The Black Canary.
Ed Benes, artist.
|First appearance||Flash Comics #86
|Created by||Robert Kanigher
|Alter ego||Dinah Lance (née Drake)|
|Team affiliations||Justice Society of America
Birds of Prey
Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
|Notable aliases||Dinah Drake, Dinah Laurel Lance, Dinah Drake Lance|
|Abilities||Expert in hand-to-hand combat, "Canary Cry", an ultrasonic scream; peak level of athleticism; exceptional martial artist, expert motorcycle rider.|
Black Canary is a superheroine appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Black Canary was created by the writer-artist team of Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino, and debuted in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947). One of DC's earliest superheroines, the Black Canary has featured on many of the company's flagship team-up titles, including both Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America. Since the late 1960s, the character has often been paired with the archer superhero Green Arrow professionally, romantically and the two were eventually married.
As introduced during the Golden Age of Comic Books, the Black Canary was the alter-ego of Dinah Drake, and took part in crime-fighting adventures alongside her love interest and eventual husband, Gotham City detective Larry Lance. The Black Canary did not possess superpowers, but was a hand-to-hand fighter who frequently posed as a criminal to covertly take down criminal organizations. She featured as a member of the Justice Society of America, the first superhero team to appear in comic books. Later stories, published during the Silver Age of Comic Books, depicted the Black Canary as a world-class martial artist with a superpower — the "Canary Cry" — a high powered sonic scream that could shatter objects and incapacitate enemies. DC Comics later adjusted its continuity to explain that Black Canary was in fact two characters, mother and daughter Dinah Drake and Dinah Laurel Lance, with stories since the Silver Age primarily focusing on the younger Black Canary and ascribing her superhuman abilities to a genetic mutation. In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its continuity, and in the process re-established Black Canary as a singular superpowered heroine, Dinah Lance (née Drake).
Black Canary is ranked as the 71st greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard. IGN placed Black Canary as the 81st greatest comic book hero of all time. She was ranked 26th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
- 1 Fictional character biography
- 2 Powers, abilities, and equipment
- 3 Other versions
- 3.1 JLA: The Nail
- 3.2 Kingdom Come
- 3.3 Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl and Batgirl
- 3.4 All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder
- 3.5 The Dark Knight Strikes Again
- 3.6 League of Justice
- 3.7 Justice
- 3.8 Earth-3
- 3.9 Earth-11
- 3.10 Superman/Batman
- 3.11 Batman/Doc Savage Special
- 3.12 Justice League: Generation Lost
- 4 In other media
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Fictional character biography
Dinah Drake first appeared in Flash Comics #86 (August 1947), as a supporting character in the "Johnny Thunder" feature written by Robert Kanigher and drawn by Carmine Infantino. Initially, she seemed to be a villain. Johnny Thunder was instantly infatuated with her and was reproached for this by his Thunderbolt. She was in fact infiltrating a criminal gang.
In Flash Comics #92 (February 1948), she was given her own anthology feature, "Black Canary", replacing the "Johnny Thunder" feature. The new series fleshed out Black Canary's backstory; in her real identity, Dinah Drake was a black-haired florist whose romantic interest was Larry Lance, a detective on the Gotham City Police Department. Black Canary first meets the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics #38 (December 1947-January 1948) and joins the group in All Star Comics #41 (June–July 1948).
Black Canary was revived along with the other Golden Age characters during the 1960s, and was shown as existing on the parallel world of Earth-Two, home of DC's Golden Age versions of its characters. It is revealed Dinah has married Larry Lance during the 1950s. Dinah takes part in various annual team-ups between the Justice Society and Earth-One's Justice League of America.
In a 1969 JLA-JSA team up against the rogue living star-creature Aquarius, who had banished all the inhabitants of Earth-2 to another dimension except for a JSA group, Larry Lance is killed while saving Dinah's life from an attack of energy. There is a brief funeral for him after which Aquarius is defeated. Out of grief, Canary decides to move to Earth-One to make a fresh start, where she joins the Justice League. Sometime afterwards, she begins dating her JLA colleague Green Arrow, and discovers she has somehow, possibly due to exposure to radiation, gained the ultrasonic scream later dubbed the Canary Cry.
