The (Mysterious?) Death of Larry Lance

One of things that I understand today, as an adult, that I did not understand as a kid, is that everything that happens in fiction happens for a reason and when a writer does something like kill off a long-standing character it happens for a reason that may not be readily apparent but it becomes a plot-point that adds to and serves a purpose in the greater scheme of things. Knowing what I know today, will sometimes drive me crazy if I cannot see what the purpose is in “the now”. Yet, even worse than that is when I think that the reason is something unseemly.

In this case, I am referring to an event that occurred in September, 1969 when the writers of “Justice League of America” killed off a rather minor character for what I think was a questionable purpose. This was in issue #74 of the Justice League of America and the character was Larry Lance the husband of Dinah (Black Canary) Lance.

Larry was a Gotham City police detective and his wife, Dinah (when she donned a blonde wig and black fishnet stockings) was the crime-fighting super hero, Black Canary. Her super power was that she could “scream real loud”. (actually, it was called a “sonic scream”)

In JLA issue #74, during a grand-scale fight against a rouge “star” named “Aquarius” (it was 1969 after all), Black Canary’s husband was caught in the line of fire and died. (That stuff on Black Canary’s hair in the picture below is some sort of glue).

After the great battle against “Aquarius” is over, a solemn funeral for Larry is held on Earth-Two.

Then as the folks from Earth-One (the Justice League) are packing up to go home, Black Canary tells them that she cannot stay on Earth-Two and asks to go with them back to Earth-One. Superman sweeps her into his arms and carries her off to the other Earth.

Before you get any ideas, nothing ever happened between Superman and Black Canary. (Yet, was something supposed to have happened?)

Now, today, it is well known, that Dinah Laurel Lance eventually married Oliver Queen (AKA Green Arrow). But that happened many, many years after the events of JLA issue #74.

Until then there was a lot flirtatious grabbing and hugging going on between the two.


They even appeared on the cover of Esquire magazine in 1972.


So, was this eventual romance between Black Canary and Green Arrow the purpose of killing off Black Canary’s husband Larry Lance, having Black Canary relocate to Earth-One and having her become a member of the Justice League? If that is it, then I say that is kind of icky.

This is yet another mystery that I am working on as I read my way through 80 years of DC comics.