Black Canary: Breaking Silence
Dinah Lance was seven years old when she overheard the impossible: the sound of a girl singing. It was something she was never meant to hear—not in her lifetime, and not in Gotham City, taken over by the Court of Owls. The sinister organization rules Gotham as a patriarchal dictatorship, all the while spreading their influence like a virus across the globe.
Now seventeen, Dinah can’t forget that haunting sound, and she’s beginning to discover that her own voice is just as powerful. But singing is forbidden—a one-way stop to a certain death sentence. Can she balance her father’s desire to keep her safe, a blossoming romance with mysterious new student Oliver Queen, and her own desire to help other women and girls rise up and finally be heard? And will her voice be powerful enough to destroy the Court of Owls once and for all?
Something I love about the superhero world is how many different stories and scenarios you can create. Alexandra Monir imagines Gotham as it might be if the Court of Owls succeeded in overthrowing the superheroes. You needn't have read other DC Gotham-set comics to understand how terrifying the Court and their assassins (known as 'Talons") are. In the beginning of the book, Dinah encounters a Talon and barely manages to get away. This book does a fantastic job laying out just how high the stakes are as Dinah rebels more and more.
The Black Canary is one of my favorite superheroes, and BREAKING SILENCE shows how powerful her voice is. More than just driving people to their knees, her voice can also break metal and create a sonic pulse where she can hear things from far away. It takes time for Dinah to understand how to activate her powers and use her voice as a weapon in both a literal and metaphorical way. Oracle and Lady Shiva make appearances as well, and they are instrumental in helping Dinah find her way. The three have a distinct dynamic as they reform a team Oracle and Lady Shiva worried died with Dinah's mom.
While I love Dinah's character and the intensity of the battle she faces, the plot felt a little too predictable for me. I was more motivated to keep reading to spend time with the characters than eager to turn the page to see what twist would unfold. However, this was just my perspective, and I can easy see others being hooked on the plot instead of just the characterization.
BLACK CANARY: BREAKING SILENCE has a unique superhero origin story with an important message of finding and using your voice that is sure to delight both readers familiar with the Black Canary and those just meeting her.