Black Canary teamed with Batman five times in The Brave and the Bold and once with Superman in DC Comics Presents. Black Canary was a frequent guest-star in the "Green Arrow" backup feature in Action Comics and was herself one of the backup features in World's Finest Comics #244 (April–May 1977) to #256 (April–May 1979) when that title was in the Dollar Comics format. A detailed origin for the character was featured in DC Special Series #10 (April 1978). Upon the conclusion of the "Black Canary" feature's run in World's Finest Comics, the character continued to appear as a guest-star in the "Green Arrow" feature in that same title as well as in Detective Comics.
In Justice League of America #219 and #220 (October and November 1983), it is revealed this Black Canary is actually the daughter of the original Black Canary and her husband. Born in the 1950s, the infant is cursed by the Justice Society foe the Wizard with the "gift" of a devastating, yet uncontrollable, Canary Cry. Dinah asked her old friend Johnny Thunder to summon his Thunderbolt in hopes of a cure, but it was to no avail. Instead, the Thunderbolt keeps the child in suspended animation (aging all the while) in his native Thunderbolt dimension, until, the Lances hope, a way to cure or control her power can be found. Seeing his friends in pain, the Thunderbolt decides to erase all memory of the child, letting everyone think she has died.
After the battle with Aquarius, Dinah realizes she is dying from the radiation she was exposed to. She discusses possible solutions with the Thunderbolt and Superman of Earth-1. The three arrange to transfer Dinah's memories into the body of her now-adult daughter, still held in suspended animation, while not letting Dinah believe anything unusual has happened to her. This retcon was established to deal with the fact Black Canary had been active since the late 1940s and would therefore have had to been nearly 60 years old by that time.
Following the retroactive continuity change in 1983, Black Canary became two distinct characters, mother and daughter, named Dinah Drake Lance and Dinah Laurel Lance. The younger Dinah Lance would become the current Black Canary. Some references, notably those in James Robinson's Starman series, would attempt to distinguish the two Canaries further by referring to the first as 'Diana', but more recent accounts have confirmed 'Dinah' as the elder Canary's given name.
A miniseries by writer Greg Weisman and artist Mike Sekowsky was planned in 1984. The first issue of the series was pencilled, but the project was ultimately shelved due to the character being used in writer/artist Mike Grell's high profile Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters series. Elements from the ill-fated project were used for Weisman's DC Showcase: Green Arrow short film.
In post-Crisis continuity, Secret Origins #50 (August 1990) revealed the first Dinah had been trained by her father, Detective Richard Drake, and intended to follow in his footsteps on the Gotham City police. She was turned down by the force and her disillusioned father died of heart failure shortly thereafter. Dinah was determined to honor his memory and fight crime and corruption by whatever method possible. This led to her debut as a costumed vigilante; she would use her inheritance to open a florist shop as her day job.
The elder Dinah married her beau, private eye Larry Lance and maintained her florist business. In a Times Past-style story in Birds of Prey, Lance was an acquaintance of Jim Gordon, father to Barbara Gordon. A few years later, their daughter, named Dinah Laurel Lance, was born. In Birds of Prey #66 (June 2004), which is a flashback to a cold case investigated – but never solved – by the elder Dinah, Laurel was the name of a librarian that Dinah consulted during the case and later befriended.
Growing up, Dinah Lance was surrounded by her mother's friends in the disbanded JSA and looked to them as uncles and aunts. Dinah wished to become a costumed hero like her mother before her. Instead of encouraging the younger Dinah, her mother forbade it, thinking the world had grown into a darker, more dangerous place than when she herself fought crime, too dangerous for the younger Dinah to succeed.
The younger Dinah had her own "Canary Cry" – in this version, the result of a metagene not present in either parent – which unlike the Silver Age Black Canary she is fully able to control. With this weapon, the younger Dinah next sought out numerous fighters to help her hone her skills, including former JSA member Wildcat. Years of training and intense dedication paid off, and Dinah took on her mother's mantle, even though it was against the elder Dinah's wishes at first. She took an active role in the "Silver Age" of heroes, operating, like her mother before her, out of Gotham, while maintaining a day job in the family florist business.
