The Hits (and Misses) of DC's new "Diverse" Line-Up: Pt. 1 Black Canary

Today, DC Comics let loose with their June comic slate, introducing twenty four new titles to appear with twenty five returning titles. While that still doesn’t bring their line-up to a total of 52, DC promises that these new comics will usher us into a new generation of love, acceptance, and inclusivity. Wellllll they didn’t say that exactly, try parsing their announcement for yourself, or read this quote:

This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.

This new line-up, which includes three humor-oriented titles (Bat-Mite, Bizarro, Prez) seeks to enrich and expand the standard “dark and grim” tonality of DC, while offering new characters DC hopes will appeal to a broader fan-base, something Marvel comics has been doing gradually through the past two years.

So how well do these new 24 titles reflect “society around us”? Probably not well, given that this is a comics universe, but there are several titles starring women and/or poc, and each day this week we’ll take a moment to examine them in more detail.

Black Canary

Writer: Brenden Fletcher Artists: Annie Wu & Irene Koh

Last May, Paul Dini and Joe Quinones published Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, an original graphic novel for fans who missed seeing this characters regularly in the DC line-up. This was a lightweight and fun book, pitched pre-New 52. From the looks of it, this book from Brenden Fletcher (Batgirl, Gotham Academy) and artists Annie Wu (Hawkeye) and Irene Koh (Secret Origins: Batgirl). This creative team is absolutely bonkers, in the best way possible.

Art: Becky Cloonan
Art: Becky Cloonan

Brenden Fletcher has already been writing two books for DC comics that have a lot to offer in terms of diversity. Along with Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr, Fletcher joined the Batgirl book with #25, which includes what io9 has described as “The Best Damn Superheroine Outfit Ever“.

Simultaneously, Fletcher has been co-writing Gotham Academy with Becky Cloonan, which may have the most diverse cast of characters I’ve ever seen on the cover of a DC title. Black Canary will be Fletcher’s first solo-writing gig, which couldn’t be more exciting!

Let’s not forget both of the lady artists who will join Fletcher, Annie Wu and Irene Koh are seriously talented and I couldn’t imagine a better choice for the style of the book. Both women have histories with DC (Wu worked on Batgirl Beyond and Koh the upcoming Secret Origins: Batgirl) and their respective styles will hopefully make Black Canary as striking as she deserves.

So is this a hit in terms of diversity? Irrefutably yes. Every member of the creative team has experience writing or drawing women for successful books featuring women. Also, two members of the creative team are women. A smart team for a fan-favorite character.

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