Archive for Black Canary

Friday Night Fights: Bent Arrow!

It’s time for the final Friday Night Fights of 2012! Do we have an epic battle between Old Man Time and Baby New Year? Superheroes slugging it out at a New Year’s party? The ghost of Dick Clark beating up whoever’s doing the New Year’s specials nowadays? No! I couldn’t find anything that appropriate. So tonight is Season-Inappropriate Beatdowns on… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from October 1973’s Action Comics #428 by Elliot S! Maggin and Dick Giordano, as Black Canary flips some arrogant dork.



Ya gotta admit — there isn’t anyone who deserves to get his ass kicked by Black Canary more than Green Arrow. They could do that in every issue for the next decade, and Ollie would still have worse coming to him…

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Friday Night Fights: Toth! Toth! Toth!

Yes, yes, time again for Friday Night Fights — but can we just jump right into this one? ‘Cause it’s really kinda amazing.

I saw this one online a few weeks back and was pretty blown away by how awesome it looked. It took some more time for me to find a useable digital scan of it, and then I sat down and tried to figure out how I could cut this down to smaller panels — and decided it’d be criminal to post it as anything other than the full splash page.

From April 1972’s Adventure Comics #418 by Denny O’Neil and the legendary Alex Toth, here’s a grand, glorious page dedicated to Black Canary beating the socks off some poor sucker.

No kidding — this page just amazes me every time I look at it. It’s just beautifully well done.

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Friday Night Fights: Head Splitter!

Man, I ain’t got time for the usual rigamarole, so let’s get right to it. It’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today’s fight comes from September 1999’s JSA #2 by James Robinson, David Goyer, Stephen Sadowski, and Michael Bair. The Justice Society is taking on the Sons of Anubis, a bunch of zombified Egyptians working for Mordru. One of them is trying to drown Black Canary ’til Jay Garrick removes the water from the situation:

That’ll do it. See y’all back here on Monday!

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Orange Crushed


Green Lantern #41

Larfleeze, a.k.a. Agent Orange, is the sole possessor of the Orange Lantern. He’s the greediest being in the universe, and he’s taken Hal Jordan prisoner. Why? Hal has a green ring and a blue ring — and Larfleeze desperately wants the blue one. Hal gets him to reveal how he came to have the Orange Lantern — he was once a thief who stole an important item from the Guardians and fled to the planet Okaara. There, he and his fellow crooks found a glowing orange lantern and struggled greedily to possess it. The Guardians and the Manhunter robots tried to stop them, but the orange light was too powerful. In order to get their important box back, the Guardians bargained to let the last surviving thief keep the orange lantern and to never interfere with him, as long as he stayed in the Vega System. Larfleeze ended up having the Orange Lantern all to himself, and now he wants his very own Blue Lantern ring. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it, even if Hal can’t get the ring off his finger…

Verdict: Ehh, kind of a wash. Agent Orange’s story is really less than compelling, and the Guardians’ and the Green Lantern Corps’ battle against Larfleeze’s orange light constructs is fairly pedestrian. But the cliffhanger is pretty good. How the heck is Jordan gonna get out of this one…?


Green Arrow and Black Canary: A League of their Own

A compilation of a lengthy storyline from the “GA/BC” series — this one focuses on the quest to find who shot and then kidnapped Green Arrow’s son, Connor Hawke. With Batman and Plastic Man tagging along to help out, Ollie and Dinah eventually trace the hit to Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins — but Ra’s is dead, so who was masquerading as him? Turns out it was Shado, a Yakuza assassin who is the mother of another of Ollie’s kids — she raped him while he was unconscious. Her son is dying of cancer, and Dr. Sivana offered to cure him, as long as she killed Green Arrow. When the hit went wrong and Connor was injured, Sivana had him and Shado’s son kidnapped and genetically treated with some of Plastic Man’s skin cells. So Connor ends up cured, but he’s completely lost his memory and his ability to shoot a bow. On top of all this, we get Mia Dearden, the new Speedy, out on a date. Will her new beau be able to accept her HIV-positive status?

