If there has been one vexing aspect of ‘Arrow’ that has puzzled fans every since the beginning, it has been the way the show has handled the Black Canary, which has been markedly different than anything in the comics. In the comics, the Black Canary is simply Dinah Laurel Lance, lawyer by day, vigilante by night, arguably the love of the Green Arrow’s life, if nothing else one of his most important allies. And yet on the show, the Black Canary has now gone through 4 incarnations, with a 5th just around the corner.
The first one we saw was not Laurel Lance but her sister Sara Lance, who started the moniker when she returned to Star City after being presumed dead, same as Oliver after the Queen’s Gambit was lost at sea. When Sara “died” Laurel finally trained up and took up the mantle, and fans thought we were finally getting to the core Black Canary we were supposed to have, minus the part about there being any chance for her and Oliver anymore since it was fairly certain that ‘Arrow’ was always going to end with Oliver and Felicity getting back together, regardless of the comics. Which was fine, because Laurel was close enough to her comics counterpart that we could deal with it. But then she died, in what was a daring move by the show, but left us without an essential part of Green Arrow lore. So then we briefly had a Black Canary imposter running around (which I count as #3) who later joined team Arrow as Artemis before going rogue with Prometheus. #4 is the Black Siren who we can surmise at one point was the Black Canary on Earth-2 and who briefly had the potential to be the Black Canary/Laurel Lance here on Earth-1, but I doubt the writers are going to give her that full redemption arc after seeing how sinister they made her in the mid-season premiere. And now, #5 is the new Canary the team is recruiting, whose name is Tina Boland, who we first saw at the end of the mid-season premiere.
Tina is played by Juliana Harkavy (of ‘The Walking Dead’), and apparently she already has her own Canary Cry which they showcase in the trailer for next week’s episode (below), and she is the candidate being pushed by Curtis after Oliver turns down a CIA operative, a special ops soldier, a black belt, and a ninja for not having the right feel. So they approach Tina over in Hub City while she is out doing her own vigilante thing, but it seems she is not that impressed with Team Arrow and warns them to stay out of her way. She seems pretty bad-ass and able to carry herself well, which is definitely how the Black Canary carries herself in the comics, and what Laurel Lance’s version of the heroine was missing, but if she is just another temporary replacement, I would rather we not go down this rabbit hole again.
What are your thoughts on the ever changing roster of Canaries? Would you rather the show just let it go? Or do you think Tina might stick around for a while and finally be a Black Canary that survives? Check out the trailer for next week’s episode and share your thoughts on the matter in the comments below!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.