Back in Season 4, when the Arrow producers decided to kill off Laurel Lance, AKA the Black Canary, they had an ace up their sleeve. Comic fans know that you can't have a Green Arrow without an Black Canary, so they decide to create a new one — and luckily they had the Golden Age Black Canary's name still available.
Enter Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), a cop who went undercover and witnessed her partner/lovers murder at the time of the particle accelerator explosion in Central City. She was screaming when the wave hit her, and she ended up with the sonic powers. She joins the series as a recurring character part-way through Season 5, but is only now embracing the mantle of Black Canary and putting on a uniform. Harkavy is now a series regular.
This Black Canary is going to have some interesting moments in the new season, as Katie Cassidy also returns as a series regular — but as Laurel Lance from Earth-2. On that world, she left Starling City to get a fresh start in Central City and was hit by the particle accelerator explosion. It gave her sonic powers — but she went all bad girl and took the name Black Siren. The two faced off in the season finale, but I'm sure there will be more battles in the new season.
In the video below, Harkavy talks about coming into the series and learning how to fight. The character is set up to be more in line with the comic book version than the original version played by Cassidy in the first four seasons.
Arrow returns for Season 6 this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.