Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol.2 #1

In 1987, the comic book world shook with an unprecidented event: Green Arrow, after having existed for four decades, finally got his own series. This prestige format mini-series, Longbow Hunters, diverged radically from previous protrayls of the Emerald Archer. Rather than a social crusader in Star City who used goofy trick arrows, Ollie was now a grim, gritty Seattle resident who used your regular old arrow almost exclusively. Following that 3-issues series (which met with great critical and commercial success) DC gave the green light for an ongoing series written by Mike Grell and drawn by Ed Hannigan and Dick Giordano.

The first issue of the series starts off with Ollie foiling a mugging, then gets right into the grim part of the equation. Black Canary, who was brutally beaten and possibly raped (although DC editorials later said she wasn't) is having understandable intimacy issues with poor Ollie (who killed her attacker). The couple decides that they need to seek professional help, and do just that. Enter Dr. Annie Green, psychologist to our super-couple, and also the only witness to a 20 year old crime. At 10, Annie was brutalized by someone she identified as Al Muncy, heir to a brewery fortune and an accused serial killer. Mr. Muncy has been granted a re-trial after all these years, and now Annie Green is all that stands in his way...or does she. While Muncy is under house arrest, surrounded by dozens of policeman, someone hand delivers a package to Dr. Green's office; a package containing a piece of the dress she was wearing all those years ago. Later that night, Black Canary sits with the doctor while Ollie patrols outside. He spots a masked intruder, who runs off after Ollie sinks a shaft into his torso. GA finds the arrow on the ground, bent out of shape and with no blood on it... DUN DUN DUN.

That storyline concludes in the next issue, and you'll find out how it ended next week. As for my thoughts, I had a great time reading this book, although I must say that the new grim, gritty Ollie takes some getting used to.


Anonymous said...

I've never been a fan of the grim and gritty Ollie, I felt like they really threw out the heroic aspect of the character along with his "gimmicks." In these stories I found the characters were not terribly likeable and the flow was too slow. Then again, I didn't care for Longbow either, so there you go.

Adama said...

I will admit that I like the wisecracking, jolly Ollie better, but I consider this an important part of the character. This is a dark time for him. His long time love was just brutally assaulted, and he killed a man rescuing her. I think that would throw anyone all their game for a while.

Also, Benton, if you don't mind me asking, do you have a blog or anything? I'd like to link to it if you do. You're certainly making my blog more interesting!

Anonymous said...

Well Adama, I will admit that the logic of the story holds up fine...I just don't know that I want to see the character going down that road. There are tons of great stories dying to be told without having to rip the guy's heart out.

As far as me having a blog, no, I'm afraid I don't. Ha, I'm very much just a blogging parasite. I appreciate the offer though. The only thing that I've got is this:

And you can find information on my project here:

I'm working on some adventures for good 'ol Ollie as well.

Luke said...

There's always been some irony to me that Green Arrow, Batman-Lite wannabe if there every was one, eventually followed the same path as Bats and got darker and more "serious." Of course, at this time frame pretty much everyone did, so that's not as damning a statement as it could be.

I have not read much by Mike Grell, only his stuff on Iron Man back when I was in college. I enjoyed it, but that opinion is not shared by very many other readers.