Sunday, November 18, 2007

Overview/Review: Green Arrow/Black Canary #1

Well cats and kittens, Green Arrow's last series may have ended at #75, but he's back baby (sort of!). While it would be incorrect to say that GA's last was canceled this is the first regular gig he's had in several months. We've had a series of 1 shots in response to the indecent proposal (to Black Canary) that occurred at the end of Green Arrow. The events of THOSE issues have lead directly into this one.

As everyone knows by now, Dinah and Ollie's wedding night did not turn out very well at all. The end of the JLA Wedding Special had Ollie trying to stab Dinah to death and getting himself perforated for his troubles. This issue follows directly after.

While the cover implies that we should be surprised by the team on the cover, I don't see how anyone could be (especially since the cover image was avaiable online several months before this ish was released.) Obviously, with Ollie dead, the titular Green Arrow is his son, Connor Hawke.

Most of the issue consists of GA's supporting cast dealing with his death. Dinah is pursuing Star City's criminals with reckless abandon and extreme force. Connor and Mia are doing their best to keep things together while also dealing with Dinah's increasingly erratic behavior and her disturbing instance that Ollie is not dead.

Various other characters and heroes in the DC universe try to help Dinah deal with her grief and find closure, including the Amazon community on Paradise Island. All of them encourage Dinah to move on, until a certain Caped Crusader shows up and deems the entire situation nonsensical. Bats concludes that none of Ollie's enemies would have arranged his death and then failed to take credit, and that he knew nothing important enough to warrant an anonymous death (Bats checked...somehow).

After a rather gruesome autopsy, we find out that the body we'd taken for Ollie (which has so far passed test available to the League) turns out to be none other than evil shapeshifter Everyman, late of Luthor's Infinity Inc. and recently seen in company with the Amazons. Dinah realizes, in retrospect, that Athena and the Amazon's offer to come away with them was a bit fishy, leading to the final scene, which has our friend Ollie in a cage covered in cuts and bruises, and surrounded by Amazon warriors. With a truly classic Oliver Queen one-liner, the issue ends.

My feelings on this particular issue are mixed. I wouldn't have minded a regular series starring Dinah and Connor, but on the other hand, I'm immensely relieved that Ollie has escaped (or gotten better from) death once again. I'm having trouble seeing where this series will go once Dinah and the gang free Ollie from Amazon custody. Certainly it seems unlikely that they'll settle down together and live happily ever after, so there will have to be some further conflict. Perhaps they'll separate on the grounds that their relationship, coupled with their careers, would be far too hazardous for both of them. After all, look where its gotten them at this point!

I'm also torn on the character portrayals. While I found Connor's characterization spot on (sensitive, trying to keep conflict to a minimum while easing Dinah's pain) I think Dinah's was way off. I know she just lost her husband (by her own hand) but I think Dinah is one of those people who would take a loss like that in stride, especially since this isn't the first time Ollie has gone and died on her. Couple that with the fact that she was acting a bit loony tunes through most of the issue, and I think the writers missed the mark a bit. Perhaps she'll redeem herself in future issues (#2 is out, and will be reviewed once I've read it).

Overall, I liked it, and I have high hopes that this will become an even more interesting book once half of its title cast gets more than one panel!

Score: 3/5 Boxing Glove Arrows (I need to get a graphic for that!)

PS: Something I've been wondering. Did Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance get married, or did Green Arrow and Black Canary? There's an important distinction there, since the latter two don't legally exist...


Luke said...

(Bats checked...somehow).

He knows because he's Batman!

Personally I am just glad to see Everyman dead. He was getting annoying over in Wonder Woman. Speaking of which, any indication of how this fits in with Amazons Attack? I mean, at the end of that, Themiscyra was empty save for Queen Hyppolyta... or is this a different set of Amazons? These are not the Amazons you are looking for.

Adama said...

Well, the Amazons they were looking for seemed to be all over Themiscrya in issue 2. These may be Granny Goodness's new Furies, rather than actual Amazons, though.

rob! said...

as an aquaman fan, i guess i can be glad DC has only killed aquaman off ONCE.

Adama said...

Rob... True, but at least Aquaman was wearing clothes when he died. Then again, dying in your underwear with Black Canary...there are worse ways to go.