Here are my picks for the top five most iconic covers featuring Black Canary (with iconic being determined by what covers are most established and most recognized when it comes to Black Canary, with a preference towards covers that are homaged a lot). This is not a BEST cover list and due to the very nature of icons, very few (if any) recent covers will be on the list. A notable exception to the rules is that I don’t count covers from a character’s first appearance (which isn’t applicable to all characters, of course, just those who appeared on the cover of the comic they debuted in), as those tend to be automatically iconic so they’re boring. Here‘s a list of all characters featured so far.
Reader Eric wrote in and wanted me to feature Black Canary, so, well, okay. He gave his choices for the list, and I’ll see what I can do with his suggestions (I think he did a very nice job with his choices, so I have no real quibbles, except for one place switch).
Artist: Marcos Martin
I’d never expect a cover like this make it (although it’s a beautiful cover), because usually a character will have a long history of notable covers before this point in their history, but Canary really never got a lot of attention until the late 1990s with Birds of Prey. For too many years she was “Green Arrow’s girlfriend,” except for a few attempts to give her her own series in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
So I don’t have a big problem including Martin’s cover here (which, as Eric notes, WAS collected by DC in a book about covers of their various female heroes)
Artist: Carmine Infantino
Canary’s introduction to the Justice League (forget the continuity, people!) is well-handled in this well remembred Infantino cover.
Artist: Greg Land and Brian Stelfreeze
Birds of Prey really made Canary the force she is nowadays, so naturally they took her out of the book and canceled it, que sera, sera.
Here’s the first issue of the ongoing series, and as Eric notes, it does, indeed, aptly capture the relationship between Canary and Oracle.
Artist: Adam Hughes
Eric makes a strong argument that this cover HAS been turned into a poster and a statue, which makes it a pretty darn iconic take on Canary, no? I’d agree (it’s too bad that it was a variant cover), but I think his original #2 just has this beat, iconic-wise…
Artist: Carmine Infantinio
This cover has been homaged MULTIPLE times AND its her first cover appearance, so I’m going with it #1.
Good stuff, Eric!
All but the Martin covers would have been my picks, so it’s always nice to see someone on the same wavelength as yourself (I would have gone with either the Action Comics Weekly Bolland Canary cover – a cover Eric mentioned to me as an honorable mention, or one of the Grell Green Arrow covers featuring Canary, as she was a fairly major part of that notable series).