Monday, March 31, 2008

Acquisitions: Quarter Bin Bonanza, part Deux

Quarter Bin Bonanza, Part Deux!

I woke up with a massive headache this morning (don't worry, the story gets relevant soon) and called in sick to work. After popping a few Excedrin and laying down for a few hours, I managed to get rid of it. Since there were still a few hours left before rush hour, I figured I might as well take advantage of it. I headed up to the Lawrenceville location of Galactic Quest (I went on my previous quarter bin bonanza at their Buford location). They were still in the process of moving into a new location, so I couldn't go through their full selection of quarter bins, but I did pick up a few things nonetheless.

Doctor Strange: I found one issue of the second series (#6) in their regular back issue stock, but nothing in the quarter bins. There were a few issues of the Sorcerer Supreme series, but I already owned them.

Namor: As I was searching their regular back issue stock, I came across a ton of the mid-90's era Namor books. I already own most of those from an Ebay lot a while back, but I figured I would try to fill in the holes. I got issues 33, 35, 38, 44, 45, 53, and 54, plus issue 47 of the Silver Age Sub-Mariner series. It was kinda beat up, but they only wanted $2 for it. If I find a better copy later, I'm not out much.

Firestorm: I picked up a few early issues of the second, non-DC implosion series, again from the regular back issues. Nothing in the quarter bins for poor ol' Stormy.

Defenders: I found a few later issues (140, 135, 138, 145, 147) in the quarter bins, but none of the early stuff I really wanted. I guess I'll have to break down and pay real prices for them at some point. I got so excited about finding anything at all that I accidentally picked up 2 copies of issue 140. Whoops.

Moon Knight: I found issue 60 of the Marc Spector series. I found out when I got home that that was the last one, so at least I have the very end of the series now.

Random stuff: I found several more issues of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. I got 6, 7, and 12 of the first series, and 2, 4, 12, 14, and 15 of the second. I found the special they released to go along with the second volume, but I thought it was something else and ended up leaving it behind. Oh well I doubt anyone else will get it before I go back...

There were also a few issues of The Legion of Super-Heroes from the late 70's mixed in with everything else. I'm not a huge Legion fan, but I like them well enough. For a quarter each, I saw no reason to leave them. The store also had 2 issues of the Marvel Doctor Who series from the early 80's. They were cheap, so I couldn't pass them up. Maybe I'll review them on a slow Ollie Watch week.

As for Green Arrow...well, they had one issue of the Grell era (#83) in regular stock, but nothing in the quarter bins. I did find most (1,2 and 4) of the Black Canary mini-series DC put out in the early 90's. Hopefully I can find the last issue one of these days.

Have you ever noticed that you almost always find most of a mini series in discount bins? I guess other people pick over them before you get there, but still, one of these days I'd like to get the whole thing and not have to raid other bins.

That's all for now folks. That shop is still in transition, and the owner assured me that once they get organized they have a ton more quarter bins to display. I plan to make that place my main site for Free Comic Book day (if I don't go visit Luke, that is) so I'll probably search the rest of them then.

Spotlight: Green Lantern #79

Issue: Green Lantern vol.1 #79

Title: Ulysses Star is Alive!

Credits: Denny O'Neil (scripts) Neal Adams (cover, art)

Cover Date: September, 1970

Synopsis: Our story begins with two well dressed gentlemen about to shoot a Native American man in the woods. Green arrow and Green Lantern arrive just in time to stop them, and are justifiably curious as to what is going on. The suits explain that they have a claim to the reservations timber reserves, and this man had been fighting them on it. GA and GL argue over what to do, and both decide the other is wrong.

Green Lantern decides to head to the city, where Abe Star, son of the chief mentioned in the title was last seen. He is said to posses the last copy of the agreement between the natives and the government, granting them sole rights to the timber on their reservation. GL arrives just in time to see the man's apartment building burn to the ground. He is only barely able to save him, and learns that all his documents went up in the fire. Still determined to prove Ollie wrong, to prove that breaking the law is not necessary to get justice, Hal flies to Washington to visit a friend in Congress...

