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We Can Be Heroes

Arrow’s Black Canary, “They’re Not Trying to Make Her Weak,” Plus Another DC Hero Cast For Flash

If you haven’t been watching The CW’s Arrow, you’ve been missing out on some exciting superheroine action. Their Black Canary, Caity Lotz, seems pretty excited about how her character has been portrayed so far. Read on for what she had to say in a recent interview, plus another bit of casting news for The Flash spinoff! 

On tonight’s new episode, comic character Nyssa al Ghul will be making her first appearance and we’ve also recently had word they’ll be airing an episode titled “Birds of Prey” next month. Executive producer Marc Guggenheim added to The Hollywood Reporter, ”We gave ourselves room to grow and evolve. Birds of Prey is very much the same thing. You’re not going to end up with the Holy Trinity of Oracle, Black Canary, and Huntress right out of the gate. We’ll get there.”

As expected, we’re thrilled about all of this.

Lotz recently spoke with Comic Book Resources about Black Canary and her equal footing with Arrow. “I love it, and I love that I get the opportunity to play such an awesome character, and someone who’s so strong — and that they like writing her that way, and they’re not trying to make her weak; make her into a damsel in distress,” she told them. “They’re really letting the character be strong. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s exciting to be a part of that, and hopefully there will be more of that.”

They also touched on the strength of the character, both in flashbacks and the current storyline.

Sometimes I find it hard when I’m playing Sara on the island, because I still kind of have present-day Sara lingering in my head a little bit. I want to give her that strength. I feel bad for Sara on the island, because she doesn’t have that strength yet. As the character is making decisions, and the reactions, she’s insecure, and she’s scared. I think that’s hard, because sometimes I just want her to be badass already — be like, “Nope, sorry! Screw you guys, this is what’s happening.”

Sometimes it can get hard when you’re playing a strong character. You want to protect that strength of the character, and sometimes that can make you want to be unemotional, or not open. I think that’s a trap that you have to really be conscious not to fall into. Knowing that your character still has its strength, even when you give it that humanity, and the emotion, and the weakness. You have to feel it, but then you have to hide it. If you just have it too much out, then you do kind of lose that strength. But if you don’t have it at all, then you don’t feel for the character. It’s got to be there, but you’ve got to be fighting with that emotion.

I love that she gets it.

Meanwhile, just after we posted news of the Iris West casting for The Flash yesterday, it was officially announced Broadway star Carlos Valdes would be taking on the earlier rumored role of Cisco Ramon (aka superhero Vibe). The Wrap writes, “Cisco is described as a mechanical engineering genius and the youngest member of the team of scientists at S.T.A.R. Labs.”

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  • Anonymous

    Wow who would’ve ever thought we’d see Vibe on television in a large role?

  • Adrian

    After seeing the one minute intro of Law as Nyssa, I’m pumped to see her go toe-to-toe with Canary (probably her student) and/or Arrow.

    Guggenheim’s quote about Birds of Prey gives me hope that they’ll put Huntress on the path of redemption with her episode next month.

  • Anonymous

    This all has me hoping for a Birds of Prey spin off. I think I’d die of happiness if that happened.

  • St. Jason

    I hope so too, I still have nightmares of the Birds of Prey show from 2002

  • Ryan Colson

    Before Wonder Woman, no less:/

  • Anonymous

    With the exception of casting Dina Meyer as Babs, I agree. I thought she was great, but the writing and the plots and uuuugh, so bad.

  • Mark Matson

    I’ve been assuming Lotz’s character only had this season to live. Perhaps I’m wrong. Hope so.

  • MeatyStakes

    I really liked Loitz on her first appearances, but I have really found that her last 2 episodes in the islands she kinda just seems to be “there” and I have failed to connect emotionally with her arc in the isle. She just looks sorta pouty instead of, I dunno, more emotionally distraught?. I’m inclined to pin it on the writing, cause I remember how great she was when she just arrived.

    So I’m really banking on today’s episode, Loitz really shined fare brighter on her Canary context; her island persona feels rather perfunctory to me and I really can’t shake that feeling that she is just kinda there.

    That’s the problem I have, I’m totally on board with what she is saying, but I’m not really seeing it in the Island arc.

