ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

With the series premiere of [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021) just around the corner on The CW, I thought I'd take some time and break down the characters who will be making up this new team of heroes and villains alike. 7 days, 7 articles, with a new character in the spotlight each day.

Yesterday's character, and the second of our series, was Firestorm, the nuclear fusion-powered fireball with a dual identity.

Today we're taking a look at White Canary, the former Canary who died and was resurrected in the Lazarus Pit with a little help from John Constantine.

The Origin Story

White Canary, also known as Silk Sister, is a relative newcomer to comics, first appearing in Birds of Prey Vol 2 #1 in June 2010, created by Gail Simone and Ed Benes. Not much is known of her origin, other than that she is Chinese. Her father, the powerful villain Master Huang, made a point of killing all infants born to him if they were girls, believing that only male children could grow to be the powerful martial artists he wanted. But on the day of her birth, lightning struck just as Huang was about to kill her, and her spared her life, believing it to be an omen. She was raised in the ways of martial arts like her brothers, the Twelve Brothers in Silk, though kept separate. However, White Canary ultimately proved to be the deadliest one of them all when she tracked her brothers down after a failed assignment and killed every last one of them for bringing shame and dishonor to the family name.

The Powers/Abilities

White Canary doesn't have any actual superpowers, but she is a formidable fighter, nonetheless, receiving the same training since birth as the Twelve Brothers in Silk. Her martial arts skills are unparalleled, said to surpass even those of Lady Shiva, largely regarded as one of the greatest martial arts fighters in the entire world in DC comics. Obviously, White Canary is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, and highly skilled in the use of various martial arts-related weapons. Because of her lifetime of extensive and rigorous training, her reflexes, agility, speed, and stamina are at peak condition and far beyond that of most opponents she faces.

The Live Action Version

Obviously, the live action version that we've seen in both Arrow and now [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021) is vastly different from the comic book version due to having to streamline the story and keep it within the continuity of the DC TV universe. The live action version is played by actress Caity Lotz, and is very much not Chinese, but known as Sara Lance, the sister of Laurel Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary.

The origin story of where she learns her martial arts skills also differs from the comics: After Sara Lance is thought to have died in an accident on board the destroyed Amazo ship, she is actually found by Nyssa, daughter to supervillain Ra's Al Ghul, and, after she heals, trains with the League of Assassins. When she returns to Star City, she adopts an alias of The Canary, but once again dies when she is ambushed and shot in the chest with three arrows after a rooftop battle. After her death, her sister, Laurel, takes up the mantle of Black Canary.

Sara finally becomes White Canary after she is resurrected in the Lazarus Pit by her sister with the help of Malcolm Merlyn - unfortunately, without her soul but with a new sense of bloodlust. After going on a violent rampage due to the effects of being soulless, she's finally fully restored with soul intact by John Constantine.

The Fighter

White Canary is easily the most skilled fighter on the Legends team, and by far the best hand-to-hand combatant, as well as the only one possessing the high-level stealth skills of an assassin. While the rest of the team relies on high-tech weaponry, gadgets, or superpowers, just toss White Canary a bo staff and she'll wreck people. It's not a stretch to believe she'll be their most effective fighter in close-quarters combat, as well as their point person if and when they need to infiltrate a location.

While White Canary is fighting on the side of good, her murky, vigilante past - as well as the effects of having had no soul for a time - means that she very well may do the dirty work that some of the others can't bring themselves to do. She's always done what she's had to to get the job done, and it's likely we'll see more of the same from her role in Legends of Tomorrow.

So that was White Canary! Check back tomorrow when we take a look at Ray Palmer/The Atom!

And if you missed them, check out my breakdowns of Firestorm and Rip Hunter.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, new series Thursday 8/7c on The CW.


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