Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot, Illustrated by Cara McGee
DC Zoom, pb, £7.99
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
Dinah Lance has got her life planned out. She’s going to win Battle of the Bands at school then join the Gotham Junior Police Academy so she can be like her dad. Simple. Only a mysterious figure keeps getting in her way, isolating her from her friends, uncovering secrets from her parents’ past, and revealing truths about Dinah she doesn’t want to admit to herself.
This is different from the other origin stories at the moment because this is about a new superhero. Dinah Drake was the original Black Canary. She marries Detective Larry Lance and they have a daughter. This is the daughter’s story. Dinah Lance has reached a stage in her life when her superpowers are blossoming and she’s causing mayhem as only an awkward teenager with powers she doesn’t understand and can’t control. As if being a teenager isn’t hard enough.
This is quite a light-hearted story compared to the other DC Universe origin stories recently published. Its portrayal of family life spot on. The panel which depicts a teenage girl sulking about what she considers an uncool superpower and disgusted at her parents’ affection for one another is both humorous and familiar.
Having reviewed some of the others; Batman: Nightwalker and Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, Black Canary is the most accessible for new readers, probably because it is aimed at a younger audience. It’s colourful and bold in style, it matches Dinah’s happy-go-lucky personality. The language is appropriate, and the story is one young people would understand, a mother-daughter story of living up to expectations on her own terms. This is also a shorter book, more a scene-setting story leading to something bigger for the new Black Canary, with a simple layout. The panels are separate from one another, keeping the story flow easy to follow perfect for anyone new to graphic novels or the Black Canary.
I enjoyed this book for a number of different reasons. It is pitched at the right level and presents a strong female teenager with a positive outlook on life, so I feel comfortable in handing it to my own daughter who falls into the intended age bracket. It’s showcasing female talent as it is written, illustrated, and coloured by women. I was satisfied with how it ended and intrigued about how it continues. This is a series I’m looking forward to.