Issue: Green Arrow vol.2 #3
Title: The Champions
Credits: Mike Grell (scripts) Ed Hannigan, Dick Giordano (art)
Cover Date: April, 1988
Overview: The issue opens with an attempted robbery on a bus. A certain beautiful, dark-haired lady slips out the window, circles around, and ambushes the perps as they exit the scene. One of them takes a swipe at her with a knife, she tells him to bring it on.
We then switch to Ollie practicing his archery with a toaster (don't ask) as a bedraggled Dinah Lance saunters into her flower shop. Even though she's beat all the hell, she feels great. Previously, she had been concerned that she would freeze in a fight (because of her recent brutal beating) but she handled the situation without even thinking about it. Her catharsis complete, she decides to take care of the other thing that's been on her mind, and she and Ollie move off to get biz-zay.
After the deed is done, Ollie decides to go on patrol. While out, he spots what looks like a mugging, but turns out to be an ambush. The assailants drag him off to the office of one "Mr. Joshua." Mr. Joshua tell GA that he needs help. An explosion occurred on the International Space Station (man, they were building that thing in back in the 80's too...). Certain...tactical research was occurring on the station at the time of the blast, and a pod containing the results has crash landed on an island off the coast of Washington. The pod contains a deadly bioweapon that is designed to attack specific DNA, only Mr. Joshua isn't sure what kind of DNA. It could wipe out the common cold, wheat, cows...or humanity. Mr. Joshua also reveals that the Chinese have sent an agent to get the pod, and he needs Ollie to get to it first. Ollie accepts, but only because he knows what might happen if the Chinese get a hold of a weapon that potent. Nervous about working for a foreign power (did I mention that Mr. Joshua doesn't work for the US government?) Ollie leaves for San Juan island, and adventure!
Note: The agent that the Chinese hire to find the weapon turns out to be Eddie Fyers (according to Mr. Joshua's file), who becomes a major supporting character to the Arrow Family.
Thoughts: This issue continues the grim and gritty theme that Grell started in Longbow Hunters continues in this issue. Mr. Joshua taps Ollie as his agent partly because of his training and willingness to kill. There are light moments, such as Black Canary's continued recovery and Ollie's adventures with the toaster, but the darker themes still prevail.
The highlight of the issue for me wasn't even part of the issue proper, it was in the back where the letters page would normally go. As the title was still new, there are no letters, but there is a kick ass publication and character history for Green Arrow, written by GA's current editor, Mike Gold. If you like Green Arrow and ever have a chance to pick up this issue, those few pages in the back are definitely worth the price of admission.