The Canary Cries Alone

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Before she and Green Arrow tie the knot, Black Canary’s got to take care of some business first. Dinah has headed out solo in a brand-new mini series, written by Tony Bedard, who stopped by to unveil some of his plans for the character.

BROKEN FRONTIER: You’ve made it known that Black Canary is the book you’ve had the most fun working on since your original CrossGen stories. Why is that, exactly?

TONY BEDARD: I think it comes down to really clicking with your artist. The more I found out about the character, the better I liked her, and I was quite pleased with how the scripts turned out. But when the art started coming in from Paulo Siqueira, it just exceeded my expectations by so much!

That’s the fun part – to be in a situation, on a creative team, where the project just seems to look better with each step in the creative process, from pencils to inks to colored art. Often it works the other way, but this first issue is something I’ll be sending to friends and relatives just to show off.

BF: The artist, Paulo Sequeira, isn’t really a household name in comics yet. What does he bring to the table that has you all jazzed up?

TB: His figures and faces are exquisite. Dinah has never looked so beautiful. All his little choices – her clothes, her hair, are just right. And he sets up an environment so well. The hardware is all just right – motorcycles, guns, the interior of a McDonald’s play set – you just buy into the reality of whatever he draws. And he draws children better than almost anyone I’ve ever seen, which is key since this story revolves around the fate of a child.

BF: When and how did you become appointed the writer for this series? Did it follow out of your back-up feature in Birds Of Prey #100, even though Dinah wasn’t part of that?

TB: Actually, that backup was about Dinah and her foster-daughter, Sin. And that did have something to do with it. At this point, I can’t remember if I got that backup or the mini-series first. But Paulo drew that backup story, too, and it was love at first sight for me…artistically speaking.

I’m not sure why it didn’t go to Gail Simone – I’m not familiar with whatever workload she has at any given time. But Gail really built up Dinah into the first-rate character she is today, and I’m just trying to keep going in the direction Gail took her.

BF: Speaking of Birds Of Prey, you’re penning issue #109 this August, in which Dinah does appear. What can we expect from her in that installment?

TB: It’s a self-contained issue in which Dinah and Barbara Gordon are grabbing a bite together and reminiscing, and Babs is a good enough friend to point out all the reasons Dinah shouldn’t tie the knot with Ollie. Meanwhile, Knockout is stalking Big Barda, unaware that someone or something is stalking the New Gods.

BF: How will the mini series itself tie in with the new direction Dinah and Ollie’s relationship is headed in?

TB: GREEN ARROW #75 is where Ollie pops the question, but the answer has yet to be given by Dinah. The BLACK CANARY series has a lot to do with her final answer.

BF: Since them two were already on again, off again while you were still reading comics instead of writing them… What’s your opinion on them getting married?

TB: I’ve been married for close to 14 years, and I know first-hand that it is glorious, infuriating, unpredictable hard work. And I’m not sorry for a bit of it. I also know that people fall in love all the time despite whatever logical reasons there may be for them to stay apart.

So, I’m fine with them tying the knot. The conflicts between them made them interesting as a couple. Marriage would only intensify that.

BF: Do you feel there’s a risk of this decision leading to a ‘Spider-Man/Mary Jane’-type of problem for some creators in that it takes away part of the core what made the premise the best it could be? Or do you think that in Dinah and Ollie’s case, the whole thing gets an added layer of complexity because of her now being a stepmother?

TB: I think that as long as they maintain a baseline respect for each other and there’s no more cheating, they can be married and remain true to what makes them interesting as characters. Some people might think it "weakens" Dinah to accept Ollie after he was unfaithful. I’ve known too many real-life examples where people have misbehaved, reconciled, and grown to have a stronger relationship. Life isn’t perfect, and sometimes it’s our worst missteps that yield our greatest lessons.

The problem with marrying off Spider-Man is that at his core, the Spider-Man character is the guy who can’t get his personal life together. He’s the lovable loser, which is why we relate to him. So when he’s married to a super-model, that kind of undermines the basic Peter Parker character. Now, Ollie is definitely a reckless rebel, but I don’t think he needs to sleep around to be a rebel.

BF: That said, what role does Sin play in the mini series?

TB: Dinah rescued Sin from being trained as the next great assassin to take the place of Lady Shiva some day. Now Dinah wants to give Sin a normal childhood. But the League of Assassins wants her back, and the BLACK CANARY mini-series revolves on their attempt to reclaim her…with disastrous results.

BF: Finally, will Dinah come out of your adventure a changed woman?

TB: Her life-situation will definitely change, and some longstanding questions will be resolved, but what I’m aiming to do isn’t so much to change her, but to illuminate her – to get to know her better, because the lady is ten kinds of cool.

DC’s four-issue Black Canary mini series ships bi-weekly in July and August. Issue #2 goes on sale next Wednesday.

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