In an early issue of Birds of Prey, writer Chuck Dixon established that Dinah had married at a very young age briefly before divorcing. Her ex-husband Craig Windrow showed up in a storyline needing her help but actually wanted her to rejoin him after he had stolen funds from the mob. This early marriage and ex-husband were not referred to again until the 2007 Black Canary limited series.
Shortly into the Justice League's history, she met Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). While Dinah could not stand him at first, they later became romantically involved despite the difference in their ages. In the Modern Age stories, Oliver is substantially older than Dinah, the reverse of the earlier depiction. Dinah remained a member of the League for roughly six years, including a brief stint with Justice League International (JLI), of which she was a founding member. It was during that time her mother died due to radiation poisoning she experienced during a battle with the villain Aquarius. Her mother's death affected Dinah deeply, and led her to accept her time in the JLA was over.
She moved to Seattle with Green Arrow after the breakup of the Justice League, and would open her own florist shop, named "Sherwood Florist".
For a brief period in the 1980s coinciding with her membership in the JLI, rather than her traditional skintight black outfit with fishnet stockings she wore a blue and black costume with a bird motif notably looser and less revealing than traditional female superhero garb. This change proved short-lived, and later artists restored her original look.
Birds of Prey
Around the time Dinah's life began to spiral out of control, the former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, was gravely injured by the Joker. Not one to give up easily, Barbara reestablished a crime-fighting career as Oracle, an information broker to the superhero community. After briefly working with the Suicide Squad, Barbara formed her own covert mission team. Barbara concluded that of all the superheroes, Dinah had the most potential and was most in need of direction. Consequently, Oracle asked Black Canary to become an operative.
Black Canary took to this role with great satisfaction. Feeling a new chapter in her life required a few new changes, Dinah decided to abandon the blonde wig, choosing to bleach her hair blonde. Her relationship with Oracle proved somewhat rocky at first, as her impulsive nature clashed with Oracle's tactical planning. As time passed they began to fully understand how to work together as a team and as friends. Later, when Oracle fled from the villain Blockbuster, Dinah came to her rescue and Dinah met Barbara Gordon face-to-face. This adventure led to them establishing an even stronger friendship.
Infinite Crisis produced a recreation of the Earth with a new timeline. It is revealed Wonder Woman was "once again" a founding member of the Justice League. In 52 Week 51, a back-up feature revealed Black Canary was present at the battle forming the League. The core of the League consisted of Black Canary, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), the Martian Manhunter, the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
The 2007 Black Canary miniseries established Black Canary and Green Arrow joined the Justice League at a time after it was founded, and they were tested by founding member Batman early on in their membership.
During the publication of the Infinite Crisis limited series, most DC Universe comic books skipped forward one year. Following the "One Year Later" jump, Dinah trades life experiences with Lady Shiva in hopes of softening the warrior, undertaking a harsh training regimen in an unidentified Vietnamese bidonville, or shantytown. The regimen replicates Shiva's early life and training; Shiva, meanwhile, assumes Dinah's role in Oracle's group and demands her associates call her the "Jade Canary".
During the events of Countdown, several series included tie-ins and run-ups to the wedding between Dinah and Ollie. The Black Canary Wedding Planner offers details about the preparations; Birds of Prey #109 depicts Dinah and Barbara discussing the event and Ollie in detail. Countdown: Justice League Wedding Special, and Justice League #13 deal with aspects of the wedding, particularly the bachelor and bachelorette parties. A major plot thread throughout these books, which ties in to the Piper and Trickster arc of Countdown, is that the Injustice League plans to attack the wedding.
Eventually, Dinah resigns her position as chairwoman of the JLA after the team's disastrous confrontation with the Shadow Cabinet. After learning that Ollie has started his own Justice League with Hal Jordan, Dinah confronts him when he arrives at the Watchtower to warn her about an impending attack on the world's superheroes. Prometheus arrives and attacks the team, severing Red Arrow's arm and defeating Dinah by maneuvering her into the path of an energy bolt fired by Mikaal Tomas. After Prometheus is defeated, he destroys Star City via a teleportation device. While searching for survivors, Dinah and Ollie discover the bloodied corpse of Roy's daughter Lian. Dinah is later seen at Roy's hospital bedside alongside Donna Troy, preparing to deliver the grim news about his daughter once he awakens from his coma.