  • MangoMagic

    I hear you. I don’t like Island-Sara at all. She comes off, just as you said, “pouty” and a little daft to me. She kind of just stands there…pouting. It’s bothersome. BC-Sara is a definite improvement. Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

  • Harrison Grey

    All I heard was “Oracle … We’ll get there.” Do not disappoint me, guys.

  • Harrison Grey

    At this point, it feels like a toss up. I feel like we can expect the League of Assassins storyline to wrap up this season, after which I think there will be a Black Canary on the show full time (Sarah if she survives; Laurel if Sarah dies and she takes up the mantle). But as to which one will be left standing, I really can’t say. But it better be Sarah.

  • Harrison Grey

    Last week’s whole island flashback didn’t do much more than reiterate what we already knew, but the week before Sarah’s radio conversation with Ivo really sold me on her, pre and post flashback. Seeing her ‘hero’ up and start making some competent decisions felt pretty great.

  • TrippedB

    Birds of Prey 2002….. ugh. I don’t know honestly if it’s going to be on the WB… I don’t think I’ll watch it. It took me a lot of convincing to watch Arrow and sometimes the bad writing and casting still makes me mad. I swear I shake my head whenever I see Laurel.

    If they don’t actually do some real thought giving about casting even if they’re unknowns, just do it. As long as they look and can the play the roll, I give no Fcks. The whole show is a giant mess if my sister wasn’t the one putting it on I don’t think I would honestly be watching it.

  • Anonymous

    It’s always hysterical to me every time we get the “obscure character before Wonder Woman.”

    I have to laugh through the pain, you see.

  • Adrian

    I’m not sure what you mean about casting. They already have the Brids of Prey cast set up on Arrow.

  • Adrian

    I’m not sure what you mean about casting. They already have the Brids of Prey cast set up on Arrow.

  • Adrian

    Personally, I buy her in the flashbacks. She sells that part of her that was still a naive girl who is in a situation she never could’ve imagined being in.

    Add in how awesome she is as Canary, at least as far as her fighting skills go and I think she does a good job at portraying both versions.

  • Adrian

    Since they’re probably never going to touch certain parts of Gotham or the Batman mythos, I think it’d be great to have a Birds of Prey show down the line and have Felicity take on the Oracle role for both Arrow and the Birds.

  • Adrian

    I’m tired of the island. The island is where everyone is sad, incapable, helpless, you name it. We know they were weaker once, but they don’t need to remind me anymore. I’m beyond ready to see them become the badasses that they are now.

  • Harrison Grey

    I’ll agree, although I think the flashback characters are getting more competent, if nothing else. Sarah’s only been there for half a season, and she’s already made greater strides than Oliver (mentally, not physically; I think that transformation is being reserved for potential League of Assassins flashbacks.) It also looks like we’ll get the long promised Slade and Oliver fight by the end of this season, so I think we’ll have two fully competent versions of Oliver on the show by the beginning of next year at the latest. Now if only it didn’t have to be so dour.

  • Adrian

    I just hope the island flashbacks end altogether, sooner rather than later. I’d rather have the whole show dedicated to what’s going on now, rather than flashbacks.

  • Anonymous

    I really love what she’s saying, but I also am not really seeing it. Could just be my personal viewpoints and opinions versus hers, however. I am just finding Canary, past or present, to be a little too doe-eyed and pouty tears. I’m not saying I dislike this Canary or Loitz’s acting — far from it; I just am not seeing the same overall picture she paints in the above article. There is plenty of episodes left, however. We’ll see how things go.

  • Anonymous

    I really love what she’s saying, but I also am not really seeing it. Could just be my personal viewpoints and opinions versus hers, however. I am just finding Canary, past or present, to be a little too doe-eyed and pouty tears. I’m not saying I dislike this Canary or Loitz’s acting — far from it; I just am not seeing the same overall picture she paints in the above article. There is plenty of episodes left, however. We’ll see how things go.

  • kbroxmysox

    Especially since Vibe is a character who has yet to be considered a successful character. He’s 0-2 in terms of being anything but a poorly written character

  • Adrian

    Well, there are still 3+ years of development for Oliver to go through so strap in, I guess, it’s not ending soon.

    Personally, I like the flashbacks, island and not, and I like seeing Stephen Amell play multiple versions.

