Issue: Green Arrow vol. 2 #4
Title: "The Champions"
Credits: Mike Grell (scripts) Ed Hannigan (pencils) Dick Giordano (inks)
Cover Date: May, 1988
Synopsis: Continuing from our previous issue, Green Arrow arrives on San Juan Island in search of the pod containing the biological weapon. He meets up with Eddie Fyers, an ally from previous adventures, but this time on the opposing side. It turns out Ollie is working for the Russians, and Fyers for the Chinese. They discuss their ironic situation, then part ways in search of the weapon.
As Ollie is searching in the woods, he runs a foul of a booby trap set by Fyers. Wounded, he stumbles in a cabin owned by a local archaeologist. She patches him up (she spent some time in med school) but and Ollie takes the opportunity to activate the tracking device the Russians gave him. It beeps, immediately. Turns out the lady archaeologist found it earlier that day, and not knowing hat is was, brought it back for later study.
Just then, they're interrupted by a shot from Fyers. Ollie uses a trick arrow to disrupt Fyers night vision, allowing he and the lady to escape. Unfortunately, they're soon ambushed by Fyers, and then another agent hired by one of the rival powers. After a short fight, Fyers comes out on top, with Ollie falling down a crevasse and the rival agent falling down dead.
Ollie manages to survive, and sets off an explosive charge on the pod. Convinced the pod has been destroyed, Ollie and Fyers part ways. We later find out that GA had taken the payload out of the pod before running out of the cabin. Deciding that neither of the powers can be trusted with such a powerful weapon, Green Arrow uses some of the archeologist's acid to destroy the virus.
Thoughts: Well, there is a lot to like in this issue. The art is gorgeous, and the paper seems to have held up incredibly well over the past 20 years. Ollie displays a great deal of the cunning and guile we've come to expect from him. Of course, there's also a lot to dislike. There's very little archery, which is a problem in a Green Arrow book. The Russians hiring GA is a bit ridiculous, as Benton pointed out. After all, Ollie's only ever killed one person, in an extraordinary circumstance; its not like he's suddenly an expert in "wetwork." All in all, I'm glad I read it, plus this issue has the first letter column of the new series, and that's always neat. (I might have to scan it and send it over to Rick at Comic Book Letterheads)