During the events of Blackest Night, Dinah travels to Coast City to fight Nekron's army of Black Lanterns. Nekron reveals that he has the power to control all of the heroes who have died and been resurrected, including Ollie. Alongside Mia and Connor, Dinah tries to fight her husband, who has been transformed into a Black Lantern. Eventually, Ollie is able to regain control of his body long enough to deliberately miss a shot aimed at his wife, which then severs a hose containing liquid nitrogen. Dinah tells Connor to use the hose on Ollie, which he reluctantly does, freezing him solid. The three heroes then join the rest of the heroes in their battle.
Following Ollie's return to normal, it is discovered that he had secretly murdered Prometheus and left the body to rot in Prometheus' headquarters. After Barry Allen and Hal Jordan confront Ollie and Dinah with this revelation, Ollie goes on the run. Dinah joins Hal and Barry in searching the ruins of Star City for him, and eventually finds the archer scouring the city for one of the men who had worked for Prometheus. He easily defeats all three of them, leaving Dinah trapped in a specialized fluid designed to restrain her. After Green Arrow turns himself in for Prometheus' murder, Dinah visits him in his jail cell and comes to the realization the one thing he wants is to be left alone. She decides that their marriage is over and then removes her wedding ring, leaving it with Oliver. When the Green Arrow goes on trial for the murder of Prometheus, she does not attend his trial.
During the events of Brightest Day, Dinah returns to Gotham with the relaunch of Birds of Prey, with Gail Simone at the helm. In Birds of Prey #1 (July 2010) she is sent out to save a child, with Lady Blackhawk for company. Soon afterward, they receive a call from Oracle, and the team - including Huntress is reunited. They are immediately confronted by a new villainess calling herself White Canary, who supposedly harbors a deep-seated grudge against Dinah. White Canary uses her resources to expose Dinah's civilian identity to the public. After defeating and capturing White Canary (who is revealed to be the vengeful sister of the Twelve Brothers in Silk), Dinah learns that Lady Shiva is supposedly behind the attack on the Birds. Dinah and White Canary travel to Asia, and when the Birds arrive to find her a short time later, Dinah attacks them, now clad in White Canary's outfit.
The New 52
Following the events of Flashpoint as seen in The New 52, Dinah is a founding member of the Birds of Prey and recruits the team, starting with her old friend, Ev Crawford (aka Starling). Other members of the Birds of Prey are Katana, and Poison Ivy. Although reluctant at first to join the Canary's team, Batgirl becomes a regular addition to the cast by the fourth issue of the new series. Black Canary seems to be wanted for murder, but it is not yet clear if she was framed. Her maiden name is shown to be Drake, rather than Lance, thus revealing she was never married to Oliver Queen in this continuity and was based from the original version of the character. Black Canary joins Team 7 in a flashback. Black Canary joins the Justice League during the "Throne of Atlantis" crossover.
The Black Canary and Zatanna graphic novel Bloodspell written by Paul Dini and drawn by Joe Quinones was to be released in 2012 but was delayed until May 2014. The story centers around a 16-year-old Dinah's first meeting with Zatanna.
Powers, abilities, and equipment
The original Black Canary, Dinah Drake Lance, possesses no super-powers but is highly proficient in Judo, acting, and impersonation. Her costume consisted of a blond wig, fishnet stockings, pirate boots, bustier, and an unbuttoned jacket. Initially, she wore a domino mask as well but this was soon jettisoned. Black Canary soon joined the Justice Society of America, first helping them in All Star Comics #38 and joining in #41 after helping them when they have been hypnotized by the Injustice Society, but ceased being published along with the rest of the team in 1951.