Verdict: I think I’ll give this a thumbs up, because I was quite entertained by the story. The big problem is that writer Judd Winick put this together from the fragments of two of his signature “Let’s kill a random superhero” storylines — first, he “killed” Green Arrow himself, then after handwaving that one away, he “killed” Connor. One gets the feeling that, even for DC’s notoriously kill-happy editors, they thought Winick needed to be reigned in, so we get this long storyarc trying to get the Green Arrow status quo back to normal. I will say that Winick’s strongest abilities lie in characterization and dialogue, so I very much enjoyed Mia’s date and Connor’s post-coma amnesia, which both felt genuine and charming. And Mike Norton’s art is just grand throughout — nothing real flashy, but solid, beautifully created artwork.

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Please be warned: Crazy people who really need to get a proper hobby have decreed that the Black Canary version of Barbie is “filth.”

“Barbie has always been on the tarty side and this is taking it too far,” the Christian Voice is quoted as saying by the tabloid The Sun. “A children’s doll in sexually suggestive clothing is irresponsible — it’s filth.”

In true tabloid fashion, The Sun’s headline reads, “S&M Barbie is lashed by the public.”

I think the following points should be noted:

1. Black Canary actually wears more clothing than Wonder Woman, which I guess means these people think Wondy is a filthy tramp.

2. Black Canary has worn the same general costume as the doll wears since her first appearance in the comics back in 1947.

3. Black Canary actually wears more clothing than the original Barbie back in 1959, which I guess means these people think the original Barbie was also a filthy tramp.

4. Depressingly, these people probably really do think Wonder Woman and Barbie are filthy tramps.

Heck, these are folks who think arctic-weight winter parkas are insufficiently modest, and who will say so, repeatedly and loudly, every time someone points a TV camera at them…

The “Christian Voice” should spend more time working to feed the hungry, nurture the sick, and comfort the afflicted, and a heck of a lot less time moralizing pointlessly about superhero costumes.

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Green Days


Green Arrow and Black Canary #1

In the wake of Oliver Queen’s death, Black Canary is dealing with her grief by beating the snot out of bad guys as brutally as possible. In fact, she’s also keeping Ollie’s body preserved in a big glass tube — she’s convinced it’s not really Green Arrow. Everyone thinks she’s nuts — everyone except Batman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s got a few problems — Black Canary is mostly an observer of other people’s detective work, and Green Arrow barely shows up at all. But the detective work is pretty good, and the big secret is fairly well done. Cliff Chiang’s artwork is just drop-dead gorgeous, too.


Green Lantern Corps #16

There’s a lot of stuff going on in this one. There’s the Battle of the Planets, with Mogo, the Green Lantern planet taking on Ranx, the crazy Sinestro city, Kilowog fighting Arkillo, a monstrous Sinestro Corps member, Sodam Yat, a Daxamite GL, wreaks havoc inside Ranx, and members of the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps fighting each other everywhere. Things look bad for the Lanterns until the Guardians of the Galaxy change their governing laws to allow Lanterns to kill Sinestro Corps members.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s pretty chaotic, and there are tons of characters — but I’m impressed that we still get treated to some good character moments. That’s hard to do with that much stuff going on.


Green Lantern #24

Meanwhile, on Earth, the Sinestro Corps War continues as the bulk of the yellow-ringed fearmeisters lower the boom on our big blue marble. They’ve got most of their heavy-hitters in the battle, including Sinestro, Superboy-Prime, the Cyborg Superman, and Parallax, still possessing Kyle Rayner’s body. Parallax actually swallows up Hal Jordan when his ring runs out of power, but the other Green Lanterns have a plan to save both Hal and Kyle.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Some of the dialogue is really, really hokey, and the plan to get rid of Parallax is a bit, um, stupid. Still, some nice ring-slinging, some decent plot-advancement. I’m looking forward to more of this — it’s the best crossover series DC has had for a long time.

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Wedding Crashers


Green Arrow and Black Canary: Wedding Special

If we’re gonna talk about this issue, I’m gonna have to spoil it.

