A Jurnee Smollett-Bell Fan’s Guide To D.C.’s Black Canary

Overall, the DC Cinematic Universe and its television counterparts are not as good as Marvel’s. Let’s keep it a buck here. They’re not as well-casted, well-directed, well-written or as aesthetically pleasing as those offered by their counterpart.

Though this most recent casting certainly will not sway the pendulum in the other direction all by itself, it certainly is a good look. Yes, you’ve likely heard that actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell has been selected to star as Black Canary in the upcoming film Birds oF Prey, also starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Harley Quinn.

Smollett-Bell, who showed the full range of her ever-growing acting chops in Underground, and everything she has appeared in since, is an interesting selection, indeed. A recent trend of racial reimagining of many characters who were at one time written as Caucasian to a person of color has been causing intermittent explosions across social media. 

Comic Book Convo: A World Where Only Black People Have Superpowers

One of the simplest forms of kickstarting one’s writing process is to ask a basic question, then answer it by way of storytelling. For Kwanza Osajyefo, the question was simple: In a world that already fears and hates them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

However, the same critics seldom call out television reimaginings of stories based on true events that do the same thing, but in reverse order; with real-life people of color reimagined as white.

Those who are unfamiliar with the Black Canary aka Dinah Drake may have only caught glimpses of the CW version of the character as portrayed by Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. But, no disrespect intended, the true Black Canary is a powerhouse the likes of which the CW version doesn’t come close to portraying.

Black Canary first made her debut in Flash Comics #86 in August 1947. Dinah Drake was initially depicted as a good hand-to-hand combatant with no superpowers, but later was given the “Canary Cry”, a high pitched sonic scream that levels Kryptonians and most other high power beings.

Attacks On Starfire Actress Anna Diop Is Just More Cowardly Racism

Like, can black people live? Can we just live? It seems as if simply being black is reason enough for the harshest treatment. Being black and female doubles the disdain. They say that beauty is subjective and “in the eye of the beholder”, but when the beholder views things through the lens of white supremacy, no critique can be taken at face value.

When DC’s Golden Age characters of the 50s were revived in the 60s it was retroactively stated that they, including Black Canary, lived on Earth-2 in a parallel dimension.  After her husband, Larry Lance, was killed, a grieving Dinah moves to Earth-1 and joins the Justice League.

Eventually, she falls for Green Arrow and discovers she has the ‘canary cry’ around the same time.

Black Canary frequently appeared alongside Batman in The Brave and the Bold and often fought crime in a featurette in Action Comics.

Because of a great number of dimensional upheaval in the D.C. Universe, Black Canary’s timeline, which over 60 -years old, gets kind of convoluted. But, rest assured, she’s still a fan favorite after all this time.

“Birds of Prey” is slated to come out in 2020. 

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