For the last few months, writer Brenden Fletcher and artist Annie Wu have hit the high notes with “Black Canary.” With their new DC Comics series, Fletcher and Wu have propelled Dinah Lance to rock star status as the lead singer of a band, mixing hard rock with super heroics in a book that puts Canary in a whole new light.
At New York Comic Con, Wu and Fletcher showed up sporting leather and denim jackets and sat down with CBR Managing Editor Albert Ching to discuss their hard rock take on Dinah Lance, the character’s similarities to rock star David Bowie and his different eras, Wu’s distaste for drawing cars, a huge “mic drop” in an upcoming issue and more.
In the first part of the conversation, the team behind the new Rock ‘n’ Roll “Black Canary” discussed taking a classic DC hero into a fun, new direction, having Dinah Lance head up a rock band, and re-contextualizing the iconic fishnets that Canary is so well-known for wearing.
On taking Dinah Lance in a whole new direction:
Brenden Fletcher: I think, for me, it just feels like what you naturally want to do as a storyteller. You want to take characters that — if you’re taking other characters that have already existed and you want to do something new and fresh with them, always. And for us, I think we’re just trying to stay true to who we picture Dinah Lance to be, but throw her into a new set of circumstances, and let’s see how she reacts.
Annie Wu: And it’s like amazing when old school fans come up to us and they’re like, “This is so weird, but also the Dinah Lance I love.” So, that’s good feedback.
Fletcher: I get that all the time — “I didn’t think I was going to like this, but this is the best ‘Black Canary’ I’ve read in years.” [Laughs]
Wu: Yeah, yeah, and we’re like, “We’ll take that. Yeah, okay.”
In the next part of their interview, Fletcher and Wu talk about the legacy of Dinah Lance, a character who originally debuted in 1947, and how even though Canary may look different on the exterior, she’s still the same fan-favorite character underneath. Fletcher and Wu then make comparisons between the different eras of Dinah Lance and those of rock legend David Bowie. Wu also discusses the thought process behind the various artistic styles and designs used in “Black Canary,” and Fletcher sings Wu’s praises as his artist and creative partner on the book.
On artist Annie Wu’s amazing work on the book:
Fletcher: It’s great to get to work with Annie … Everything I’m doing I’m just trying to give Annie something fun to draw, because she just wants to draw nothing more than fights on top of buses.
Wu: It’s true.
Fletcher: I’m so sorry [Laughs]. Okay, that was the one thing she didn’t want–
Wu: One of the first things I told Brenden was like, “I’m not so — it takes me a long time to draw cars. Maybe try to avoid that.”
Fletcher: This is true.
Wu: And then, a few months later, he’s like, “Hey, issue #3 is — it’s just a car chase, and most of it takes place on top of a bus.”
Fletcher: You managed to angle most of the shots though to cut out the actual vehicle itself … There was a lot of implication of speed via tassels on the leather jacket. And, you know, you had to draw some motorbikes. I’m really sorry about that. But, for the most part, I’ve been writing to serve the kind of stuff that — the kind of violence that Annie would like to draw.
Closing out their conversation, Fletcher and Wu hint at the big changes that lie ahead for Dinah Lance and her band in “Black Canary,” and one huge “mic drop” in an upcoming issue.
On what to expect from “Black Canary” in the near future:
Fletcher: Just a handful of words: battle of the bands. I think what we’ve all been waiting for.
Wu: Yeah, like it has to happen.
Fletcher: You knew it had to happen at some point. But this isn’t just some standard battle of the bands. This is a battle of the bands with some superpowers. So things get a little dicey. There are some big changes in store for Dinah Lance and her crew. And we’re going to learn mostly all of the answers that we wanted to get out of the series. I think by the time that issue #6 rolls around … There’s a big mic drop at the end of issue #6. Something really huge happens, and Black Canary will never be the same again!
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