Panelology is a weekly podcast about comics. We talk about current books, what we're looking forward to, and how to get into reading comics in the first place.

Black Canary: “Kicking and Screaming” (DC Comics, 2015; #1-7)

Welcome to Week 5 of Clearing the Backlog! (Trust me, no one is as surprised that it has lasted this long as I am.)

2015’s Black Canary belongs to the same heroes-in-their-off-hours subgenre as the previous year’s She-Hulk. Dinah Lance has joined a band—she’s putting her super-powered pipes to use as the lead singer of Black Canary. And getting pulled into a sci-fi conspiracy plot. Fletcher’s version of the character is confident and calm under duress; when masked men and tar monsters attack, Dinah doesn’t miss a beat. Fronting a band makes her much more self-conscious because it is new territory for her. While that nervousness is hardly the focus of the story, it does serve to highlight her collectedness in the face of a threat.

Visually, Black Canary has a rough, punk rock vibe. The art team leans into the book’s stylized moments, and those elements shine. The standout example of that is a fight scene that sees Dinah hopping from vehicle to vehicle to try to protect her bandmates—the scene is technical and carefully paced, and it conveys musicality in a visual medium. It is the kind of sequential storytelling that can only come from a creative team that is completely in sync.

If the idea of an all-women rock band caught in the middle of a weird-science conspiracy sounds like fun, check out Black Canary. You don’t have to be familiar with Dinah’s history to enjoy the book (although if you are, it does tie in threads of her other New 52 appearances). I’ll definitely be picking up the second volume of this run myself.

Collected in

  • Black Canary, Vol. 1: Kicking and Screaming (#1-7, DC Sneak Peak: Black Canary)


Writer: Brenden Fletcher | Artists: Annie Wu, Pia Guerra, Sandy Jarrell | Colorist: Lee Loughridge | Letterer: Steve Wands | Covers: Annie Wu

I Hate Fairyland: “Madly Ever After” (Image Comics, 2015; #1-5)

Moon Knight: “The Bottom” (Marvel Comics, 2006; #1-6)