There have been a lot of Arrow rumors doing the rounds lately suggesting that a certain computer hacker might be taking up the mantle of one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time. The computer hacker in question is of course Felicity Smoak. Now, the show's Black Canary — Laurel Lance — was controversially killed off last season, but not before she made Oliver promise to enlist another Black Canary. Thus, some have concluded that the next in line to take up the mantle is Felicity.
There are so many things wrong with the idea of a new Black Canary that I'm not even sure where to begin. A major curveball like this could have major repercussions on the show — and not the good kind. Thus, allow me to show you why Felicity should not become the next Black Canary.
Laurel Lance Is The Only Black Canary
Ever since the sassy, warm and intelligent Laurel lance appeared on our screens back in Season 1 of Arrow, we knew she was destined for big things. Despite losing her way through Season 2, we all held onto the fact that the solid character development would turn her into the hero she needed to be. However, while this was happening, she lost her promised mantle to her sister — Sara Lance —who showed up in Starling City as the Canary. However, Sara's eventual death would spur her on and midway through Season 3, the Black Canary was born.
So despite questionable storytelling, Laurel finally lived up to her comic book destiny and became the character we all hoped she would be. However, it wasn't long until she was sidelined and subsequently killed in Season 4's infamous "who's in the grave?" storyline. The controversial decision received outcry and criticism from fans — and rightly so, Laurel was a mainstay on the show just as Black Canary is a mainstay in the comics. And the decision to kill off one of their few female #superheroes also met criticism.
However, we all held out hope that it was merely a rouse and that Laurel would eventually return from the dead — but as of yet, she hasn't. Thus, the show has decided to introduce a new Black Canary, understanding that there is no Green Arrow without Black Canary. But the thing they have failed to realize is that they are only partially right. This extends far more beyond the mantles. There is no Green Arrow without Black Canary — yes — but there is no Black Canary without Dinah Laurel Lance.
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It Would Strip Felicity Of Her Own Identity
No doubt about it — Felicity Smoak has become one of the most polarizing figures on #TV right now. Originally beloved by fans for her comedic humor and light presence on the first two seasons of the grim Arrow, the character then became one of the two female leads — the other being Laurel — for the show's third and fourth seasons and this saw the show decline dramatically.
But whether you love her or hate her — I personally still like her — there's no denying that the character herself is one of the quirkiest, funkiest and all round funniest characters we have seen on TV in some time. The computer whiz has built up such a reputation for herself that the mere thought of her trying to imitate someone else is cringe-worthy.
If she were to become the next Black Canary, not only would she be forced to try and reach the impossible standards set by her predecessor, she would be stripped of everything that made her who she is. She has become such a major part of the show's legacy for quite simply being who she is, and forcing the Black Canary mantle on her would not only destroy Arrow, it would destroy her.
It Would Further Alienate Comic Book Fans
Over its five year run, Arrow has ended up producing a lot of original storylines, sometimes steering clear from the comic book lore — and while many of them paid off, a lot of them didn't — none more so than the decision to kill off Laurel. Here we had a legendary comic book character that many fans adored blatantly pulled from the show when she had finally reached her promised goal.
It's understandable that this decision alienated many comic book fans. In fact, since Laurel's departure from the series, the show's ratings have declined dramatically. And it's no surprise, as the Green Arrow is a comic book character, a large portion of Arrow's viewers are made up of comic book fans — fans who clearly weren't happy with the decision to remove this scared comic book character as opposed to the countless less significant original characters on the show.
Should they continue down this path to hand the Black Canary mantle over to not just Felicity, but anyone who is not portrayed by Katie Cassidy, then it would also likely have an even greater negative effect on the show's declining ratings.
So while we don't quite know what Arrow has in store for the mantle of the Black Canary, it's vitally important that Felicity does not become Laurel's successor. The character has her own unique identity — and in many ways, her own superpower — putting a mask on her would completely strip that away from her. Furthermore, due to infamous reputation the character has got, it would completely alienate comic book fans if she were to become the beloved crimefighter — and fans can only take so much disrespect.
Moreover, Laurel Lance is the only Black Canary, and the show's treatment of her has not only alienated comic book fans, but a significant amount of their viewers. Thus, it's imperative that the character return to take her rightful place as the Black Canary.