The second Black Canary, Dinah Laurel Lance, possesses a "Canary Cry" – a high-pitched, sonic scream which she can deploy to shatter objects and incapacitate her opponents. Analyzing her capabilities, Dr. Mid-Nite found that she can reach ultrasonic frequencies outside the audible spectrum which render other beings unconscious. The cry has been shown to be completely useless when Dinah's mouth is covered with a gag, piece of tape, or any other means of forcing her mouth closed. When Canary is close enough she can unleash her cry to literally destroy an opponent but this is an absolute last resort. She has been able to convert her sonic powers into brainwave form, resulting in the ability to read others' minds.
Dinah states that her Canary Cry is able to inflict serious damage to beings even as durable as Wonder Woman (she has used this ability to overpower Giganta, blow Amazo's head off, and managed to overscream Silver Banshee). Moreover, in JLA/JSA: Vice and Virtue it is shown that Dinah is capable of creating sonic blasts and could generate an ultrasonic attack, which renders everyone within an ear range unconscious; this specific use of the Canary Cry requires the full capacity of Dinah's lungs. Black Canary rarely utilizes her metahuman abilities during fights, preferring to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Lately, Dinah uses the Canary Cry only against considerably more powerful metahuman opponents. Black Canary is one of the very few characters who chooses not to take advantage of their superpowers, preferring physical skill over inborn abilities. During times of extreme stress, Canary has displayed the ability to create sonic vibrations capable of destroying whatever was obstructing her mouth. Black Canary lost the Cry during the Green Arrow series. Although she fought crime without it for several years, she regained it after being immersed in a Lazarus Pit during her time with the Birds of Prey. Following DC's company-wide reboot in 2011, in Birds of Prey #10 (2012), Black Canary glides across a gorge by rebounding on sonic waves. She explains that she has been holding back ever since her husband died. In subsequent issues, she is shown using the Canary Cry to propel herself large distances in the air. In the comic "Injustice: Gods among us" she utilized the cry to overpower Superman.
Dinah Lance is extremely proficient in the various styles of martial arts, and is among the world's best fighters (in Birds of Prey #125, Oracle suggests that Dinah could outfight even Batman). Moreover, Dinah possesses uncanny reflexes, on many occasions showing the ability to catch or destroy arrows in flight. Dinah is an expert motorcycle rider.
JLA: The Nail
In JLA: The Nail, Black Canary leads the Outsiders. She forms the team after Oliver Queen is crippled at the hands of Amazo. They break up after Queen admits to feeling like the team's mascot. It is revealed that in a prior battle Canary's sonic scream, coupled with Black Lightning's blasts, vaporized Brainiac.
In the DC Elseworlds comic Kingdom Come, Black Canary sides with Batman and acts as one of his generals together with her husband Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). In this future world, the longtime romantic partners have a daughter (Olivia Queen), who operates under the name Black Canary.
Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl and Batgirl
In another DC Elseworld's comic; Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Black Canary is depicted as an African American woman who makes a brief appearance in the story.
All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder
Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin, drawn by Jim Lee, features a character based on Black Canary. Here, she is an unnamed bartender in a seedy gin joint called "Black Canary". Her costume is actually just a uniform she wore for her job. She is offended by the lewd flirtation of the bar's male patrons (one of which looks exactly like Oliver Queen/Green Arrow). Deciding that she has finally had enough, Black Canary beats up all of the male patrons in the bar. When her boss asks her what got into her, she simply replies "Batman," assaults him, and then leaves the scene on a motorcycle stolen from one of the men she has just battered. She later shows up at the docks to bust up a meeting between some gangsters. She takes some out but the men outnumber her and trap her behind some crates. Batman sees her and decides to help her out. He lights a molotov cocktail and sets the gangsters on fire. Black Canary thanks him for saving her and then the two have sex. After that, Batman gives her a lift home in the Batmobile. Later, she goes back to the bar where all the men lay on the floor unconscious. She lights the money she stole on fire and tosses it, setting the whole place on fire. This version of Black Canary is an immigrant from County Monaghan, Ireland. In this continuity, Black Canary wears a mask, as the Golden Age version did briefly.
The Dark Knight Strikes Again
In Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again a Black Canary is a member of the pop music trio "The Superchix". She is depicted as a dumb blonde of unspecified age. She is a copycat of the original. Miller claims these stories are both in his so-called "Dark Knight Universe".
