When writer Brenden Fletcher and artist Annie Wu took on Black Canary as a solo title back in 2015, they had a bit of an uphill climb with Dinah Lance’s preferred aesthetic. Ever since Dinah Drake’s first appearance back in 1947, the Black Canary costume has been associated with bustiers, fishnets, and boleros. But in the modern age, how do you stay true to that iconic costume without it looking ridiculous because who in their right mind fights crime in stockings? Those things rip if you look at them sideways, much less do a scissor-kick.

But thanks to Fletcher and Wu, Dinah morphed from a pin-up model to a punk-goth front-woman to the band Black Canary. Seriously. They have an EP and everything. Suddenly those fishnets could be ripped up, either from fighting crime or just to look fabulous. Those bustiers were accessorized with badass bruises. Dinah’s boots became s—kickers. Black Canary emerge from the chrysalis of “superheroine costumes designed by dudes” to become a fashion icon for a generation of women who grew up wearing Doc Martens and velvet chokers.

Image Credit: DC Comics


This iteration of Dinah Lance from the pen of Annie Wu is sexy without falling into the morass of the male gaze. Nothing about the way she is drawn pulls the eye to her assets, even when she’s half naked. The costume is part of Black Canary’s character, giving visual clues her personality and morals. She’s got a hard edge and heart of gold. This is a woman who won’t take your nonsense, whether you're a proprietor trying to stiff her band their fee or a villain threatening her friends.

Image Credit: DC Comics

Black Canary’s aesthetic remains intact in Rebirth when it comes to Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, written by Julie and Shawna Benson and art by Claire Roe. But Green Arrow is apparently another story. In a preview for Green Arrow #8, Oliver finds himself once more trapped on an island because life is cruel. But he’s not alone.

“ISLAND OF SCARS” part one! Artist Otto Schmidt returns to GREEN ARROW for the story fans have been waiting for! Following the life-changing events of the past few issues, Green Arrow and Black Canary are back where Ollie’s journey began: the shores of a deserted island, where DC’s most turbulent super-couple have no distraction-and no escape-from their powerful feelings for each other.”

Now Otto Schmidt has a very recognizable style. His colors are always mesmerizing but his appreciation for the female form may not be best suited for a character like Dinah who has become a touchstone for being free of the male gaze. Alas, no one told DC Comics this and therefore Black Canary ends up looking like this in Green Arrow #8.

Image Credit: DC Comics

Dinah’s face is partly in shadow, the sunlight streaming in from behind her centered on her extremely amplified chest. She’s lithe and tan, like a beach bunny or a Bond Girl come to life. In this panel, she is a sexy savior, come to rescue Oliver from loneliness with the power of her come-hither hotness. She’s basically been dipped in golden light for the viewing pleasure of the presumedly straight male viewer.


At least we still have Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.

Image Credit: DC Comics

[H/T to Elle Collins]

Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.