Ever since Laurel Lance died, Arrow has been tiptoeing around the question of who could carry on the Black Canary mantle. In the latest episode, we got the answer — and this time, unlike the Lance sisters, she's as close to the authentic comic book version of Black Canary as you could want.
Last week's episode introduced us to Tina Boland, a tough undercover cop who got just enough screentime before Oliver was all, "I'm going to recruit her as the new Black Canary," to make it almost certain that she was, indeed, the new Black Canary. In the latest episode, "Second Chances", we learned about Tina and delved into her backstory, which matches the DC Comics' version of the superhero much more closely than the show's first two Canaries.
Because, you see, unlike Sara and Laurel Lance, Tina is actually superpowered: While Sara had her sonic grenade and Laurel eventually got a device from Cisco that allowed her to scream really, really loud, neither had the Canary Cry as a superpower. Tina does. We learned in this episode that she's actually a metahuman, who gained her sonic scream ability the night STAR Labs' particle accelerator exploded while witnessing her undercover partner die at the hands of the drug dealer they were investigating. Naturally, as it does in the Arrowverse, this leads to Tina swearing vengeance on criminals and partaking in some occasional vigilantism.
If that wasn't convenient enough for Ollie's quest for a new Canary, the revelation in the closing sequences of the episode was: Tina's name isn't actually Tina. That was the name she used for undercover operations. Her real name is Dinah Drake.
Ollie's reaction to finding this out is priceless.
As comics fans know, Dinah Drake is the original, genuine article Black Canary, who first appeared in the pages of Flash Comics back in 1947. Dinah would go on to meet her husband, Larry Lance; get married; and have a daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance, who would take on her mother's mantle in the Golden Age of comics and become a major DC hero, and even be a founding member of the Justice League.
However, Dinah Drake is absolutely not the first Dinah to appear on Arrow. In fact, she's not even the first Dinah Drake, which confuses everything greatly. Here's the list:
- Dinah Drake, formerly Tina Boland
- Dinah Laurel Lance, the most recent Canary, who went by Laurel 99 per cent of the time and is currently dead (not counting her evil Earth-2 clone)
- Dinah Lance née Drake, ex-wife of Quentin Lance, mother of Dinah Laurel Lance, and played by Doctor Who's Alex Kingston
So yeah. This isn't exactly the first time Arrow has given us an attempt to course-correct its Black Canary. But man, it's pretty weird that the show is introducing a third Dinah to tie Tina all the way back into the comics legacy. Is Dinah a really popular women's name in Star City or something? Maybe that's the next big Arrow mystery.
For now though, Team Arrow has a new ally, and the Black Canary name lives on, just as Laurel wanted it to. Let's hope Tina/Dinah can avoid the unfortunate fates of her two predecessors.