Powers, Abilities, and Equipment
The original Black Canary possesses no super-powers but is highly proficient in Judo, acting and impersonation. Her costume consisted of a blond wig, fishnet stockings, pirate boots, bustier, and an unbuttoned jacket. Initially, she also wore a domino mask, though this was soon jettisoned. Black Canary soon joined the Justice Society of America, first helping them in All-Star Comics #38 and joining in #41 after helping them when they have been hypnotized by the Injustice Society, but ceased being published along with the rest of the team by the early 1950s.
Dinah Lance, the second Black Canary, possesses a "Canary Cry" – a high-pitched, sonic scream which she can deploy to shatter objects and incapacitate her opponents. Analyzing her capabilities, Dr. Mid-Nite found that she can reach ultrasonic frequencies outside the audible spectrum which render human beings unconscious. However, the cry has been shown to be completely useless when Dinah's mouth is covered with a gag, piece of tape, or any other means of forcing her mouth closed. When Canary is close enough she can unleash her cry to literally destroy an opponent but this is an absolute last resort.
Dinah states that her Canary Cry is able to inflict serious damage to beings even as durable as Wonder Woman (she has used this ability to overpower Giganta, blow Amazo's head off, and managed to overscream Silver Banshee). Moreover, in JLA/JSA: Vice and Virtue it is shown that Dinah is capable of not only creating sonic blasts, but also could generate an ultrasonic attack, which renders everyone within an ear range unconscious; this specific use of the Canary Cry requires the full capacity of Dinah's lungs. Black Canary rarely utilizes her metahuman abilities during fights, preferring to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Lately, Dinah uses the Canary Cry only against considerably more powerful metahuman opponents. Selective usage of supernatural talents makes Black Canary one of very few characters who choose not to take advantage of their superpowers, placing skills over inborn abilities. During times of extreme stress, Canary has displayed the ability to create sonic vibrations capable of destroying whatever was obstructing her mouth.
Black Canary lost the Cry during the Green Arrow series. Although she fought crime without it for several years, she regained it after being immersed in a Lazarus Pit during her time with the Birds of Prey.
Black Canary is extremely proficient in the various styles of martial arts, and is among the world's best fighters (in Birds of Prey #125, Oracle suggests that Dinah could outfight even Batman). Moreover, Dinah possesses uncanny reflexes, on many occasions showing the ability to catch or destroy arrows in flight. Dinah is also an expert motorcycle rider.
Dinah is a strong leader and strategic thinker — qualities recognized by the other superheroes, who have selected her as the Chairwoman of the JLA (John Stewart speculated that Black Canary is "tactically the best chairperson the Justice League has ever had", placing her strategic skills next to Batman, with charisma comparable to that of Superman). Having fought crime for many years, she also possesses great detective skills, though not on a par with Batman, the Question, or the Elongated Man.
A running gag in the Birds of Prey series is Black Canary's lack of proficiency with computers (and very little interest in them). She is the polar opposite of team leader Oracle (who is a computer genius). The first page of Birds of Prey #1 features Dinah's desire to have a distasteful item removed from her presence – the next page shows the object of her dislike to be a desktop computer.
For a brief period in the 1980s coinciding with her membership in the JLI, rather than her traditional skintight black outfit with fishnet stockings she wore a blue and black costume with a bird motif notably looser and less revealing than traditional female superhero garb. This change proved short-lived, and later artists restored her original look.
In The New 52, Birds of Prey #10 (2012), Black Canary glides across a gorge by rebounding on sonic waves. She explains that she has been holding back ever since her husband died. In subsequent issues, she is shown using the Canary Cry to propel herself large distances in the air.
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