Black Canary is one of the best characters in the DC Comics Universe, with family ties to DC’s Justice Society of America, and a founding role in the Justice League of America. Although her solo comic book series have been all too few, there are plenty of excellent series to navigate in a Black Canary reading order, such as Birds of Prey.
Inevitably, any Black Canary reading order will see some overlap with Comic Book Herald’s Green Arrow reading order. The characters are irrevocably intertwined (as DC Rebirth finally proved). Nonetheless, there are plenty of standalone Black Canary stories below far from the shadow of Oliver Queen!
Black Canary Trade Comics Reading Order
Waid and Kitson’s Year One never quite measures up to the grand Year One tradition sparked by Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, but it absolutely highlights some of the unexplored corners of the JLA’s foundation, including Black Canary’s fundamental role in the team.
Collects: Original graphic novel by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson.
Collects: Adventure Comics #399, #418-#419, Comics Cavalcade #25, DC Special Edition #3, Flash Comics #86 to #104, The Brave And The Bold #61 to #62
This is 90% for the Green Arrow and Green Lantern fans, but Black Canary does play a supporting role throughout Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams renowned socially conscious 70’s comics run.
While this is a particularly revered Green Arrow story, many Black Canary fans would argue this is the lowest point for Dinah Lance. I reference the comic largely because it becomes a heavily referenced part of Dinah’s backstory, for example in Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey.
Collects: Green Arrow The Longbow Hunters #1 to #3
By Chuck Dixon, Gary Frank, and Matt Haley.
Birds of Prey would really grow into something special in the early 2000’s, but it all starts out here in the mid 1990’s.
Collects: Black Canary/Oracle: Birds Of Prey #1, Showcase ’96 #3, Birds Of Prey: Manhunt #1-4, Birds Of Prey: Revolution #1, Birds Of Prey: Wolves #1 And Birds Of Prey: Batgirl #1
Collects: Birds of Prey #1 to #11, Birds of Prey: Raven #1
Collects: Birds of Prey #12 to #21, Nightwing #45 to #46
Dinah joins the rejuvenated JSA, a series that ran from 1999 to 2006. The Justice Society of America relaunch from James Robinson, David Goyer, and eventually Geoff Johns can also be checked out on the cheap with the first volume Justice Be Done (JSA: Justice Society of America, Book 1) and second volume JSA: Darkness Falls.
Collects: JSA #1-25, JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice, JSA All-Stars #1-8, JSA Our Worlds at War #1, JLA/JSA Secret Files #1, JSA Secret Files #1, All-Star Comics #1-2, All-American Comics #1, Adventure Comics #1, National Comics #1, Sensation Comics #1, Smash Comics #1, Star Spangled Comics #1 and Thrilling Comics #1
Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey Begins For Black Canary
The Gail Simone and Ed Benes run on Birds of Prey begins. Excellent run of DC Universe comics, cementing Simone’s status as one of the finest DC Comics writers of the 2000’s.
If you read nothing else, this run helps to establish Black Canary’s superhero bonafides, as well as her relationships with DC Universe mainstays like Barbara Gordon.
Collects: Birds of Prey #56 to #61
Collects: Birds of Prey #62 to #68
Collects: Birds of Prey #69 to #75
Collects: Birds of Prey #76 to #85
Collects: Birds of Prey #86 to #90, #92 to #95
Following Identity Crisis, one of the biggest DC Universe shakeups of the 2000’s, mystery novelist Brad Meltzer teams with Geoff Johns and Ed Benes to relaunch the JLA.
Collects: Justice League of America #1 to #7
Collects: Justice League of America #0, Justice League of America #8 to #12
Collects: Birds of Prey #96 to #103
Collects: Birds of Prey #104 to #108
By Paul Dini and Joe Quinones. Separate story, largely removed from continuity, highlighting a team-up between Black Canary and Zatana.
The Wedding of Black Canary and Green Arrow
After years of an again / off again romance, Green Arrow and Black Canary finally plan to tie the knot.
Collects: Birds Of Prey #109, Black Canary #1-4, And The Black Canary Wedding Planner
Collects: Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special #1, Green Arrow/Black Canary #1 to #5
Collects: JLA Wedding Special #1, Justice League of America #13 to #16
Collects: Green Arrow/Black Canary #6 to #29, Green Arrow #30 to #32
Collects: Justice League of America #17 to #21
Collects: Justice League of America #22 to #26
Collects: Justice League of America #27, 28 and 30-34
New 52 Black Canary
Following DC’s 2011 Flashpoint event, the entire universe rebooted in what was called the New 52.
Black Canary’s New 52 origins begin with Birds of Prey, before eventually expanding to Batgirl and (Finally) her own ongoing solo series.
You can see where all these Black Canary comics fit as part of Comic Book Herald’s New 52 reading order.
Collects: New 52 Birds of Prey #1 to #34
Barbara Gordon’s soft reboot within the New 52 also led to a reinvention for Dinah Lance, finally taking on the lead singer in a punk rock band status we all secretly wanted.
Collects: Batgirl #35 to #40
Collects: Black Canary #1 to #7
Collects: Black Canary #8 to #12, Gotham Academy #17
DC Rebirth Black Canary
As mentioned, DC Rebirth restores much of DC continuity before the New 52, including the relationship between Black Canary and Green Arrow.
You can find where all these Black Canary appearances fit within Comic Book Herald’s DC Rebirth reading order.
Collects: Green Arrow: Rebirth #1, Green Arrow #1 to #5
Collects: Batgirl & The Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #1 to #6
Collects: Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #7 to #13
Collects: Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #14 to #22