Black Canary Research Paper

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Black Canary, a.k.a Dinah Drake, was created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino in 1947, during what was known as the “Golden Age” of comic books. Her first appearance was in Flash Comics #86, and has since appeared in hundreds of comic books within the DC Universe. The period of the late 1980’s is a time often considered the “Silver Age” of comics, where many beloved characters were given new storylines and attitudes to appeal to the new generation of comic book readers; the character of Black Canary was one such character. Black Canary’s “overhaul” was written by Roy Thomas and introduced in the comic Justice League of America #220, which was written in 1983. To adjust for any disparities between the two versions of Black Canary, the…show more content…
Black Canary’s crime fighting outfit has changed little over the years; it remains an overtly sexual number, a black skintight corset with fishnets with a leather jacket and knee high leather boots. Black Canary was one of the first female superheroes ever created, and instead of allowing her to be a representation of equality and women’s rights, the creators of Dinah have chosen, twice in her history, to represent her as a sexualized object. “[In the 1940’s] women were sexualized and in full femininity. Curves, legs, breasts, full make up, glamour hair and pin up style looks were popular. The female ideal was sexy, full figured, hourglass shaped and glamorous day and night. Perfection was key…” (Graber). In many ways, the character of Black Canary is just a representation of the “perfect” pin up girl. Her costume is her armor against this overtly sexualized ideal and she holds her sexuality as a power against her foes, a weapon used as control and often as a distraction. In these ways, she is atypical of a woman’s representation in mass society as a perfect, sexual object; even with all of her meta-human and physical abilities. Despite this, the Silver Age Dinah, as a character and as a woman, has had many more opportunities than her former counterpart; she is well traveled and has been taught combat training, extensively, by such characters as Lady Shiva and Wildcat (an assassin and a pro boxer,…show more content…
Dinah Drake, the Golden Age Canary would never have been a vigilante without her husband or teammates to aid her and there are few and far between cases of female super heroines fighting together or individually in her time. Conversely, Dinah Lance frequently goes out of her way to avoid romance with men and romantic entanglements. Dinah Lance is then seen as the modern woman; a character who was as dominant as she was sexy. She fought crime independently of any man, and took on many “male” social roles such as: having sexual encounters with her super hero counterparts, teaming up with female heroes, and being as brash and bold as she wished. Sherrie Inness in her paper titled Action Chicks, speaks to this change in attitudes as a by-product of the rise of technology, and how it changed the definitions of gender and gender roles, “Technology allows for a stylized representation of the female and permits her to be placed in the context of toughness and heroism that traditionally has been reserved for men. She adopts male forms of behavior but is unmistakably female and highly eroticized “(Inness). This eroticism, then stems from the obsession with destruction and violence. As violence as increased in mass media, so too has the level of objectification seen in comic books, television, and movies. The need for immediate, visual arousal has effected how artists

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