Download Detective Comics #549
Being the Black Canary is a family tradition. The senior Black Canary was first seen in DC's Flash Comics #86 (August 1947). She also became a member of the Justice Society of America. The first version of the character was created by Robert Kanigher and artist Carmine Infantino. She originally appeared as a mystery woman guest in Johnny Thunder, where she was billed as "the most fascinating crook of all time." The hapless Johnny fell in love with her, little realizing that she would replace him from #92 onward.
By that time readers learned that she was actually dark-haired Dinah Drake, operator of a florist shop. By donning a long blonde wig, a low-cut satin costume, and black net stockings, she now became not a crook but a crimebuster. In the outfit she looked very much like a high-class cocktail waitress. In her The Great Woman Superheroes, Trina Robbins comments that "her blonde wig, fishnet tights, and tight bolero jacket made up one of the more impractical getups in comics." Teamed with the Black Canary, though originally unaware of her dual identity, was a tough private eye with the untough name of Larry Lance.
The Canary remained in Flash until its final issue (February 1949). She started guesting in All Star Comics in #38 and was installed as a full-fledged member of the JSA in #41, replacing the unfortunate Johnny Thunder. She held on until the last issue in 1951. The Black Canary returned in Justice League of America #21, and in the early 1960s was eventually initiated into the JLA. Superman referred to her as "the prettiest member of the group." She met the Green Arrow at one of the group's meetings and he became, according to official DC history, "her lover and business partner."
From the late 1960s she appeared with the archer in many of his magazine appearances. "By now, the passage of time and the pressure of continuity have caused an amoeba-like split in the persona of our hero," editor Mike Gold pointed out in the 1991-1992 Black Canary miniseries. "It was determined that the Black Canary of the post-World War II period was the mother of the present Black Canary. . . The older version died several years ago." The current Canary's father was private eye Larry Lance.
She continued to appear now and then in miniseries. In the one-shot that introduced the Birds of Prey title in 1996, she wore a more sensible getup that didn't include either wig or fishnets. However, by the time Birds of Prey became a monthly series, the net stockings were back.
Script: Alan Moore
Pencils: Klaus Janson
Inks: Klaus Janson
- in Across the Universe: The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore (DC, 2003 series) #nn
- in DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore (DC, 2006 series) #nn
- in Green Arrow / Black Canary: For Better or for Worse (DC, 2007 series) #[nn]
Click here to read the conclusion.