    I’m also quite interested in seeing his time in or around all the Russians and how he became a Bratva captain.

  • Anonymous

    Knowing Arrow (God, I love Arrow), he’ll become one of my favorite characters.

  • Mark Brown

    I know there are probably rights issues (the Batman rights are convoluted), but there are SO many cool ways they could seed in the Bat-mythos.

  • Harrison Grey

    Yeah, we’re kind of stuck with the flashbacks for the next three years, and after that we’ll see what happens. Last year, I was loving them, because they were more comic booky than the present day. This year, the present is all Arabic ninjas and superpowers, so the island feels a bit less necessary. But I think we’re heading towards a segment of time where Oliver and KGBeast are palling around on a boat, so that sounds like it could be fun.

  • Starman

    Ditto. Especially after tonight’s episode. I don’t know if it’s Katie Cassidy’s hammy performance playing drunk or just the whinny dialogue Laurel has but … welll, I wouldn’t actually wish death on a character but I would like to see her decide to move somewhere else to start a new life.

  • Tricia Ennis

    I need Oracle. I also need my real Black Canary. I have so many issues with Lotz’s version only because I’m so attached to the comic character. They’ve said she would be part of Laurel’s evolution into the comics Canary, so I guess we’ll see. I just really don’t want to see a repeat of that ridiculous series in 2002.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Marvel really needs to get their act together. We saw Nyssa on screen before Wasp or Captain Marvel~!

  • Brett W


  • Harrison Grey

    Yeah. I knew last week wasn’t going to end with her being written out, but I couldn’t help but get excited when she had a job interview out of town. Then she screwed it up by being a slobbering drunk. Such a shame.

  • Harrison Grey

    I need Black Canary too, but at this point Sarah is a better Canary than Laurel. Sarah already has the personality (if not the fishnets) of comic book Black Canary significantly more than Laurel, and the biggest thing holding her back is a certain lack of humor (which could easily be because she’s being hunted by an international band of assassins; get her out of that situation and get her relaxed, and I can see her being a whole lot more fun). Laurel has gone from a mediocre character to an absolutely hateable character, and aside from being a foodie, she bears no resemblance to the Dinah Laurel Lance of the comics. If she does go vigilante on us, she’d be Black Canary in name only (and considering her going by Laurel, she wouldn’t even be that).

  • Tricia Ennis

    Technically, her name IS Dinah Laurel Lance. Tommy calls her that in the first episode.

    And I just really haven’t warmed up to Sarah the way I would need to to accept her as the “real” Canary. Plus, the showrunners did intend for Laurel to take up the mantle all along, they just have to get there.

    Honestly, I could totally see them managing to get Laurel’s character to a point where it would work. They just need to get the ball rolling on it.

    It also involves certain events from The Longbow Hunters.

    But I’m being stubborn.

  • Harrison Grey

    I was being stubborn about Laurel needing to be the Canary over the summer break, even when the writer’s hinting was becoming increasingly clear that Sarah was coming back as Canary. Then Sarah came in and was blonde, could fight (not just self defense class, she could really, really fight), hung out in a clocktower, was connected to Sin, and apparently had a romance within the League of Assassins, all things I recognized as comic book Dinah Lance.

    Then I realized that Laurel, (and yeah, I know it’s technically Dinah Laurel Lance, but they still refer to her as the wrong name; it’s like rebooting Star Trek but everyone calls the captain Tiberius) shared literally nothing with comic book Canary (except, again, being a foodie). She was at best Rachel Dawes, a somewhat annoying moral center to the billionaire playboy that Oliver Queen only pretends to be; at worst she’s been a drunk harpy.

    And sure, a lot of this is the writers’ faults; Laurel and Count Vertigo I think are the two biggest mistakes they’ve made. But since turning her into a lawyer in episode one, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle to turn her into a recognizable Dinah Lance, and they have done nothing but pull her further and further away from what she needs to be. And really, she’s been kidnapped so many times already, I can’t see how doing it again is going to put her on the right course for Canary (is that the bit in Longbow Hunters you were referring to? That’s really all she did in that comic was get kidnapped and tortured).

