With The CW series nearing its conclusion, Arrow is finally giving fans a proper Black Canary, as the latest version of the DC Comics superhero is the most comic book accurate interpretation of Black Canary yet. It would seem that the Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) of Earth-2, who took up the mantle of "Black Canary" toward the end of season 7, will have evolved into a more familiar version of the comic book character when the show returns for its eighth and final season in October.
The character started out as the villainous Black Siren, who debuted in a season 2 episode of The Flash when she crossed over onto Earth-1. The character recurred through season 5 of Arrow before joining the main cast in season 6. For quite a while, Black Siren has wavered between good and evil, often making it difficult to determine which side she's truly on. A redemptive arc in season 7 finally aligned Black Siren with Oliver Queen and Team Arrow. She eventually decided to return to Earth-2 as the new Black Canary.
The Arrow season 8 trailer revealed Laurel's new costume for the upcoming run, and the character's new look cements her transformation into the Black Canary from the comic books. In DC Comics, the main version of Black Canary, like Arrow's Black Siren, is originally from Earth-2. She migrated to Earth-1 when her universe was wiped out by the comic book event, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," which effectively rebooted the DC Universe. Season 8 could be headed in the same direction with Laurel, since the Arrowverse's version of the crossover is right around the corner.
Over the course of the series, Arrow has repeatedly changed the "Black Canary" identity. The mantle keeps swapping hands, with each character who takes up the name being labeled the real Black Canary -- but it never lasts. Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) was Arrow's first Black Canary, before being replaced by her sister, Laurel. After Laurel was murdered by Damien Darhk in season 4 of Arrow, it appeared that the series had just killed off an iconic DC Comics superhero and Oliver's main love interest in the comics.
Arrow dropped a huge twist in season 5 with the introduction of the next Black Canary, Juliana Harkavy's Dinah Drake. At the time, Dinah was considered to be the most comic book accurate, since she's the only one of the three to share her comic book counterpart's maiden name, "Drake," and her authentic "Canary Cry". With each version, Arrow comes one step closer to the true Black Canary, and now a new Black Canary has entered the mix -- complete with her Earth-2 backstory -- just in time for the show's final season.