The Arrowverse has faithfully adapted many DC Comics characters to the small screen, but the Black Canary has gone through a number of questionable changes in regards to her character. While some of these shifts have been to benefit the show and the overall narrative, some are confusing or just plain random.
Over the years, the fans have voiced both their concerns and their praise for the iterations of the heroine that we've seen on Arrow. Some aspects of the warrior are spot on, with the costume being a notable design choice which should be celebrated. But, although they have obviously gotten some things so right, they've also made other decisions that are completely wrong. Here are some of the more controversial changes made to the iconic character.
10 OLIVER QUEEN ROMANCE
Green Arrow and Black Canary are one of comic's most famous couples. The crime fighting duo have a long history together and it was assumed that the show would follow this formula and continue this long legacy of romance.
To the surprise of many though, the romance between Laurel Lance and Oliver Queen was on and off at best. Although they had dated in the past, the two were very much single for most of the show. They had a few moments where they were paired up once more, but the focus was usually on Felicity Smoke and her relationship with Queen. Laurel's death marked the end of the potential rekindling.
9 HER FATHER
The comics see a couple of different versions of Black Canary's father, although none of them quite line up with what we've seen in the show. The most notable version of her dad is called Richard Drake and he is a part of the Gotham City Police force.
Indeed, Quentin is a part of the police (although in Star City rather than Gotham in the show) and is remarkably different from the comic version. Quentin has a really compelling story arc over the series and although the show got the character wrong in terms of their adaptation, they may have improved him overall.
8 HER MOTHER
Canary's mother is in much the same boat as her father, as the two versions couldn't be more different. In the comics her mother is shown to actually be the original Black Canary, known as Dinah Drake Lance, before eventually passing the role onto her daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance.
In the show her mother is barely mentioned and only makes a couple of appearances played by Alex Kingston. She's largely irrelevant and is only included to increase the dramatic tension between the Lance family, rather than actually adding anything in terms of the super heroics.
7 HER SISTER
This is another area where the Arrowverse may have actually made the characters involved a little more interesting, although at the cost of the source material. The show runners decided to create a completely new character called Sara Lance, the sister to Laurel.
She's had a lot going on across the multiple shows that the CW produce, though, and has died and returned numerous times, has dropped the Black Canary name and become the White Canary! She's now a part of the time travelling team known as the Legends. Sometimes morally ambiguous with a lot of darkness in her, Sara was right for the show.
6 TWO CANARIES
Aside from Sara donning the suit, there's one other notable woman who has become the Black Canary in the Arrowverse. The series has introduced both Laurel Lance (who we've spoken about so far) and Dinah Drake as completely separate characters. In the comics they are the same person, Dinah Laurel Lance.
For the show to pull this off, though, they had to create two heroes that were polar opposites of one another. They had to make them distinct personalities to ensure that this big change was worth it. For the most part they've succeeded, with Laurel and Dinah representing two very different things.
5 VINCENT SOBEL
A major part of Dinah's story in the Arrowverse is her relationship with love interest Vincent Sobel. Vincent is a part of a long running mystery, as he is the alter ego of the masked anti-hero known as the Vigilante. He's a former partner to Dinah and was presumed dead after she watched him become fatally injured.
In the comics the Vigilante exists in a few different ways, but none in the way that Arrow has portrayed him. What's more, the comics don't seem to have a direct comparison of Vincent, with the character largely being a creation of the show, with random qualities from other Dinah Drake love interests.
4 COMBAT EXPERTISE
One of Black Canary's core skills in the comics is her combat expertise. She's well-trained in numerous martial arts and is equipped for any combat situation. While she uses her signature staff in battle, she's just as lethal with her hands after years of gruelling experiences and a long history as a masked vigilante.
In Arrow Dinah Drake is pretty lethal herself, with her police training and her heroic lifestyle giving her many of the same attributes. Laurel Lance, however, provides very little in the way of proficient hand to hand combat. We watch her development over the years but it's clear that this kind of physicality doesn't come easy to her. It's completely wrong for the character and has been somewhat corrected by Black Siren.
3 CANARY CRY
The Canary Cry is a trademark of the character and is a superhuman ability that can send dangerous sound waves from the voice of the heroine. In the comics this has been explained as a meta-human ability, but has also been shown created from both a magical spell and an alien abduction.
In the show once again Dinah Drake has this one right, with the character being introduced with a meta-ability. This is later removed by the Star City Slayer and she must now rely on a piece of technology. This technology is what gives Laurel Lance the Cry, though. This is a drastic shift from the comics and once again it seems that the show runners have tried to correct that with later versions of the character.
2 SHE'S A LAWYER
It's already well established by this point that by day the Black Canary is usually a key member of law enforcement. Whether it's as a police officer, as many of her family have been before, or even as a covert operative for a governmental group, she's usually involved with the law in one way or another.
This is true for the most part in Arrow, although there's a real twist on it for Laurel Lance. One again, Dinah Drake is mostly accurate, with the heroine a mainstay in the Star City Police Department and actually their Captain eventually. Laurel on the other hand is actually a lawyer, with many of the initial seasons focusing heavily on her career. It was a weird choice and one that slowed the pace of the show.
1 EVELYN SHARP
In the history of the Arrowverse, there's actually one more woman who has claimed to be the Black Canary. In the source material there is no Evelyn Sharp but there is a Evelyn Crawford, who is an ally to the Birds of Prey and goes by the name Starling. She's never pretended to be a Canary, though, and is just as untrustworthy as the Arrow version of the character.
In the show she does betray her team, much like in the comics, but during her time with them she is actually trained to be the Black Canary. This is drastically different from the character we see in the DC titles, as for the most part she's largely forgettable or unimportant. She's a poor substitution for a Canary, though, which is perhaps why the show changed course with her; or maybe that was the plan all along.