League of Justice
She is portrayed as a powerful goddess-like figure in League of Justice, a Lord of the Rings fairy tale-type Elseworlds story. In this story, she seemed to have many names, most commonly called 'The Lady of the birds'. In a play on her famous hair color switches, the character has hair that is blonde on one side and black on the other.
In the new 52 Multiverse, there is another African-American Black Canary on Earth-3 who is a member of the Crime Society. In JLA: Earth 2, there is an evil counterpart of Black Canary called "White Cat".
Batman/Doc Savage Special
An alternate Black Canary will be featured in the Batman/Doc Savage Special. She will be written in her late teens as the daughter of a former cop who lives with her parents in Florist Shop in Gotham City's East End. Her parents hold high hopes for her and consider her above most other teenagers. She is respectful to them, but is secretly inspired and enamored by the adventures of Doc Savage and protects her neighborhood. This version of Dinah Drake wears a mini-skirt, boots, fishnets, a black leather jacket, and makeup reminiscent of a bird around her eyes. She is either of Korean, Indian, or Middle Eastern descent.
Justice League: Generation Lost
An African-American version of Black Canary is shown as part of a future Justice League in Justice League: Generation Lost. She is stated as being a descendant of Black Canary's teammates, Hawk and Dove, and is shown sporting a costume that draws elements from the outfits of both Hawk and her original namesake.
In other media
Though not of the same profile as DC's flagship characters Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Black Canary has appeared extensively in live action and animated adaptations of DC properties over the years, as well as in video games based on the comic books.
- Her first live action depiction was in 1979 when Danulta Wesley portrayed the character in both of NBC's Legends of the Superheroes specials.
- The character was adapted again for the short-lived 2002 television series Birds of Prey, an adaptation of the Birds of Prey comic book. In a fairly loose adaptation of the comic book, the show reinvented Dinah Lance as Dinah Redmond (Rachel Skarsten), a teenage runaway with psychic abilities. It later introduced her mother Carolyn Lance (Lori Loughlin) in one episode, depicting her more traditionally as a superheroine known as Black Canary possessed of a supersonic Canary Cry.
- In 2008, the television series Smallville, which depicts the adventures of a young Superman and features Green Arrow as a main character, introduced the Black Canary (Alaina Huffman) as an assassin who is recruited to the Green Arrow's team of superheroes. She went on to appear in a number of episodes, including several season premieres and finales.
- The 2012 Green Arrow television series Arrow features Katie Cassidy as the character Dinah Laurel Lance, an attorney who is the ex-girlfriend of Oliver Queen. Her mother (Alex Kingston) is also named Dinah Lance. In the second season, Laurel's sister, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz)[Note 1] appears in Starling City as the Canary. Oliver had been cheating on Laurel with Sara aboard the Queen's Gambit when it capsized and stranded him on the island Lian Yu. He later discovers she was alive during his time on the island, having been saved by Professor Ivo (Dylan Neal). After being separated from Oliver again during his battle with Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), she is found by Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) and is trained by the League of Assassins at Nanda Parbat. She eventually escapes and goes into hiding from Nyssa's father and the League's leader, Ra's al Ghul (Matthew Nable). She has a sidekick named Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and uses a hand-held sonic boom device and a pair of batons that combine into a bō staff. Sara departs Starling City in the second season finale, handing her Canary jacket to her sister, Laurel. Sara returns in the third season premiere for unspecified reasons, helping Oliver stop a bomb threat, but is shot with three arrows by an unseen assailant, falls off the roof and dies in Laurel's arms. Grief-stricken and vengeful, after wrongfully accusing Simon Lacroix (Matt Ward) of murdering Sara and nearly shooting him, a disastrous amateurish attempt in vigilantism and Oliver's refusal of training her, Laurel seeks former boxer/vigilante Ted Grant's (J.R. Ramirez) help with combat training, seeking to takeover the Canary mantle in hopes of avenging her sister's murder in the guise. She and Oliver eventually learn that there are two suspects: Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), whom Sara was tracking for the League of Assassins prior to her death, and Ra's al Ghul, who has never acknowledged Sara officially as a member of the League.
