Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Oh Dinah!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh Dinah!

Didn't you used to be competent? It is no mistake to say that I haven't been much enthralled with the latest depictions of the Black Canary, both in her own book, Green Arrow/Black Canary, and in the Justice League. So, just for shits and grins, I picked up my copy of Birds of Prey: Perfect Pitch, that ocllects the issues of #86-90, and #92-95, by Gail Simone and various artists...and they are AWESOME!

I rather miss Dinah being awesome.

Lately, she seems to have been portrayed as lacking in the skills to use her own powers, weak, incompetent, and shrewish. Whenever she's in a bad mood, she beats up Ollie. Granted, I can imagine that living with Oliver COULD be incredibly annoying, but still...! In the Justice League, despite being the Leader, she is constantly second-guessed and undermined by the other members of the club. She whines, she stomps her little feet, and then goes off to yell at the hapless remaining members, which seems a bit unfair.

When Gail was writing her, she took the time and trouble to improve her fighting skills to a frightening degree of perfection. She even made a deal with Shiva, for Heaven's sake. She managed to take out an entire army of thugs led by Vietnamese Warlords...by herself. She didn't need Ollie to come and rescue her. She didn't need the Justice League to come and help out. She understood her own powers and skills and realized that she was capable of killing just about anybody with only her index finger.

"No matter how joyous and loving a life you choose to live...that's always there, the worm in the apple. Shake hands with a new person, take note of their nerve clusters and pressure points. Go out with friends, knowing how easiy you could knock them all senseless...You can't compartmentalize a lifetime of learning where to place your fist, just because you might be in polite company..."

Contrast that bit of self-awareness, that intimate knowledge of her own ablilities, with the careless and ill-tempered treatment of her own husband, and it makes no sense. Black Canary, of ALL people should be the very LAST person to get in a snit and start shoving people. ANY people, much less her own husband, and presumably, True Love.

Black Canary can be extraordinarily dangerous, and it doesn't make the rest of the Justice League look particularly smart to go around disrespecting her at every turn either. This is why, I've been coming so close to dropping her book, because I simply cannot believe that Dinah is such an idiot, that she can't control her own Canary Cry, or that she doesn't carry pick-locks, or that she couldn't have taken out Cupid in about 2.3 seconds...without even mussing up her hair.

THIS is how Dinah is supposed to be portrayed.


As a genuine Bad-Ass.

Maybe some day, the other writers will remember this, and go back to portraying her as she is.


At 4:49 PM, Anonymous wik said...

I seriously miss the way Dinah was portrayed in the old Birds of Prey run... she was/is a fierce warrior in the guise of a glamourous model, but the warrior side of her always came first. She had been acknowledged as having the fighting chops to take on Batman, and I dare say she could even have matched Shiva by the time she returned from her 'Shiva training' [I will be slated for this, but when Prometheus mentioned 2 fighters being better than Shiva, I secretly hoped she had been updated to be better than Shiva. Still do].
However, ever since that run, she has been made to act as a mere supporting character to Green Arrow in their series. At least Judd Winick used her skills and temperament to show what she could do, but after he left the title they have made her a perennial damsel in distress who has no idea how to do anything with her skills (and yes, the 'fight' with Cupid annoyed me- 3 years ago that fight would have been over sooner than Cupid could even think 'Uh oh...'). As for JLA, they made her the chairperson to weak to command any respect, so weak that Hal openly dissed her leadership skills while breaking off to run away with Ollie and start up another Justice League. And now they intend to take her series with Ollie and make it a Green Arrow series with Dinah as a backup feature... someone please let Gail Simone or Chuck Dixon handle writing duties for Dinah as long as they are around!
[sorry for the long post... this is nothing compared to the rant I want to have about this topic]

At 7:59 PM, Blogger ShellyS said...

What really bugs me, beyond the incompetence angle, is that when she is being shown as strong, it's by having her slug her husband. What the hell is that about?

We've really been spoiled by her run in BoP. I miss those days.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and presumably, True LoveBabs is gonna be pissssssssssssed.

At 10:47 PM, Blogger Garnet said...

Tell me you've flayed the GA/BC cover art on some other post, Sally. It's just ... not even preposterous anatomy of an almost standard sort, but something well beyond, where even 11-year-olds picking it up would think something was off with BC's figure. Do they just let anyone into this business?

At 6:01 AM, Blogger Saranga said...

Greg Rucka would write a good Dinah.

I really hope she'll be given decent treatment in the back up story. Is it gonna be by the same writer does anyone know?

At 1:25 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Greg Rucka would indeed write a good Dinah. I don't know who is going to be handling the backup feature's writing. At this point, I am even becoming a tad nostalgic for Winick,and that's something I thought I would NEVER say.

The cover art has indeed been outrageous. I'm rather surprised, because I think it is by Ladronn, and he's usually pretty good. The breasts however, have just been out of control.

I feel like Walter Matthau in that movie..."put them back, put them back!"

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss Dinah in the pre-Crisis JLA, when it was outright acknowledged both in narrative and by the characters that she was a match for Batman thankyouverymuch, and when everyone (especially Ollie) were throwing snits and leaving for issues at a time, she was constantly the voice of reason. She was awesome in Birds of Prey, but she's always been awesome. Until now

At 7:47 PM, Blogger notintheface said...

I bet Peter Tomasi would also write a great Canary.


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