Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spoiler Saturday--Birds Of Prey #10

I'm about to spoil the living hell out of Birds Of Prey #10, so if you don't wanna know, click away now and come back after you've read it...

Life is funny sometimes. I wrote a bunch about Black Canary, her powers and her origins earlier this week, and specifically noted that the nu52 was being unduly cryptic about both.

And then this happened, the very same week.

Earlier in the issue, Dinah took her sonic scream powers to new levels, not merely being a really loud noise, but...

...a fully functional, missile and explosion stopping force field.

And then, facing an uncrossable gorge, she takes it to yet another level:

Yes. Black Canary can now fly.

Aside from the obvious--

*You'll believe a canary can fly!
*Well, if Banshee can, than it's only reasonable...
*DC's Marvel fetish just reached whole new levels of copy-cattedness

--aside from that, the question each of us must answer for ourselves is this:

In the old 52, much was made of Dinah's fighting prowess, how she had made herself into one of the top unarmed combatants in the world, how she could step into a match with Lady Shiva and not be immediately dead. Her Canary Cry was there only as the occasional Get Out Of A Tight Jam Free Card.

But now, Dinah can project force fields and fly with her voice. (And, no doubt, soon they'll have her making solid sound constructs and controlling minds, stopped only by Vibranium...)

So the question is, does this diminish her character, by making those hard-fought for and long-admired physical fighting skills pretty much unnecessary? Does jumping her up 4 or 5 levels of superhuman power suddenly make her less of an appealing character, less of an "everywoman"? Is the special "thing" that made Black Canary what she was gone now??

Then again, for a large majority of her modern career, she already had one superpower, albeit one that was hard to control and kept getting lost and refound. Given that she already had one deus ex machina for writing her way out of corners, are a couple of new manifestations really so bad? Is this really any different than Sue Storm suddenly developing force fields?

I honestly don't know...or at least I haven't quite made up my mind about it. Any input from youse guys?


Fred said...

I only read a few of the nDCU issues of BOP... this post makes the title seem worth reading.
I know this is kinda off topic, but is this series worth reading even with the revamped Canary?

Anonymous said...

I guess it all depends on where this change in Black Canary originates.

If this is something Duane Swierczynski wanted to explore,then it may worth the ride.

If this is something editorial forced Swierczynski to shoehorn into the book, then we might have to look back fondly at the time at Roy Thomas's explanation of Black Canary's origin in JLA.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

@Fred, for what it's worth from my end, BoP was one of thye few nu52 I was looking fwd to. And I'm thinking of dropping it now. Not from this past issue, I just don't see the decent interaction between the characters anymore.

karl said...

The relationship/friendship between Black Canary and Barbara Gordon isnt what it used to be in this series. It just hasnt 'jelled' yet, if it ever will, that is.
Dinah's power...I suppose theyr trying ot do something a bit different this time around whatever the hell theyr doing!
I dont like this 'solid structure' sound thing tho.

snell said...

Fred--I'm on the fence on the title. I like Swierczynski's writing, and there have certainly been some interesting ideas, but as Wayne and karl say, something feels off about the book & team dynamics. The "writing for the trsdes" pacing doesn't help matters. I keep hoping for it to make a leap forward, and so far it hasn't...

karl--I was joking about the "solid structure bit," assuming that if they were going to rip of Banshee, why not go all the way and rip off Klaw? But that hasn't happened, and I'd be surprised if it did. Then again, a week ago I would have thought you were nuts if you said Canary was going to fly, so...

Daniel said...

I'm probably the wrong person to comment. I was against the "Canary Cry" from its first appearance in 1969.

notintheface said...

I think the feeling that something's "off" is caused in part by our lingering memories of the PRE-Flushpoint BOP and Gail Simone's work on it. Also, one of the main characters didn't even exist before the reboot.

I think this version is pretty strong in its own right, though. It was one of the positive DCnU portrayals of female characters that got overshadowed by the Red Hood/Catwoman/Sexed-up Amanda Waller negatives.

It's not without flaws, though.
Snell's right about the pacing. And I preferred Jesus Saiz's work here to Travel Foreman's, although the plant-monster was tailor-made for him.

It doesn't grab me the same way that, say, Dial H or Scott Snyder's Batman does, but it's still a good title.

Martin Gray said...

In the old days, the canary cry was a power that came due to crossing from one Earth to another. I liked that (see also Freedom Fighters). Of course, that's long since been waved away (that Roy Thomas nuttiness, again), so I suppose she could have all sorts of vocal powers now. Super-ventriloquism? Heavy (gravity effecting) breathing. Bah to the lot of it, just give her a scream that takes it out of her.

Michael May said...

It certainly changes her, but I don't think it diminishes her. It's just changing one set of powers for another.

I prefer Martial Arts Black Canary, so I don't like it, but it's just another example of corporate-owned comics trying to keep things fresh. It's frustrating, but it's completely in their nature.