(Dinah Laurel Lance is an incredible inspirational character for me, ever since I first started reading DC comics, I’ve always identified with, and admired, her. And it is an extremely painful knowledge for me that she, (her romance with Ollie and her relationship with Roy and Barbara,) have just been thrown away; like so much of DC’s history.
[I’ve always been adamant that if I have a daughter one day, she’ll be named after her.])
As we move to the semi-finals of the 2012 DC Woman kick ass tournament I’m running essays for each of the four contenders - Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, Dinah Lance and Wonder Woman - to convince you to vote for them. Yesterday, I ran an essay;on the case for Stephanie Brown and the case for Wonder Woman. If you haven’t read them, please do. Today I have essays on the other two contenders Dinah Lance, Black Canary and Barbara Gordon. First up is Dinah Lance and I’m very happy that Debi Linton aka innerbrat wrote it. Debi was one of the very first followers of this blog; and I consider her to be one of the Deans of Dinahology. Her thoughts follow.
The hardest part of writing this piece is in finding something I haven’t already written about how awesome Dinah Lance is. It’s not enough to say that she’s one of the best martial artists in the world and co-founded the Justice League and her generation’s incarnation of the Justice Society and the Birds of Prey. It’s not enough to say that she was taken prisoner, tortured and depowered and worked her way back up from the bottom. It’s definitely not enough to throw at you scans of Dinah hugging Oracle or playing dress up with Wonder Woman or kissing Batman.
Although I really want to do those things.
Like a lot of comic fans, I was sad by the new 52 reboot, for the characters that were lost, but also for the universe that was lost, and the grand and complex history and web of interconnectivity that was woven between all the characters and titles in it. And if any one character could represent that history and that strong sense of community that we lost, it would be Dinah Laurel Lance – not to be confused with the Golden Age Dinah Drake Lance who has replaced her in the reboot.
Dinah Laurel Lance was the favorite niece/cool older sister of the entire DCU. She trained with the original JSA, and later with Wonder Woman and Batgirl. In turn, she became a mother figure and a mentor for the younger members of the JSA, for Speedy and for Spoiler, switching easily between student and teacher.
Dinah was a legacy character, something we’ve all but lost with the reboot, who took on the fishnets against her mother’s wishes because she honestly believed it was the right thing to do, and because listening to wise advice would never be in her repertoire. As a character, she is stubborn, headstrong and impulsive, and leads with her heart over her head. Not because she’s inexperienced, or stupid or naïve, but because this is her choice. She genuinely believes that hope and optimism is the best way to look at the world, and the world is better for it.
There’s a reason Dinah is often set up as the anti-Shiva. Both women strive to learn and to improve, and often get tangled up in each other with mutual admiration, but it’s their motivations that set them apart. Shiva wants to kill her way to being the best, Dinah wants to use every tool she can to help people, and it’s Dinah’s faith in herself and in others that sets her apart.
Her faith in others is never clouded by naivete: she sees the people she loves for all they are, strengths and weaknesses, and refuses to take any crap from anyone, particularly the people she loves most of all. She never lets Oracle cut her out “for her own good.” She tells Batman off when he interferes with her friends, and she never ever fails to tell Green Arrow when he’s being a jerk (which is a lot of the time).
Dinah is about hope, and about friendship, and about getting the hell back up when you’ve been knocked down, and she’s about being the very best you can be and then finding a way to be even better than that. And she’s also about reaching out to the people you love and making sure they become the very best they can possibly be, whether that person is a control freak computer nerd, or a addict with a bow, or one of the world’s deadliest assassin. Because Dinah knows the world can be a better place, and she’s going to do that one person at a time.
And that is what makes her the most kickass DC woman in my book.
(For more of what I’ve written about Dinah, see this post from 2008, because much of it still holds true today)*
*DCWKA Note: go read that!
So after my rather late reaction to the news that the Dinah in the nU is, in fact, Dinah Lance’s *mother*, and Dinah doesn’t exist anymore, I decided to do a quick Arrowfam tally.
Characters with red x’s no longer exist. Characters without them do.
That’s a 25% survival rate, and the only two to make it are two out of the three white men*.
*While some fan theories have Roy as part Navajo, and I like to headcanon that myself, I *highly* doubt that the nU will at all deal with that.
You could probably just cross out everyone since everyone left is just in name only.
I really don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
I just pretend the DCU is still canon and this DCU a total AU. Why should I leave the planet because of stupid editorial decisions at DC? Nope. I say stay here and make them annoyed by continuing to point out their failures.
In the past…I don’t wanna say 10 years but definitely the last 5, and especially the last year, DC Comics has become a giant tub of Character Regression. The above images being an absolutely perfect example of this. See also:
Dick Grayson finally gets over his hang-ups about taking over as Batman -> Nope, I’m Nightwing again!
Hal Jordan kills a crap ton of people after a huge tragedy affects him, finds penance and a chance for redemption as The Specter -> Nope, I was possessed by a space fear demon! The blood is washed neatly from my hands!
Captain Boomerang dies but not before revealing his legacy to his son, a man who has ties to the rouges but also to the Teen Titans -> Nope, The original comes back to life and younger after his son kills a bunch of children and then dies himself!
Oliver Queen dies but after revealing his legacy to his son, who takes over as Green Arrow and due to being raised by monks has a completely different liberal/spirtual type of personality -> Nope, the original comes back to life but hey at least his son is still around fighting with him -> Nope, his son gets shot and looses all memory of who he was along with his personality that made him an interesting character -> Nope, HE JUST DOESN’T EXIST ANYMORE AT ALL.
Barry Allen dies but leaves his legacy to his sidekick, Wally West, but still remains as an occasional mentor due to time travel shenanigans -> Nope, Barry comes back to life but he’s still got Wally and Wally’s awesome supporting cast -> NOPE. ALL BARRY ALL THE TIME, BITCHES. WALLY, JESSIE, MAX, LINDA, THE TWINS WHO NEEDS THOSE?
I can keep going…
FEELS EXPLODING ALL OVER THE PLACE
Young Justice Invasion: Satisfaction Trailers and Stills
[more spoilers below]
Can we also talk about this:
Jason Todd. We were right, that is what Dick was fearful of in the Happy New Year Episode. Holy Moley! (Also, such a nice nod to the memorial statue room from the New Teen Titans/Titans Titan’s tower.)
And poor real Roy-baby:
Doesn’t that little ang-roy face just break your heart? :(
Big emotions ahead this Saturday guys.