright! I dig the '07 Black Canary book. Its a lot of fun, and if memory serves, it came out right around when Dinah and Ollie tied the knot.

The DC You Black Canary title though, yeah, not a fan. I tried and tried to warm up to that series, but it just didn’t gel with me. It was too much of a “Take Burnside Batgirl’s aesthetics and mesh them into Black Canary” take for me. I don’t mind the idea of a rock star/superhero, but other than #9, this book fell flat in nearly every way.

One of my favorite books to star Black Canary was Green Arrow/Black Canary. Star City alive, that book was fun.

So too was the Rebirth volume of Green Arrow. I liked Black Canary well enough in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, but the pretty bird absolutely soared in the pages of Green Arrow. A fantastic series for her, with it absolutely being her best Rebirth title.

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It’s funny, I was the opposite – didn’t care for the 07 series, but really enjoyed the DCYou series.

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I haven’t read the 07 series, but have been wanting to since Sin was introduced on Arrow. I’m going to reread the DCYou run, but from my recollection, it was fun, but felt like they were trying to cram Emily and the Strangers (Dark Horse I think) in to the DC Universe. Well, parts of it did… I’m curious to see if I think the same on reread with more time since I’ve read E&tS.

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I really wanted to like the DC You BC, but I guess Burnside-esque Dinah wasn’t for me.

In all honesty, I’m not big on the idea of Dinah being a rock star. It has a Poochie from The Simpsons air about it. “She’s not just a superhero, now she’s a rock star, which means she’s hip and bus-zay!”.

Poochie-fied characters generally aren’t for me. :slight_smile:

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I can kind of see that, though I thought having her be a rock star was just clever. I mean, a superhero with a power related to her voice also being a singer? Why did no one think of it before? If she’s going to have a life outside of being a superhero, it seems to fit more than, say, running a flower shop.

Also, I think this is likely less Poochie and more –

Also also, this reminds me, I’m pretty sure that part of the inspiration for Dinah to be a singer in this series came from this variant cover from Cliff Chiang:

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I just read and enjoyed, Black Canary (2007) #1-4. What’s nice about DCUI is that I can read runs I might not have otherwise. This is my first introduction to Black Canary in comics. I liked seeing Black Canary and Green Arrow fight crime together in the early days. I enjoyed the flirting and Ollie referring to Dinah as, “Pretty Bird,” I love that. Out of five stars I would give this run three and a half. It was predictable but good. It didn’t drag on, a nice quick little read.

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Okay, funny story about the 2007 mini – I HATED this book for a long time, and it’s partly because of my own faulty memory.

I don’t know how this happened, but what I remembered for years with this story was that Sin was kidnapped, Black Canary scoured the Earth to look for her, only to find out that Ollie “kidnapped” her and sent her to a place where no one can hurt her or use her as a weapon, and it cleared the table for Dinah to marry Oliver.

But when I read it a while back for the first iteration of the DC Book Club, I realized there was a little more context to that – Ollie didn’t just straight up go “Hey Pretty Bird, I took your little adoptive baby and stuck her at an orphanage. Wanna get hitched?” He’s trying to protect Sin who is in a bad situation, in a way that kind of takes Dinah’s agency out of the picture. Which is…pretty on brand with Ollie.

With all that said, the series is still…not great. I just don’t like the idea that the series needed to get rid of Sin to try to keep things as status quo as possible (never mind that Ollie’s adopted two kids already) while moving things in a new direction of them getting married.

At the VERY least, if they are going to go that route, they should have Dinah make the choice and Ollie be there as emotional support. Not only does having Ollie do it make the character whose name is on the title feel like a backseat character, but I think Ollie being someone who offers his input, but ultimately honors Dinah’s decision would have made their decision to get married at the end make more sense.

Since I’ve been ragging on it a lot, I’m gonna give it some praises.

  • I do like the art by Paulo Siqueira. There’s cheesecake stuff, but it doesn’t really distract. It also helps that he surprisingly does pretty well with drawing kids. Sin here, while cartoony, feels more like a kid in her proportions rather than just a tiny grown-up like even some more notable artists do.

  • Some comedic moments like Ollie mistaking Dinah for her mother were hilarious, both in writing and in some amazing reactions by Siqueira.

  • Attention to (then) modern continuity. While I don’t necessarily love details like how Cassandra Cain was leading the League of Assassins, it does help build a cohesive universe and create the illusion that it’s all connected and makes sense.

  • While Dinah doesn’t have a lot of storytelling agency in this story, she has some great action scenes where she really shines. She even has some cool usages of her sonic scream, like humming to break the makeshift garrote around her neck.

So overall, considering my previous misconceptions (kinda sorta), this book went from a 0/10 to a 5-6/10 – a great improvement, but still not going to be a book I’ll go back to a lot. …Even though I already have once for a previous club.

