- For other versions, See: Black Canary.
Dinah Lance was born into a family of crime fighters: her father Larry Lance, was a police officer and her mother was the original Black Canary.
When Dinah was nineteen, she decided to become a crime-fighter, taking on her mother's costume and identity as the Black Canary. Due to a curse placed upon her at childhood by the Wizard, Dinah developed a 'Canary Cry'.
Shortly after doing so, Dinah became a founding member of the Justice League of America. Dinah recommended the name in remembrance of the team her mother was part of: the Justice Society of America. It was during this time Dinah first met Green Arrow (Ollie Queen).
Black Canary worked with the JLA for many years. Her friendship with Oliver soon blossomed into a romance. When Oliver left the JLA and moved to Star City to work on his own, she soon followed him. She continued to work solo and with the JLA until Green Arrow decided to settle down in Seattle.
Lady in Waiting
Ollie and Dinah set up a shop, "Sherwood Florist", as well as continuing to fight crime. Ollie was having something of a midlife crisis, however, just as he was about to turn 43. He wanted to marry Dinah and have a real family with real children of his own (he loved Roy, his ward, and Roy's daughter Lian but wanted natural children). Dinah turned down the idea, citing that their lives were too dangerous. During this time Dinah was kidnapped by a drug dealer she was investigating. She was brutally tortured, causing her to lose her 'Canary Cry' and rendering her incapable of having a child. Contrary to popular rumors, she was not raped (as stated by Mike Grell). Ollie killed the man who tortured her, and that act lead to a turning point in the life of the Emerald Archer.
When Dinah came out of the hospital, she was still emotionally traumatized by the incident. Ollie was with her as she entered counselling. Needless to say, she was not going out fighting crime during the first few weeks after leaving the hospital. Ironically enough, it was when she stepped up to stop some muggers on a bus (taking a few hits in the process) she felt back to her old self, knowing that her biggest fear was that she would not be able to fight back anymore, and that fear was gone. She and Ollie were closer than ever.
She continued to fight crime off and on, eventually breaking up with Ollie, feeling he would never commit to her completely.
She was shocked when Connor Hawke, Oliver's son and the new Green Arrow, told her Oliver had died over Metropolis while fighting some eco-terrorists.
Dinah was contacted by Oracle (Barbara Gordon) to work in Gotham, which she accepted. Operating alongside notable female adventurers such as the Huntress, Gypsy and Lady Blackhawk, Dinah became the backbone of Oracle's Birds of Prey. After a battle with Ra's al Ghul, she took a dip in the Lazarus Pit at Oracle's urging. Doing so healed her injuries and restored her Canary Cry.A short time later, Dinah bowed out of the JSA when she discovered that Oliver Queen had come back to life. She traveled to Star City where the two former lovers were happily reunited. Their renewed relationship was short-lived however, as Dinah feared that Ollie might try to take advantage of his young female ward, Mia Dearden. Dinah left Star City and returned to Metropolis where she continued to function with the Birds of Prey.
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 that her associates call her the "Jade Canary".
When Dinah realizes following Lady Shiva's path will require her to fundamentally change who she is as a person, she ends the training and returns to the United States. She brings with her a little girl, Sin, who also had begun the harsh grooming process to be Lady Shiva's successor (Birds of Prey #95; the now resurrected Oliver Queen uses his connections to allow Sin to immigrate into the country). Dinah hopes to balance her duties as a superhero with the responsibilities of being a surrogate mother/sister to the child.
In Birds of Prey #99 Dinah informs Oracle that she is quitting the team, having decided to devote herself to raising Sin. Issue #100 shows Dinah and Sin leaving Metropolis. It is hinted that their final destination is Star City; Dinah jokingly tells Sin that she can rip out Ollie's beard if he isn't nice to her.
After leaving the Birds of Prey, Black Canary joins with Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Red Arrow (Roy Harper) on a mission to locate the Red Tornado's body, (stolen by his creator and Solomon Grundy). The three heroes join forces with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Black Lightning, and Vixen to defeat Amazo.
The assembled heroes re-form the Justice League of America; Dinah is made the Chairwoman, due to her strong abilities and strategic mind. The team's first mission with Dinah as leader sees the JLA and JSA discover that members of the Legion of Super-Heroes (a team that lives in the 31st Century) have been located in the 21st Century.
Dinah eventually returned to Star City to aid Oliver, Connor and Mia against Roadblock and Merlin. During the course of their mission, Dinah rekindled her relationship with Oliver yet again, feeling that he had truly changed and that all the parts of him that she hated seemed to be gone. Oliver admitted to Dinah that many of the changes he made over the last year were due in most part for her, because he wanted to be a better man. As the battle concluded, Oliver at last proposed to Dinah. Dinah however, did not give him an answer right away.
