Can the 'Arrow'-Verse Ever Write the Black Canary as a Real Hero?
Can the 'Arrow'-Verse Ever Write the Black Canary as a Real Hero?
Jay Ruymann
Jay Ruymann
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Over the six years of the Arrow-verse's adventures on The CW, we've seen countless heroes, villains and numerous others (who can't be easily classified as good or evil) with some special ability or another. However, we've seen the downside to having so many heroes throughout the universe -- they're not utilized and they're even less powerful than their comic book counterparts for the sole reason of never overshadowing the protagonist(s) of whatever series they're on. It's a real problem in this universe that other heroes are written so poorly, but none have been downgraded more than the Black Canary.


Black Canary on Arrow

The Black Canary, in every form, is probably the biggest problem the writers of Arrow have faced. Somehow they've failed to establish their female characters so spectacularly that they killed off two holders of the Canary moniker (only one came back to life after fan outrage), and the last has come in out of nowhere with no story to back up her journey.

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Dinah Drake is living out what should have been Laurel's legacy because the writers couldn't figure out (or didn't want to figure out) how to turn Laurel into the vigilante she should have always been. In order for the Green Arrow to stand out, the Black Canary, who is arguably more powerful than he is in the comics, has always been completely sidelined. Laurel's story failed because the writers were afraid of her taking on the vigilante lifestyle and excelling as her comic counterpart always has, which would have made people think Oliver was weak.

The writer have always said they didn't enjoy writing courtroom and law enforcement scenes on the show, which is a big reason Laurel Lance was killed off. Her day job as an Assistant District Attorney -- which the writers wrote in directly for her and didn't pull from the comics -- hampered what the writers wanted to do with her.

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The writers never knew how to write the Black Canary, though, and it shows. There was no mention of the Canary in season 1, but because fans were so passionate about the hero, they introduced her in season 2, but through their own original character: Sara Lance. They never knew how to truly get Laurel's story to head down that path, as we saw in season 3, and the only reason Laurel ever really got the Black Canary title was because of fan outrage. This doesn't discredit her journey, but there was never a plan in place for her to because a vigilante and it showed.

Then, the writers killed Laurel and brought in Dinah Drake, another original character that they pulled a name from the comics to create. Dinah is everything Laurel should have, and could have been, but the writers weren't creative enough to write an arc for Laurel that would get her to the point where they'd enjoy writing her stories. Really, the only reason Laurel failed as the Black Canary and died is because of the writers' lack of creativity and honor to the stories.

How to Make the Black Canary the Hero She Should Be

With Dinah, the Black Canary's career as a Star City Police Lieutenant opens up many doors. She should be skilled enough to pursue justice on her own, and what better way than to go after those her day job wasn't able to prosecute?

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Dinah should leave town, while still carrying the Black Canary title, and find a life in another city where she's the only vigilante in town, and she should fight crime there. Under The CW's Green Arrow, the Black Canary will always be overshadowed because they'll always make their main protagonist the strongest hero. Despite the fact that Black Canary could take Oliver in the comics, it'll never be like that in the show because the writers from every DCTV series do not know how to make the other heroes in the universe strong. It's not just Black Canary who suffers from this problem. Kid Flash, Citizen Steel, Killer Frost and other heroes are so strong in the comics, but have been weakened in the Arrow-verse to not overshadow the main heroes.

The Black Canary should have been treated like a hero from the start, and she didn't need to get the focus Oliver, Felicity and Diggle always have. Even with Dinah, the Black Canary is a hero who can go off on her own to other cities and fight crime, evolve and return when her help is needed. She's not a sidekick; she's a hero, but she's been regulated to a lesser sidekick to keep Oliver as the "strongest and most capable" hero.

What do you think? Does the DCTV universe have a problem with writing other heroes? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Arrow returns in 2018 on The CW. Like our Arrow Facebook page for news and updates.

(Image courtesy of The CW)