Every year on GreenArrowTV’s Twitter feed and Facebook page, we’d count down to the new season’s premiere with a classic Green Arrow-related comic book cover. After all, it was the comic books that inspired the TV series to begin with.
Since there had sometimes been confusion about the covers without any context, this year we’re going to describe the comic book covers that we are showing. The issue numbers on the comics will correspond to the number of days left before Season 5 begins. For example, there are 97 days left until Arrow Season 5, considering The CW has announced an October 5 premiere date.
Here’s today’s entry.
Birds of Prey #97
The Black Canary may have had a few titles of her own over the years, but her longest-running comic book series was actually Birds of Prey, a comic book that at least in its inception teamed Dinah Lance with the computer genius “Oracle” who was a paralyzed former Batgirl, Barbara Gordon.
Birds of Prey was adapted into a WB Network TV series in 2002 following the network’s success with Smallville. Unfortunately, lightning didn’t strike twice and despite some good casting (especially Dina Meyer as Oracle), the stories were a bit all over the place. Dinah Lance was still a factor, but in the show, she was a teen with psychic abilities whose mother was the original Black Canary.
“Birds of Prey” was also the title of an Arrow Season 3 episode that featured both Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress (Jessica de Gouw). As seen in the cover above, the Huntress was also a part of the Birds of Prey comic for a good amount of time.
When it comes to the Birds of Prey in comics, there are ultimately two major runs and writers who matter: Chuck Dixon, who devised the series and managed to create a concept that would run for over 175 issues when the series are combined, a large feat considering how rare that happens in the modern age — and noted Arrow expert Gail Simone. Gail Simone took over the series with issue #56. The Birds will again be getting their own comic book series soon titled Batgirl and the Birds of Prey written by Shawna and Julie Benson, both of whom have written for the TV series The 100.
This particular cover features Dinah Lance/The Black Canary and The Huntress as they looked in the comics in 2006, and as a bonus, it sports a beautiful cover by Jerry Ordway, whose graphic novel The Power of Shazam is one of the best things ever. Ordway is also known for some fantastic Superman artwork.
You can check out Birds of Prey from the beginning with the first trade paperback. Gail Simone’s run can be found here. Will we ever see the Birds of Prey on Arrow again? The show’s most recent Black Canary, Laurel, is dead, though it’s likely and possible that Sara Lance could visit again, as could Laurel’s Earth-2 counterpart the Black Siren. Stephen Amell has hinted that a character not seen in two full seasons is coming back — perhaps it is the Huntress! We’ll just have to wait and see.
97 days are left to the Arrow season premiere – be sure to come back daily for more countdown posts! Past “Cover Countdown” posts can be found here.