First of all, let me tell you about what I was expecting from this one. See, lately, DC Comics has been on a killing spree. They can’t seem to publish an “event” comic without killing at least one superhero for the sake of nabbing a little cheap shock theater. So part of me expected the big wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary to end with the death of at least one of those two characters. But the smarter part of me — the part of me that’s actually written fiction before and knows that you gotta keep your readers guessing — figured that DC would give the readers a nice break from the usual carnage and let them enjoy a nice traditional superhero wedding, without all the angst and sorrow and bloodshed.

So we start out with Ollie and Dinah fighting, making up, fighting, sending out invitations, having bachelor and bachelorette parties. And the bad guys find out, and they show up, and everyone has a nice big fight. This is traditional for superhero weddings. You can’t have a superhero wedding without supervillains showing up to fight with everyone. And of course, the bad guys get their butts handed to ’em, and the bride and groom get successfully wedded.

Okay, let’s take a short break, and I’ll tell you how good it is so far. First, Amanda Conner’s art is entirely awesome. She’s really one of the best artists around — does outstanding facial expressions, great action, draws the sweetest eye candy you ever saw, and just makes ya wish she drew every dadgummed comic book out there. And it’s a funny comic, too. Everything from the reactions of the wedding invitees, Ollie’s and Dinah’s arguments, Ollie’s sedate bachelor party vs. Dinah’s raucous bachelorette party — they’re all chock full o’ funny. Even the big wedding battle has good funny moments, especially if you watch what’s going on in the background — even Lois Lane gets to pop out the brass knuckles and pepper spray and beat up on bad guys. Up to this point, it’s a wonderful comic book.

And then, on the wedding night, Ollie goes into a trance, tries to kill Dinah, and she stabs him through the neck with one of his arrows. Is it mind control? Oh, sure. Is Ollie dead. Probably not. Just seriously, horribly maimed. On his wedding night.

Thanks, DC. Thanks for living down to my low expectations.

Verdict: Thumbs down. You could list DC’s plotlines on a matchbook cover.

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Wedding Jitters


Justice League of America: Wedding Special

I bought this expecting another fairly lightweight story — lots of stuff from Green Arrow’s bachelor party and Black Canary’s bachelorette party. And there is some of that, and it’s nice and amusing. But there’s a real serious side to this issue, too. Firestorm almost gets killed by Lex Luthor, the Joker, Cheetah, and Killer Frost, who are organizing a new Injustice League, which includes just about every supervillain on the planet and meets in an HQ that looks just like the Legion of Doom’s hideout in the old “Super Friends” cartoon. And the villains are already moving against the Justice League.

This is the first issue written by Dwayne McDuffie, and if you know Dwayne McDuffie, you’re already dancing around the room singing hallelujah. He founded Milestone Media and helped create most of their characters, including Static, Icon, and the Blood Syndicate. He wrote episodes of “Static Shock,” “Justice League,” and “Teen Titans.” He knows comics and is one holy heck of a writer. If anyone can return the Justice League to greatness, it’s him.

The story is first-rate and includes lots of the little details that can make character-driven comics so much fun. The dialogue and characterization are great, and they’re doing a great job of ratcheting up the pressure about the Injustice League.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Can’t wait for the next regular “Justice League” comic.

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White Wedding? I think NOT.


Black Canary’s Wedding Planner

I picked this one up on a whim. Black Canary getting married to Green Arrow seems like a bad idea. Either it’ll end in an almost-immediate divorce, or DC is going to kill one or both characters to prove how “edgy” they are. But I’d heard other people had liked this story, so I figured what the heck.

The plot revolves around Black Canary trying to do last-minute planning for the wedding. Ollie ends up taking over a lot of the work by calling in favors. Beside that, Dinah picks out her dress, picks out her bridesmaids, picks out her honeymoon lingerie. It’s all quite cute.

There are some problems. The comic I got had some printing mistakes — in my case, several pages that were duplicated or assembled out of order. I don’t think I missed any of the story, but it made it more difficult to keep track of what was going on. And as far as characterization goes, I can’t see Dinah picking Wonder Woman as a bridesmaid, and I sure can’t see Wondy going along on the lingerie shopping spree and trying on lingerie.

Verdict: I think I’ll go with a thumbs up. It’s a very lightweight story, but there’s nothing wrong with lightweight (and light-hearted) stories.

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