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Oh, here’s something extra for the '15 series – there’s actually a prologue story that DC did that was put in the pages of Convergence and put for free online on Comixology. It gives a little more context to things we see in issue 1. You can find it here:

https://www.comixology.com/DC-Sneak-Peek-Black-Canary-2015-2016-1/digital-comic/228448

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Oh, I forgot to share my thoughts on the “Kicking and Screaming” issues!

I have to say that I LOVED these issues. It’s funny, I’ve read these a few times before, but I came to really like them more.

First off, I have to say that the idea of Dinah becoming a singer is INGENIUS. It’s one of those new directions for a character that makes you think “God, why did no one think of this before?!”

And I think what I like about it most is that it’s able to do this without throwing away Dinah’s past history from the New 52. Her history with her sensai taking her in from Birds of Prey #25/the Zero Year tie-in was there. Her history with Kurt Lance and Team 7 was there. They even mentioned a couple of times her teaming up with the rest of the Justice League during the JL/Aquaman “Throne of Atlantis” crossover!

And most importantly, I liked that we can see and feel that this isn’t a perfect transition for Dinah. She has an amazing voice as part of her power, but she isn’t a natural performer, and I like that we see her slowly learn and grow into that role in these first three issues.

I also liked the supporting cast more here. They don’t have the most depth, but they all work to add color to the story and help further develop Dinah’s story.

And the art by Annie Wu is just…chef’s kiss. Gorgeous work, both in expression, costuming, action and overall storytelling, it all adds up to a super fun book to look at, and the colors by Lee Loughridge just kicks it up to 11.

So yeah, great stuff, hope we get to read more of this for the club, because even though I’ve read it before and know what’s going to happen, I want to read it again. :smiley:

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I actually really, really love the rock star idea. What really drove me off was 1) the weak plotting, and 2) the connections to the n52 origin of Dinah, with Team 7 and all of the focus on her missing mother and her husband. I do not care about those things, because my Dinah grew up with her mom, and was inspired to be a hero because of her.

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That’s a fair point with the plot – without spoiling things it does go a little wonky after a while, but I still enjoyed it more for the character interactions and the art more than anything.

That’s also a good point about the different origins. Dinah is not quite Dinah without a little dab of mother issues. Again, without going into spoilers, I did appreciate how they tried to kind of add that back in with just a different coat of paint.

I’ll also agree that while I appreciated that they didn’t just ignore her history, having Kurt come back was probably unnecessary. Especially since, from what I remember, Kurt played a fairly big part in the previous iteration of Birds of Prey and there was…maybe a year in between the time he was taken out of the picture and this series? I can see that being frustrating – especially since everyone and her mother would rather her stop dealing with her ex-husband and meet a certain green-clad, hot mess archer…

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Yeah, the back half of the series got very trippy, and I still don’t quite get it. Plus I miss Annie Wu’s art - it was phenomenal.

I do appreciate that they TRIED, I just didn’t think it came anywhere close to succeeding or making n52 Dinah as strong as she was before (and was again in Rebirth when they were able to add her stuff back in).

I didn’t really mind either way about Ollie - I do love Ollie and Dinah together, but since my real love for Dinah comes from Birds of Prey, I wanted more of that instead!

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True about Wu being missed – though Moriat is no slouch in the art department!

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Interesting points. However, why would Dinah be a rock singer?

After belting it out at the bad guys, you’d think she’d want to sing something smooth and, perhaps, quieter than punk rock.

I could see her being a dynamo in the jazz club scene.

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Agreed on the plotting of her solo book. There was never much of interest. It felt thin and stitched together, more often than not.

I didn’t mind the Team 7 angle, but then again, Team 7 was among my favorite short-lived New 52 titles, so I’m biased in that regard.

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I think it really depends on the characterization of Dinah. Obviously, the Dinah of the series has a punk rock attitude, so she’ll sing punk rock. :slight_smile: I could also see her singing many other genres, though, depending on the series. The important thing is that she’s a singer, which I think is really a great idea.

Interesting about Team 7 - I’m not against the concept, but I’m very against Dinah being on it, since I think her JSA and mother origins are already incredibly compelling, and what they did with her in the n52 and Team 7 was not very compelling in comparison. And then what Azzarello did with her in his Black Label book was just a travesty.

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I haven’t read Azzarello’s take on her, but I might flip through it at some point.

All this talk of Dinah is making me want to re-read her prior solo gigs. I’ve a soft spot for her '93 title.

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The art for Azzarello’s OGN/One shot was gorgeous - Emanuella Lupacchino is always great - but I’m just not a fan of how he characterizes anyone. :frowning:

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