Vanguard: 2003 - Present
There was a week long crisis in 2003 where Dinah Lance had gone missing while on patrol. Bruce and Oliver were especially worried and finally came out to the "Super Friends" as being former members of the League of Assassins. They feared the League had kidnapped Dinah, intent on torturing her and by extension, Oliver. So worried were they that Bruce made me, Dick and Alfred spend the rest of the week in the Secret Sanctuary while the "big capes" continued the search. Eventually, she was found by Oliver in some warehouse lab and by the time the others had arrived, there was no one left to question about why they kidnapped Dinah. Dinah herself wasn't very helpful as she was heavily sedated the entire time.
Turns out, the League was behind it. Nyssa al Ghul had ordered Dinah's capture and used some goons hired through Oswald Cobblepot to handle it. Once Dinah was captured and sedated, they brought her to the warehouse, and there Nyssa and the League's resident mad scientist El Penitente took a variety of DNA samples. Supposedly they were going to clone her right then and there and replace her with a replicant, but Ollie's tenacity forced their retreat, leaving Dinah and the goons behind to ensure their own escape with the samples.
Vanguard is the product of these samples. Created in the lab sometime after the kidnapping, but put on ice when the clone turned out to not be a perfect match. Not wanting to flush the efforts, El Penitente continued to experiment on the clone, intending to use her as a Horsemen in Gotham's reckoning, but her brainwashing proved to be more difficult than expected. In 2013, she was training with the League when Tim Drake was undercover.
When she was exactly put into active rotation is unknown, but sometime after meeting Tim she was put into service as the head of Nyssa al Ghul's personal guard and given the name 'Vanguard'. But even then, she did not please her master and this clone was returned to ice until she managed an escape during a covert raid on a League camp by The Team in the Spring of 2017. Having pieced fragmented memories together, she found her way to Star City where she had a very awkward reception, mistaking Connor Hawke for a young Oliver.
Given a chance at a better life, she joined Team Arrow and grew close to Cerberus. He later recruited her to join the Monitor's Artifacts and became the leader of the Bravo Squad. She's also developed an attraction to Hank.
- Artifact: Lauren has been chosen to join the ranks of a secret team hand-picked by the mysterious Monitor based on some metaphysical element in her that will be of some considerable use in some confrontation in the future.
- Canary Cry/"Siren Shout": Lauren possesses a meta-gene that gives her a potent sonic attack, able to damage and stun foes or objects, to the point of shattering metal. She possesses an incredible degree of control over her vocal cords. This enables her to mimic sounds and generate any sound she desires. The Siren Shout has been able to reach close to 300 decibels but rarely does so as such force causes ears to bleed even if they're not the attack target. A direct hit from her sonic blast can tear through steel like it was wet paper machete. With significant practice, Lauren has learned to use her Shout for a number of special effects, such as screaming downward while falling to slow her descent and cushion her landing from a fatal height.
- Enhanced Hearing: Lauren possess hearing on par with Superman and has demonstrated herself to be more proficient in the interpretations and recognition of various sounds than the Man of Steel. Another one up she has on Big Blue is that her heightened hearing has a sort of 'sensory shield' which protects her ears from excessive noise (such as her Siren Shout).
- Enhanced Physique: Lauren has received some physical upgrades which keep her at the perfect peak conditioning of a human of her height and build. She can lift three times her body weight, tires at half the rate of a normal human in her condition, and heals five times faster. Lauren will also not age. She remains perpetually twenty-seven years old. Whether this means she is immortal or not remains to be seen.
- Echolocation: By giving off a supersonic pulse, Lauren has developed the ability to utilize a 'bat-like' echolocation sense, enabling her to get a rough 360-degree of her surroundings, even when visibility is low.
- Black Canary 2.0: Lauren possesses all of Black Canary's memories from before 2003. While most of this is outdated, she is aware of the identities of most of the Justice League Founders, the location of the Secret Sanctuary and what Oliver Queen looks like naked... Just to name a few things
- Acrobatics: Through years of training, Lauren has conditioned her body to peak fitness and trained in all manner of acrobatic and gymnastic maneuvers.
- Driving: Lauren is a talented operator of most road-based vehicles, including being trained in high-speed pursuit and defensive driving techniques. On a motorcycle, Lauren is practically a virtuoso.
- Investigation: Lauren retains Dinah's childhood memories of her police father, as well as those of working with Batman and Green Arrow. As such, she is a competent detective.
- Martial Arts: Lauren is one of the most skilled martial artists on the planet. She has memories (including muscle memories) of the equivalent of world-class training in Boxing, Muay Thai, Capoeira, Krav Maga, Dragon Style Kung Fu, Savata, Judo, Aikido, Jujitsu, Wing Chun, Tae Kwon Do, and Hapkido.
- Metabolism: Due to her physical enhancements, Lauren needs to eat nearly three times the amount of food as one would expect. Even if she exceeds this, she doesn't seem to gain weight as her body has been calibrated to better process this and dispose of it.
- Psychology: Lauren has memories of taking a number of psychology night courses to aid her substance abuse therapy volunteering efforts. However, her memories are not completed as Dinah was still in the process of taking these courses when she was abducted and cloned.
- Tactical Analysis: Lauren is a strong leader and strategic thinker.
- Weaponry: Lauren is highly skilled in the use of bows, swords, knives, batons, and improvised weaponry such as broken bottles and the like. Though she prefers to fight hand-to-hand, she is quite adept at grabbing whatever weapons are available to make use against an armored opponent. She is also familiar with the main weaponry of the League of Assassins.
- Multilingualism: Lauren can speak several languages other than English, including Spanish and Japanese. Due to her vocal abilities, Lauren is able to speak with a flawless and convincing accent of any dialect she hears spoken (not to mention can precisely mimic a person's voice after hearing it once).
- Body Armor: Lauren wears state-of-the-art armor that protects her against impact-based attacks and affords a limited amount of protection against ballistics and edged weaponry.
- Assassin Guilt: Lauren did some things for the League that she's not proud of and she tries her best to overcompensate for it, often putting herself in jeopardy to prove that she's not willing to kill again.
- Confidence: Lauren's superb martial arts experience often causes herself to overestimate her capabilities and jump into a situation before properly assessing the best tactical approach.
- Throat-Strikes: A sufficiently powerful and accurate blow to Lauren's throat can cause her to lose the ability to use her Canary Cry.
- Lack of Identity: Lauren feels lost. She wants to be herself but not at the cost of being just like Dinah.
- Mind Control: Due to brainwashing by El Penitente, Lauren is easily susceptible to hypnotism and mind control.
Trivia and Notes
- Lauren plays the harmonica which she uses to strengthen her breathing and vocal cords.
- Fangirl refers to Vanguard as Red Canary.
- Lauren's blood type is AB-, the same as Dinah Lance's and Oliver Queen's.
- Unlike her genetic template, Lauren isn't into fishnets.
- Lauren's red hair is the result of a genetic abnormality due to her cloning. Her green eyes are the result of El Penitente's experiments on her with the Lazarus Pit.
- Lauren is biologically twenty-seven years old, forever.
- It is widely believed that Lauren would lose in a fight against Dinah even with her physical enhancements as she simply lacks the experience and her Canary Cry, while still powerful, isn't as perfected.
- Vanguard is an original character created by MS225.
- Vanguard is based on Black Siren, Black Canary's Earth-2 doppelgänger from Arrow.
- Her outfit is based on Black Canary's outfit from the New 52.
- Being biologically 27 years old is a nod to Earth-27.
- Vanguard's civilian identity of Lauren Drake is a reference to the name of Dinah's mother, Laurel Drake.