Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Black Canary vs. the Trinity

There's one more Black Canary comic that's been causing a stir, so I should mention it. Folks seem to be having a problem with a scene in which JLA Chairwoman Black Canary confronts Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman for holding secret meetings in a hidden room.

A lot of the commentary is around Ed Benes' art and I get that. I find it pretty easy to ignore, but yes, he does like to draw booties and crotches. The panel above isn't at all indicative of most of Benes' poses in the scene.

Where I disagree with critics though is about Dwayne McDuffie's writing. Black Canary does accuse the "trinity" of undermining her authority as leader of the JLA and I've read a couple of posts questioning exactly how they're doing that. After all, they're not countermanding her orders in battle and none of the other members know about the secret meetings. Black Canary herself had to do some serious detective work to find out about them.

So, yeah, I agree that they're not really undermining her authority as far as the rest of the team is concerned. But Canary's response here isn't really about the rest of the team. It's about her. It's an emotional response to finding out that the three heavy-hitters of the superhero community in general and the JLA in particular don't trust her enough to include her in their little club. "Undermining" may be a poor choice of words on Canary's part, but I don't think they necessarily are on McDuffie's. It's exactly the kind of thing someone would say out of their emotion when they feel personally and professionally threatened. I like it. It humanizes Canary.

In a perfect world, I'd have much more to say about the return of the Milestone characters in this issue. I've been waiting for this day and I'm twelve kinds of excited about seeing where this goes. But the sad fact is that it's been so long since I've read these guys' adventures that I don't remember much about all but a couple of them. I really need to dig out my old Milestones again. And probably post about them.

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