Warning: This article contains major spoilers of Arrow Season 5, Episode 11 "Second Chances". Be warned, the results are deafening.
Season 5 of Arrow has definitely done a great job of bringing the #TV show back to where it needs to be. It has found its grittier side again, and has moved further away from magic and metahumans — instead, Arrow has honed in on what made it work in the first place. However, despite all that, it has still felt like something is missing — and that something is Black Canary.
After being killed off last year, Laurel Lance's presence has still been felt throughout the season. But her absence has prompted Oliver to recruit a new Black Canary to join his team of #superheroes. That's where Tina comes in.
Introduced to us last week, Tina Boland unveiled her Canary Cry ability when she shut up a couple of thugs. From that moment, it seemed like Arrow was setting up this mysterious character to become the fallen Laurel Lance's successor. While Marc Guggenheim previously revealed that Tina was "somebody very much connected to the comics", we didn't know anything about her.
After Tina's recruitment this week, Guggenheim's words turned out to be even more prescient than we thought. We were all shocked to learn that Tina's real name is, in fact, Dinah Drake.
The Significance Of Dinah Drake
Fans of DC Comics will know that Dinah Drake is the name of the very first Black Canary. Debuting in 'Flash Comics' Issue 86 in 1947, Dinah Drake was initially a black-haired florist who fell in love with Larry Lance. The two would eventually end up having a daughter named Dinah Laurel Lance — arguably the more famous Black Canary, and her mother's successor.
Unlike her daughter, Dinah Drake did not possess the sonic screech known as the Canary Cry — a feature that the second Canary would become synonymous with. In an interesting role reversal, Arrow has made it so Black Canary — Laurel — always remained human and never possessed metahuman abilities, while the newly introduced Dinah Drake — Tina — does have the ability.
However, while it might be awesome to hear the Dinah Drake name used by a Black Canary, there is actually one major problem with Tina's real name.
If you're a fan of Arrow, check these out:
- The Midseason Premiere Of Arrow Was A Major Setback For The Show
- Arrow: Is Tina Boland Really Earth-1's Silver Banshee?
- Why Felicity Should Not Become The Next Black Canary On Arrow Season 5
Dinah Drake Is Already On 'Arrow'
While I'm sure Tina's real name reveal might win over some of the naysayers, there's still one major issue with Arrow's new Black Canary: she technically already exists. Much like the comic series, in the #Arrowverse, Dinah Drake is the name of Laurel's mother. Portrayed by Alex Kingston, Dinah played a significant role throughout Arrow's first four seasons — particularly when the Lance family was searching for Sara. She was last seen at Laurel's funeral, when she found out her daughter was the Black Canary.
While this Dinah Drake was never a Black Canary, it was clear the show was paying homage to the comics by having Laurel's mother use the same name. Thus, it's bizarre that they would recycle the name for this new character, who has no ties whatsoever to the Lance family. Are we supposed to forget that one of the show's main parental figures even exists? Furthermore, should we ignore the fact that two Dinah Drakes — and three Dinahs — are associated with the Black Canary mantle?
Moreover, I know that Oliver noticed the similarity between Tina and Laurel due to the Dinah forename, but shouldn't he have noticed the similarity in the full name, considering the fact he dated both of Dinah Drake-Lance's daughters? In a multiverse of Infinite earths, it just seems a little far-fetched that there are two Dinah Drakes associated with the same mantle on the same earth.
It's Still Not Dinah Laurel Lance
When Arrow's creative team killed off Laurel Lance and promised that the Earth-1 version of Black Canary would remain dead, the show received an overwhelming amount of backlash. After all, as far as comic book fans were concerned, there is no Green Arrow without Black Canary. Due to this consensus, there were petitions started to revive Laurel, she was subsequently voted 'DC's Best TV Hero'. The show even saw a significant decline in ratings after her death.
Thus, it feels like the sudden inclusion of this new Black Canary — as well as her overlapping name — is the show's attempt at damage control, and an attempt to win back its comic book fans. But there's still one problem: fans wanted Laurel back, not an alternate version of the Black Canary. The mantle isn't just a title up for grabs for anyone; thus, it's highly unlikely that the fans of the Black Canary will return to the show. In fact, the apparent replacement of Laurel might just drive more fans away.
Furthermore, the fact that Tina is a skilled fighter and is blessed with the metahuman Canary Cry — as opposed to Cisco's device, which Laurel used — might not sit well with fans. Laurel had to fight to claim her promised mantle from her sister Sara — the original Canary — and now Arrow has introduced a third character that has been given a far greater advantage than Laurel ever was. In an attempt to please fans, the show has created the character they think we always wanted instead of correcting their mistake from last season and bringing Laurel back. I'm not sure fans of the character will be willing to accept Dinah Drake as their Black Canary, especially when they had the possibility of Black Siren dangled in their faces last week.
We all speculated over Tina's true identity and possible comic book origins, and now we finally have the answer. The Dinah Drake reveal is definitely going to have a lot of fans talking, but will it be good feedback? After all, Arrow has built up a reputation for its questionable treatment of Black Canary in the past. And after Laurel's shocking death last season, I'm not so sure the viewers will be happy about Dinah Drake's arrival. Moreover, the fact that Dinah Drake already exists on the show — and happens to be Laurel's mother — makes this reveal all the more confusing.
Having said all that, Juliana Harkavy did a great job in the role and it was definitely a major bombshell to end the episode with. The question is — will it pay off? Time will most certainly tell.
Are you happy about Dinah Drake's arrival on 'Arrow'?
(Source: Comic Book Resources)