Ollie decides on a different tack. Dressing himself up in a glowing yellow native costume (where do they get these things?!) he pretends to be the ghost of Ulysses Star, the last great chief of the tribe. He manages to get both the tribe and the lumberman to believe that he is a vengeful ghost. The lumberman decide to attack the next morning anyway.

The fight goes down at the border of the contested forest. The natives have Black Canary (still on the reservation, recovering from the events of last issue) on their side, but are outnumbered by the burly lumberjacks. Just then, "Ulysses Star" shows up, tipping the balance back in favor of the natives. Before anything can be resolved, Hal arrives and breaks up the fight. Ollie is incensed that Hal is interfering, and they get in a knock down, drag out fight. Nothing gets resolved, however, as a log slips off its moorings and whacks them both on the head.

The story ends with the native leader heading back to Washington with Hal's friend in Congress. No one is confident that anything will be done soon, but they decide they must try. The two suits from the beginning of the story are dragged off in cuffs, having been implicated in the apartment fire from earlier in the issue. Hal, Ollie and the Guardian discuss the nature of man and his seeming inability to give up violence, and the issue ends,

Thoughts: I really liked how this issue detailed each hero's approach to solving the problem, with Ollie going for theatrics and direct violence, and Hal choosing to find evidence and work within the system. It turned out neither approach really worked without the other, and I think it made our heroes realize that neither of them were wholly in the right. I also liked that Black Canary is still around, giving aid to the needy and fighting for what she believes in. The kid's got spunk.

Now, I know that O'Neil and Adams were going for relevance and cultural sensitivity here, but you can tell from this issue that they were still products of their time. I mean check out that cover! That's not offensive or anything! But hey, at least they were trying...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Mummy Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Mummy Arrow

Well kids, we've gone through a long list of trick arrows, some of them practical, some of them bordering on ridiculous. Today, we march straight across that border into the land of total silliness! I bring you the mummy arrow!

Shaped like a pharaoh's coffin, this beauty is guaranteed to have your foes wrapped up in a jiffy. As for how the hell it's best not to think about it too hard. You might hurt yourself.

(Sorry for the bad scans guys, I was a bit rushed)

Ollie Watch: March 28th

This may be old news to everyone, but I figured I would make the announcement here as well. In the near future (presumably after Final Crisis) the Justice Leahue will split due to a murder, and the repsonse (or lack there of) of some of the members. The original Justice League of America title will continue, but a new splinter team call "Justice League" will form. Their mission will be to proactively find injustices to right, rather than wait and react.

The members of this new team? Well, it will be headed up by none other than the Emerald Duo themselves, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen! Also sharing the spotlight will be Supergirl, Batwoman, Starman, and, wait for it, Congorilla. Hey, every team needs an ape on it, as far as I'm concerned.

The announcement was made at Wizard World LA's Final Crisis panel. The book will be written by James Robinson, with an artist to be named later.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dossier: Hal Jordan

Name: Hal Jordan

Alias: Green Lantern II, The Spectre, Parallax

First Appearance: Showcase #22 (October, 1959)

Modus Operandi: current: Interstellar lawman, formerly: agent of God's Vengence, formerly: universe destroying madman, formerly: interstellar lawman, formerly: Air Force pilot

Powers/Equipment: Power ring fuelled by willpower, able to perform any task/action provided that Jordan has sufficient willpower/imagination.

Backstory: Test pilot Hal Jordan's life was changed forever when a dying alien chose him as his replacement in an interglactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.

Jordan used his new-found abilities to fight crime and evil in his native Coast City, all the while hiding his identity as "Green Lantern" from his loved ones, including his boss/girlfriend Carol Ferris.

Jordan went on to become a founding member of the Justice League, becoming fast (and eventually, best) friends with the quickly recruited Green Arrow. After the two had an arguement over Jordan's niave acceptance of authority in all its forms, the two travelled the country together, righting wrongs and learning about tolerance.

