Birds Of Prey Subtly Brought A Golden Age Hero Into The DCEU

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Batman himself might not be in it, but the Dark Knight’s stomping ground is filled out in Birds of Prey as we meet a bunch of additional vigilantes operating in Gotham City. Among them is Dinah Lance AKA Black Canary, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell. The heroine actually turned out to be much closer to her comic book counterpart than we were expecting in the movie, complete with her metahuman Canary Cry. And, as revealed in one scene, a superhero mom.

Dinah begins the film as the singer at Black Mask’s club, but she’s soon promoted to the position of driver/enforcer for the crime boss due to her combat skills. This puts her in the sights of detective Renee Montoya, who asks her to work as a mole for her. Dinah is reluctant, though, as her mother previously worked with the cops. We learn through this conversation that Dinah Sr., who also had the Canary Cry, was a vigilante and was killed on the job.

This is an unexpected callback to the original Golden Age Black Canary, Dinah Drake. In the post-Crisis DC universe, a different Canary was introduced and later revealed to be the first Dinah’s daughter, with the same name and powers. Though Dinah’s mother met a darker fate in the DCEU, this connection largely mirrors the source material.

As for what this means for the wider history of the DCEU, well, the first Black Canary is now one of the earliest vigilantes operating in the universe. Going by Dinah’s age, her mom was presumably active in Gotham in the 80s or 90s, predating the likes of Superman and Batman. Of course, we’ll soon learn that there were many more before her, as well, thanks to the upcoming Black Adam introducing the Justice Society of America, with the film believed to be set around WWII.

By the end of Birds of Prey though, Dinah has embraced her mother’s legacy and is fighting crime alongside Renee and Huntress. So hopefully we’ll get more from Black Canary in the DCEU in the years to come.

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