Black Canary: Ignite, published by DC Comics under their DC Zoom imprint, marks writer Meg Cabot’s (The Princess Diaries) first graphic novel. The book is illustrated by Cara McGee, colored by Caitlin Quirk, and lettered by Clayton Cowles. The graphic novel follows a thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance. Dinah just wants to join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy, which is part of career week. so she can be just like her father, Detective Lance. However, between hanging out with her friends at band practice, taking on school bullies, and trying out for cheerleading, strange things keep happening.
When Principal Vogel accuses Dinah of being a meta-human, her parents rightfully get upset, even threatening to bring in a lawyer, but Dinah begins to notice her vocal cords tend to have a life of their own. However, a strange figure keeps showing up and getting in the way of Dinah’s goals. He threatens her friends and family, so Dinah takes it upon herself to learn more about her new power, the Canary Cry, as well as her mother’s secret past as the vigilante the Black Canary.
Of the DC Comics YA graphic novels that I have read, including Teen Titans: Raven and Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, this is my absolute favorite. Black Canary: Ignite is, at its core, a mother-daughter story about learning about and accepting your own heritage. After learning about her power, Dinah doesn’t feel special. She is unsure if she and can even use her power for good, especially since she keeps inadvertently destroying school property. But, with the help of a few great mentors and supportive parents, Dinah grows into her gift and regains her confidence, becoming the strong woman we know on the panels today.
Cabot does an excellent job of capturing Dinah’s spunky and complex personality. In the comics, Dinah, despite her leather jacket and badass martial arts skill, has a soft side. That is also seen here. Dinah cares deeply for her friends, her parents, and her pet bird. She is willing to break any and all rules if it means keeping them safe.
Dinah’s overall style is beautifully illustrated by McGee. The designs within the book feel fresh and perfect for a younger audience but still keep a lot of the character’s classic elements, including her boots, her leather jacket, and her fishnet tights. Additionally, Quirk’s bright color palate matches the younger and lighter tone of the graphic novel.
Black Canary: Ignite is a great addition to DC’s line of YA graphic novels and is the strongest of the bunch. Cabot gives Dinah an origin story that fits the imprint and the character well. This is a must-read for fans of Black Canary and has enough easter eggs hidden in its panels for any Birds of Prey fans as well. The book is also a great pick for anyone who has enjoyed Cabot’s work in the past.
Black Canary: Ignite is available now wherever comic books are sold and online.
Black Canary: Ignite
Black Canary: Ignite is a great addition to DC’s line of YA graphic novels and is the strongest of the bunch.