Monday, February 06, 2017

HERO OF THE WEEK: BLACK CANARY (DC)
Real Name: Dinah Lance
First Appearance: Justice League of America #75 (November, 1969)
Fight Club Ranking: #46

Featured Fights:
- vs GLASS MAN: Secret Origins #32 (Nov 1988)
- vs WOOD KING: Secret Origins #32 (Nov 1988)
- vs DEATHSTROKE: Identity Crisis #3 (Oct 2004)
- vs INJUSTICE LEAGUE: Justice League of America #15 (Jan 2008)
- vs SINESTRO CORPS: Green Lantern #25 (Jan 2008)

We know movies tend to dominate the superhero conversation these days, but it's fast looking like video games are going to stake their claim in 2017. Our last Hero of the Week already touched upon the looming release of Injustice 2. It seems Warner Brothers and NetherRealm Studios are gearing up to shatter their uncustomary silence -- unleashing a barrage of news ahead of their May release!

"Gearing up" will play a big role in the new game, which allows players to customize DC icons with stat altering trinkets, costumes and armors. We've already seen the likes of Batman, Superman, and Supergirl burdened by mid-nineties action figure accessories. Indeed, the words "armor" and "NetherRealm Studios" immediately sound aesthetic alarm bells. Which makes the newest trailer reveal for Black Canary all the more pleasing!


As reported on Mortal Kombat Online; the Canary was a near-miss in 2013's Injustice character line-up. A mixed bag of character designs revealed how the NetherRealm video game aesthetic could've taken the character down some dark design paths. It therefore comes as a pleasant surprise that four years (and a gear system) later - the character arrives unscathed in iconic leathers and fishnets!

The gear system likely means there will be plenty of armor plates and design subversions on offer, but you can't under estimate the power of a positive first impression. Simply knowing that the classic comic book design is available goes a long way to extending an olive branch to fans who may've been turned off by Injustice's deliberate detachments from the iconic DC Universe.

The trailer shows Black Canary to be a smooth martial artist, with her sonic canary cry and fancy boots and gloves giving some punch. There's a lack of visual dynamism in some of the moves, but the screen share will probably be better in the final game, where comparisons to Sonya Blade seem inevitable. (Am I the only person seeing some Tori Amos in that face?)

Injustice 2 still has a long way to go, but the shake-up of its playable roster is at least working to engender the game to this grumpy comic book fan. Not that I think long time comics readers are really a demographic Warner Brothers is especially concerned about pleasing. We shall see.

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