Animated depictions of the character have largely been faithful to the source material. The Dinah Drake version of the character is the basis of a character who appears in the Justice League episode "Legends" (2002), voiced by Jennifer Hale.
The Dinah Laurel Lance version (voiced by Morena Baccarin) appears with increasing prominence in the show's sequel Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006), in which she is a member of the Justice League. She develops a romantic relationship with Green Arrow (Kin Shriner) and a loose, begrudging partnership with the Huntress (Amy Acker) over the course of the series.
The show Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008–2011) featured Black Canary (voice of Grey DeLisle) in numerous episodes, as well as the Golden Age Black Canary. In one episode she forms the Bird of Prey alongside Catwoman (Nika Futterman) and Huntress (Tara Strong), and the trio perform a musical number.
The animated series Young Justice (2010–2013) features Black Canary, voiced by Vanessa Marshall, as a member of the Justice League and the combat trainer for the show's team of teenage superheroes. She is in a relationship with Green Arrow and has close links to his family of related superheroes. Both classic and modern age versions of the character are featured in several DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
In DC Universe Online, Black Canary is a non-playable character voiced by Kelley Huston.
Black Canary appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes voiced by Kari Wahlgren.
Black Canary appears in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
- Jacqueline MacInnes Wood portrays Sara in the series' pilot and in still photography in season one, before the casting of Lotz.
- "Wizard's top 200 characters". Wizard. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014.
- "#81 Black Canary". IGN. Archived from the original on July 15, 2013.
- Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 24. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
- Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Debuting as a supporting character in a six-page Johnny Thunder feature written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Carmine Infantino, Dinah Drake [the Black Canary] was originally presented as a villain."
- Daniels, Les (1995). "The Also-Rans: Trapped in the Back of the Book". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch Press. p. 86. ISBN 0821220764. "[Carmine] Infantino and writer Robert Kanigher were evidently tired of Johnny Thunder's comical antics and eager to promote the Black Canary, who in February 1948 bumped Johnny from both Flash Comics and the Justice Society stories in All Star Comics."
- Markstein, Don (2006). "The Black Canary". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014.
- Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 57: "In a sign of the character's growing popularity, Black Canary made her first appearance outside of Flash Comics in a feature by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Alex Toth...By the story's end, Black Canary was considered for JSA membership but wouldn't officially join until All Star Comics #41."
- Thomas, Roy (2000). "The Golden Age of the Justice Society". All-Star Companion Volume 1. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 150–151. ISBN 1-893905-055.
- O'Neil, Dennis (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Greene, Sid (i). "Where Death Fears to Tread" Justice League of America 74 (September 1969)
- McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 135: "November  saw Black Canary both relocate and develop her 'canary cry'...The crime-fighting beauty at the behest of writer Denny O'Neil and artist Dick Dillin, left the JSA on Earth-2 to join the JLA on Earth-1."
- Haney, Bob (w), Cardy, Nick (p), Cardy, Nick (i). "A Cold Corpse for the Collector" The Brave and the Bold 91 (August–September 1970)
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- Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "The 3-Million Dollar Sky" The Brave and the Bold 107 (June–July 1973)
- Haney, Bob (w), Aparo, Jim (p), Aparo, Jim (i). "Pay -- or Die!" The Brave and the Bold 141 (May–June 1978)
- Fleisher, Michael (w), Giordano, Dick (p), Austin, Terry (i). "Requiem for 4 Canaries!" The Brave and the Bold 166 (September 1980)
- Conway, Gerry (w), Swan, Curt (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "A Dream of Demons!" DC Comics Presents 30 (February 1981)
- Kingman, Jim (May 2013). "The Ballad of Ollie and Dinah". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (64): 10–21.
- Romero, Max (July 2012). "I'll Buy That For a Dollar! DC Comics' Dollar Comics". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (57): 39–41.
- Conway, Gerry (w), Vosburg, Mike (p), Austin, Terry (i). "The Canary Is a Bird of Prey" DC Special Series 10 (April 1978)
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- JSA Fact File: Black Canary I
- Earth-2 Black Canary at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Earth-1 Black Canary at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Cosmic Teams: Black Canary I & II