When I saw an ad in one of my comic books for Bloodspell, a new graphic novel by Paul Dini that teamed up Black Canary and Zattanna, here’s what went through my mind:
OMG, Paul Dini should write more things.
Wait, so many fishnets.
I love Black Canary.
Hey, Aless and I talked about cosplaying as them for Comic Con this year. That’s a weird coincidence.
OMG Aless and I are going to WIN AT COSPLAYING. (Probably not…)
But seriously, like so many fishnets.
I hope it’s not sexist. It might wind up being a little sexist…
But karate and magic! And Paul Dini!
So I was really excited obviously. But I was also wary. I love Paul Dini (All Praise Be To Dini And Timm, Long Live DCAU, In the name of BTAS we say, Baterang), but his work, particularly with female characters isn’t exactly flawless. He was of course a part of The DCAU, which I adore but has the “heart Batman or Be Evil” problem.
But Bloodspell, was actually pretty wonderful. It’s a fun little diversion. Basically, Black Canary impersonated a friend in order to infiltrate a museum heist in Vegas. Turns out the leader of said gang was a witch and she bound them all with a magic spell of some kind. So obviously, when she dies her angry ghost starts possessing each of the girls. And Dinah obviously goes to her magically inclined friend to help her out.
It’s a really fun story and has some super great moments. It was nice to leave the grim heaviness of The New 52 and be reminded that sometimes these characters can be compelling in all there technicolor glory.
Also, there’s a scene where Dinah has an orgasm and it breaks a vase. I mean, it’s implied. We don’t actually see it happen, but it’s pretty funny. And it was nice to see Ollie and Dinah as a couple again. I’m focusing a lot on her. I’m not meaning to totally discount Zee, who’s pretty great here too. She’s really cool, and I love how she’s just so blasé about the magic in her life. She climbs Mount Everest with magic. She talks to her father’s ghost. She has a pet tiger. Whatever. She’s just Zatanna.
Of course is does have that Dini “is this sexist or just how he’s portraying the characters?” flair. There’s a lot of girly girl behavior that doesn’t exactly ring true to Dinah and Zatanna, but I enjoy watching superheroes go on shopping sprees too. I have conflicting emotions about this behavior as its shown in the story. But it’s always going to be super fun. The way that Dinah and Zee met was always really great, on the top of Mount Everest as teenagers. Zatanna got there with magic, Dinah by just being a straight up badass.
That’s my main takeaway from this GN. I mean, I didn’t need further proof that Dinah Lance, The Black Canary, was a badass, but reading this the other day (Coupled with watching her CW equivalent pull a shotgun on a home invader to protect a child in the episode of Arrow I watched the same night) , because of course she is. But still I’ve haven’t picked up Birds of Prey in a while, so it’s always nice to be reminded of why she’s one of my favorite characters.