The Nerd Smackdown: Who’s Tougher? The Black Canary or the Black Widow?


Hey there folks!

It’s another edition of the Nerd Smackdown! This one features the Black Canary and the Black Widow, those battling beauties who use their ninja moves to knock out the bad guys of their respective comic book universes. They’re both top-notch hand-t0-hand combatants, they’ve both loved archers, they both look great in skin-tight outfits (or fishnets), and they both have “Black” in their codenames.

But who’s more fearsome when it comes time to fight?

Let’s take a quick look at what both ladies have going on to see what’s what.

Black Canary.

There have been multiple women in the DC Universe who’ve taken the name, but this time I’m referring to Dinah Lance, the most recent Canary, who stars in Birds of Prey. She’s proficient in several forms of martial arts and has trained under many fighting experts, and she spent a little time in the Team 7 Black Ops group (or whatever that group was supposed to be), but she’s got a handy superpower she can use if her ninja moves aren’t enough: her famous Canary Cry. It’s a sonic scream she can fire from her throat and mouth as a blast that strikes adversaries as an energy projectile—great when she’s fighting tough guys with invulnerable skin that won’t go down with a simple karate chop. Recently, she’s been shown to use her sonic scream ability in surprising ways, like propelling herself through the air to fly, kinda like Marvel’s Banshee does. But don’t expect Dinah to start flying around wielding sonic screams all the time like a flying energy blaster—she likes martial arts too much and prefers to rely on her fists and feet to pummel the bad guys. She’s also great at riding motorbikes and extreme sports. Dinah’s an action junky who likes physical things. In the past, she’s been written as a quasi-luddite who’s not very good with computers or sophisticated technology (at least, not compared to Barbara Gordon. But then again, who WOULD seem good with computers compared to Barbara Gordon?). That technological discomfort, however, may have been retconned away in that past few years thanks to the New 52—but all the other stuff about her being an ass kicker in fishnets who can yell at people really well is still canon.

Black Widow.

Natalia “Natasha” Romanova is a gymnast and ex-spy whose time in the Russian government, and later S.H.I.E.L.D., gave her mastery of several martial arts styles, but she was also trained in espionage and spy work, and she’s served as an assassin when necessary. She’s a great manipulator with knowledge of the human mind, and one of her specialties from her spy days was using her feminine wiles to seduce powerful men before she moved in for the kill, or just to get them to reveal secrets. But that was the past. She later reformed and became a superhero as one of the Avengers, so although she knows how to sneak around and kill in style (or in secret), she doesn’t do much of that anymore because she fights the good fight alongside Iron Man and Thor. (Though those guys aren’t exactly innocent themselves. Have you been READING Marvel Comics stories lately?) Natalia has been augmented to have borderline superhuman reflexes and agility, and her aging has been slowed considerably, but she’s not technically any more “super” than Captain America is. She is, however, extremely experienced in all of the deadly things she’s good at, since she’s been doing all of them for decades. She’s armed with a wrist blaster called the widow’s bite that fires energy blasts, which has saved her ass quite a few times when ninja moves just wouldn’t cut it. (After all, a black belt in ninjitsu doesn’t amount to much when you’re fighting Magneto or Dr. Doom.) She’s also skilled in using all the kinds of weapons you’d expect a Marvel Comics super agent to be familiar with, which means she knows her damn SHIT when it comes to operating deadly, futuristic gadgets.

So, now that you’ve read all that, who’s tougher than whom? The Widow or the Canary? VOTE!

[polldaddy poll=7681677]



About the author

Hilton Collins

Loves all things science fiction and fantasy, and if he had to choose between video games, comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. Check out his blog at Twitter: @HiltonCollins

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