Monday, January 21, 2008

What's so hard to understand about 'Black Canary'

Having this poster on my office wall sometimes gives rise to comment

...and the majority of these run along the lines of 'who's the one on the end?'

I don't think this necessarily means that visitors know who all the others are, and just want to plug a gap in their knowledge. Something about this drawing causes more comment than the rest put together. Perhaps having a picture of a fishnet-stocking-wearing female on my wall seems less appropriate than the rest of them - even the equally sexed-up Wonder Woman image might have the redeeming power of kitsch to justify it being in an office (as one of those 'look, I really do have a personality' accessories), whereas Black Canary could conceivably be the deranged passion of a middle aged man with a crumbling social facade, bleeding through into the professional arena.

Still, it could be worse: she sometimes get drawn in a rather cheesecaky style:

Excellent though they are, pictures of real people in her costume might look less like suitable decor for a business office:

and it would be naive to deny any subtext whatsoever in images like this:

One problem with the poster is the unappealing look of all of the superheroes, as painted with admirable realism by Alex Ross.

A group of smug, violent characters dressed in weird costumes: variously, aristocrats, plutocrats, driven outsiders, hotshots, firebrands, geniuses and a goddess. An unaccountable elite comprising new money, old money, unassailable ability and the demiurge-like embodiment of extreme qualities. No necessarily people you'd want to spend time with. In fact, Black Canary (real name: Dinah Lance), who runs a shop called Sherwood Florist, may be one of the more accessible personalities. But lovely though she might be, in this picture she looks sneery as well as sexy, in a 'come and have a go if you think you're hard enough' way...

Perhap I should pin up a short biography of her for the benefit of visitors - explaining the origins of her 'Canary Cry' with which she incapacitates criminals, and describing her martial arts talents. Or would that be digging myself in deeper?

Let's just say she's great kick-ass drawn character and leave it at that...

1 comment:

Royce said...

Nice post.

No mention of Green Arrow? Almost unforgivable.