Shortly thereafter, Ollie and Speedy helped Black Canary when Merlyn abducted Canary's "daughter" Sin. To save Sin's life, Ollie was forced to fake the young girl's death, keeping the knowledge of the plan between himself and Mia, even at the risk of losing Dinah forever. After Sin was placed into safekeeping, Ollie told Dinah what he had done. Recognizing that he was willing to sacrifice his own happiness to save a life, Dinah finally agreed to marry him.
After a great deal of compromise and strife, Dinah and Ollie agreed to get married inside the Secret Sanctuary, the original cave headquarters of the Justice League of America. Wedding guests included nearly everyone within the super-hero community who were asked to attend the ceremony in-costume. The wedding was interrupted by a phalanx of super-villains who attempted to take out as many heroes as possible in one fell swoop. Nearly all of the villains were apprehended except for Deathstroke who managed to escape. Despite the interruption, the ceremony concluded and Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen were married.
The New 52
In the Post-Flashpoint continuity, Dinah has reformed the Birds of Prey and taken over leadership from Barbara Gordon, though Gordon as Batgirl is still a part-time member. Her team consists of Poison Ivy, Katana, Starling, and Batgirl. The group is currently dealing with a mysterious organization led by a man called Choke who has skilled powers of persuasion and mind control. It is implied that Canary is one of the many people under Choke's control after she sends Starling into an ambush by Choke's men.
Powers and Abilities
Canary Cry: Possesses a metagene that gives her a potent sonic attack, able to damage and stun foes or objects. Her scream is able to shatter metal. Possesses an incredible level over her vocal cords. This enables her to mimic sounds and generate any sound she desires even developing several abilities.
Disruption: Causes an incredible amount damage to non-living targets, and a remarkable amount of damage to living targets, stuns people in an entire area.
Sound Disruption: Remarkable ability to disrupt sound and sonic powers. Induce sleep
Martial Arts Master: She is one of the most skilled martial artists on the planet. She has also been trained by Wildcat, who is formerly the Heavyweight Champion of the World, in the art of Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira, Krav Maga, and Hapkido. She has also been trained in Dragon Style Kung Fu and pressure point fighting by Richard Dragon. Thanks to Wonder Woman, Dinah has been trained in Amazon martial arts, but is strictly a novice in that kind of fighting style. Other styles she's shown skill in include Savate, Judo, Aikido, Jujitsu, Wing Chun, and Tae Kwon Do.
Master Tactician and Strategist: Dinah is also considered a strong leader and strategic thinker, which has led to her being made Chairwoman of the latest incarnation of the JLA.
Harmonica Player: Though not a useful skill in battle, it is a skill nonetheless that she uses to strengthen her breathing and vocal cords. This is a form of training for her Canary Cry.
Equipment: Body Armor, Radio Earring (allows her to stay in contact with Oracle) Transportation: Motorcycle Weapons: Dinah is skilled in the use of most weapons.
Behind the scenes
Dinah now bleaches her hair instead of wearing a blonde wig.
In other media
- In 1979, Black Canary appeared in two television specials Legends of the Superheroes, where she was portrayed by Danuta Wesley.
- Black Canary appears in the series Birds of Prey, portrayed by Rachel Skarsten. She is a member of the team, working with Huntress and Oracle) who acted as the shows Canaries.
- Dinah Lance appeared in Justice League Unlimited, where she was voiced by Morena Baccarin.
- In Smallville, Dinah Lance is portrayed by Alaina Huffman.
- Black Canary appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by Grey DeLisle.
- Black Canary appears in Young Justice. She is assigned by Batman to be the team's trainer.
- In the CW series Arrow, Dinah Laurel Lance appears as a main character, portrayed by Katie Cassidy. She is a former girlfriend of Oliver Queen and legal attorney, initially working with "the Hood/Arrow" to convict criminals. Laurel also has a sister called Sara, who operates as the Canary in the second season. She becomes the Black Canary in the third season after Sara is murdered. Laurel operates as a vigilante until the fourth season, where she murdered by Damian Darhk.
- Another version from Earth-2 called "Black Siren" also appears, also portrayed by Cassidy. She initially serves as an antagonist, though later reforms and takes over the mantle until the series conclusion.
- In the DCEU film Birds of Prey, Black Canary is one of the main protagonists and is portrayed by Jurnee Smollett-Bell. Her mother was an ally of the GCPD who shared her superpowers but was killed in the line of duty, resulting in Black Canary hating the GCPD. She later became a singer at Black Mask's club and a founding member of the Birds of Prey.