For the second time in the past month, Twitter is brimming with tweets alternately demanding, pleading, encouraging, and begging HBO to greenlight a series based on DC Comics’ Black Canary. This time around, the campaign was in honor of Dinah Lance’s birthday (April 10) and the #BlackCanaryHBOSeries hashtag trended for a large part of the day.
This particular campaign is most actively pushing for a spin-off featuring the version of the character most recently seen in the feature film Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and played by Jurnee Smollett. Smollett’s breakout performance was certainly a highlight of the film, and since it seems we’re unlikely to get the big screen Birds of Prey sequel we deserve any time soon if ever, an HBO Max series is probably the next best thing.
After all, at the end of the movie, Dinah Lance’s story is just beginning and Smollett’s performance offers a fresh perspective on the character, whose onscreen presence has previously been confined to The CW’s Arrowverse, where several women have worn the mantle of the Black Canary already, including Sara Lance, Dinah Lance, and Dinah Drake.
But if I’m honest, I’d take any version of the character, particularly since The CW has already benched its planned Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff, which would have starred two different Black Canaries in a sort of Birds of Prey homage. (Don’t ask, there’s multiverse stuff involved.)
The Black Canary is a foundational character in DC Comics lore, and one of the few complex women who ranks right up there with Diana Prince, Selena Kyle, and Harley Quinn as recognizable female figures in this franchise. Yet, she’s also one whose story we’ve never really seen fully play out onscreen. (Think of how many varieties of Catwoman or Harley Quinn you’ve seen over the years, just saying.)
A Black Canary series would not only finally allow that to happen, but give the DC onscreen universe heroine who could rival Diana as an unstinting force for good. (I love both Selena and Harley, but on their best days, these are characters that are deeply gray.) Plus, it’s obviously a perfect way to introduce the DCEU version of the Green Arrow, another big-name DC character who has been suspiciously absent from the film franchise to date.
“It’s no secret how much I loved playing Black Canary, and [I was] so honored to take on that mantle,” Smollett said during an Entertainment Weekly panel last year. “I would absolutely do it again if given a chance.”
And I would absolutely watch it if given the chance, is what I’m saying. A Black Canary series the sort of show HBO Max is particularly primed to tell and one the fans deserve the chance to see. Fingers crossed someone in upper management is listening.
Would you watch a Black Canary or Birds of Prey-esque HBO Max series? Why or why not?