    Meanwhile Sarah’s already a decent way there. I think the big reason we haven’t gotten that attached to her is that we’ve seen way more of less than stellar flashback Sarah than we have present day, Black Canary Sarah. Now that she’s in Starling full time, we can get to see the better version of her character at play.

    Also, I would like to see at least parts of the Longbow Hunters come into play, mostly just to unkill Shado. Seriously, fridging her on the island was a bad move.

  • Tricia Ennis

    When they first introduced Sarah as Black Canary, I immediately hated the idea, both because I wanted Laurel and because I thought the character would make about 1000% more sense as Lady Shiva.

    I still think that, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to remain stubborn on this issue (sorry, I’m usually so flexible). I still hold out hope for Laurel. Comic Canary was normal until she started getting trained by Wildcat and then the League, and she was introduced to the whole Black Canary thing by a family member already using the name.

    And yes, I meant the kidnap and torture part. I want Laurel to take up the Canary mantle, and then have all the shit from that comic happen and be the catalyst that gets her to move away and start over somewhere else, where she is contacted by Oracle and they start the Birds of Prey.

  • Harrison Grey

    Sarah as Lady Shiva? Weird thing is I’ve heard someone else mention it last season (their context was “fans would freak out if…”). I don’t follow the reasoning on that, I’m afraid. Lady Shiva works better, in my opinion, if she’s been at martial arts basically her whole life. Sarah’s only been training within about four years, I see no way she could be good enough to be that character. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Laurel goes bad, and if she does, my money’s on a new version of the White Canary.

    I was the longest holdout in support of Laurel in my family (my sister and mom gave up long ago), but I’ll admit I’ve had my doubts about her since episode one (lawyer Laurel really has been a huge complaint since the beginning). The point at which they gave me a suitable replacement Canary on the show was the point I started rooting for someone else.

    Yeah, the Birds of Prey (preferably as its own show) is the ideal situation here. We know Huntress and Sarah/Canary are getting into a fight in a few episodes (episode title: Birds of Prey). I’m still waiting on Oracle (I will accept none other than Barbara Gordon, none of this Felicity ends up in a wheelchair crap). I’ve been wondering how they might bring her in, and then I realized something. You know what comic Oracle first appeared in? Suicide Squad. Which also happens to be the title of the episode directly before the episode titled Birds of Prey this season. I have high hopes.

  • Tricia Ennis

    I want them to introduce Oracle as her own, brand new character in the spin-off actually. Or introduce her in a very small way on Arrow.

    And I didn’t mean Sarah as Shiva. I meant I wanted the character to be Shiva instead of Black Canary, and for Sarah to stay dead. Long before we found out who it was. It made more sense from a “getting Laurel to become Canary” standpoint.

  • Harrison Grey

    Ideally, Oracle might get a cameo in Arrow and make a full debut in the pilot for Birds of Prey, the first arc of which would involve Canary and Oracle tracking down and “bringing in” Huntress, at which point they’d offer her to prove herself by helping them. But if we’re talking truly ideally here, then the show would have started with a clear Dinah Lance character whose mother had secretly been a vigilante and who might even have taken up the mantle while Oliver was off on the island. And who was never a lawyer.

    In our own world, where they started the potential Canary character by writing her as the antagonistic love interest first and potential superhero later, and where the Birds of Prey spinoff that so needs to be made isn’t yet a definitely happening thing, I think it’s much more likely (and more likely to lead to a spinoff in the first place) that Oracle will make a decent sized appearance on Arrow, team up with Canary, and establish a secondary crime fighting team that is too much for the show to handle and therefore needs to be moved to its own show. With Sarah as Canary a now full time member of Team Arrow (just after Roy joined full time, too) the group is already bursting at the seams. I suspect they’ll want to find a good reason to get Sarah (who is on par with Oliver himself as a crimefighter) not in every episode, and having her on her own, separate team is a decent way to say why she’s busy every other week.

    And the other thing is this isn’t like the Flash, where they decided they wanted another, mostly unrelated show, and opted to introduce the character first in Arrow as a teaser. If Birds of Prey is being co-helmed by Black Canary, it makes it the culmination of a lot of work done within Arrow itself. So the odds of them trying to introduce much of it in Arrow seem more likely. I think our best chance for a full show of the BoP is to have the team introduced in Arrow first, and be so great that everyone wants a separate show about them.