When he did take on comics work, however, Toth's distinctive style always lent something special to the stories. He had a dazzling sense of design, and his use of heavy outline let each character distinguish itself, yet still provided a fluid storytelling. It's so easy to imagine an Alex Toth story as a storyboard for an animated feature - this Black Canary 2-parter is no exception.
Written by Denny O'Neill, this tale was a chance for Black Canary to shine. It was rare for her to appear at this time without the entire Justice League (she was a member at the time) or as a guest star (or co-star) in a Green Arrow feature.
The story opens with a very bored Dinah Laurel Lance, who while thumbing through the help wanted ads, sees a listing for a Judo instructor for a feminist group called Women's Resistance League - a job for which she is perfectly suited.
|Right out of The CW - pining for Ollie|
|The dynamism of Alex Toth|
|Betrayed by Bertha|
Taken along for insurance, The Canary immediately begins working on her restraints. This sequence - Dinah tied up in a van - is illustrated with a series of extreme close-ups. This effect really highlights the sense of claustrophobia one might feel in this tight situation.
The prison transfer vehicle makes its way up to the blockade and Bertha orders the attack - gas bombs and grenades go BOOM! A great action sequence follows: Canary takes the wheel of the van blocking the road and drives the vehicle right into a ditch, before taking out the remaining do-no-gooders.
|Dinah Lance - action hero|
I'm not sure that Alex Toth ever worked on the character again, but this short, fun story provided a fantastic showcase for his talents, as well as Denny O'Neill's, and provided a nice solo tryout for our wig-wearing, ass-kicking 'Pretty Bird.'