Later, after Superman's death, the villainous Mongul destroyed Jordan's home, Coast City. Driven mad by grief and angry at the Guardians of the universe for denying him the power to restore the city, Jordan went on a rampage, destroying the Green Lantern Corps and stealing their power for himself.

Using his vast power, Jordan planned to remake the universe to his wishes, namely restoring Coast City and forcing law and order on the populace. It was only through the intervention of his best friend, Oliver Queen, that his plan was stopped. Ollie was forced to kill his friend rather than let him carry out his plan, an action that haunted him for years afterward.

Jordan turned out not to be dead (very complicated) and feeling guilty for his actions, sacrificed himself to restart Earth's sun. After his death, he accepted the offer to become the new Spectre, carry out God's wishes and bringing evildoers to justice.

To further complicate matters, Jordan was recently restored to life and regained the mantle of the Green Lantern of Earth. Green Arrow was crucial to his rebirth, having kept a copy of Jordan's ring safe for years and protecting Jordan's replacement Kyle Raynor from a rampaging Sinestro.

The two have since rekindled their friendship, and Jordan has retaken his place on the Justice League along side Ollie's former sidekick, Roy Harper.

Thor: God of Metal

This isn't Green Arrow, or even DC, but this rocks so hard I absolutely HAD to post it:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Awesome Panel Arrow: Booster Gold #7

I mentioned this awesome cameo by Green Arrow in an earlier post, so I figured I would take the opportunity to let you guys see it in all its glory.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol. 3 #4

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)

80's DC Style Guide

Hey guys! Check out this wrap-around cover the the 1980's era DC Style guide. I got permission to repost this image from Rob! over at the stupendous Aquaman Shrine. If you look closely at the image, you can see the amazing number of characters they managed to cram onto the this single cover. Of course, the fact that Green Arrow has a front and center spot on the back cover doesn't do it any harm in my eyes.

One of the characters that catches my eye, other than GA, was kindly pointed out by Rick over at Plastic Man Platitudes. Check out the calm and unhurried manner that Firestorm seems to possess compared to the others. Everyone else is rushing toward the emergency, but Ronnie seems to just float along. Teenagers, I tell ya!

As an aside, does anyone recognize those flying people bracketed by Firestorm, Dr. Fate, Hawkgirl, and Ollie's hat? I thought the one in the middle might be Doll Man, but I have no clue who the others might be.

Anyway, thanks again Rob!!

Blog Admin: No Update Today (Monday)

Sorry guys, the day got away from me and before i knew it, it was after midnight and I hadn't one a post today! To make up for it, I promise 2 (two) posts tomorrow!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ollie Watch: 3/19/08

Hey, I know this is a little late, but try not to miss Green Arrow's awesome cameo in the final pages of Booster Gold #7!

Acquisitions: Quarter Bin Bonanza

Earlier this week I visited a new comic store in town. Well, new to me anyway, as it's quite a distance from my place and I don't get to that area much. While I was there, I noticed they had about 10 longboxes worth of $.25 bins near the front of the store. I decided to wait until I had more time (and my list) to look through them, so I went back today. Man am I glad I did! Here's what I got: (again, by fanboy-ness)

Doctor Strange: Slim pickins in this area, I only managed to get one issue I didn't have before, issue 5 of Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, written by Roy Thomas. The only other Dr. Strange material I got was issues 32-37 of Guardians of the Galaxy (yes, you're reading that right) which guest stars Doc on a trip to the future, with Dormammu as the guest villain. I don't normally invest in guest appearances, but hey, for $1.50, I couldn't pass it up.

Moon Knight: Someone who sold a collection to this store sure did love Moon Knight, as I managed to pick up 37, 41, and 43-52 of Marc Spector, Moon Knight. This brings me within 40 issues or so of owning every Moon Knight comic ever published. Fanboys, rejoice!

Defenders: Again, not much here. The store has a large number of really nice Defenders issues, but only 1 of them was in the $.25 bin, number 149. The others are with the regular back issues, and while I'm missing a good number of them, I don't have the money to splurge right now. I did get their copy of #12 though, because it has an awesome cover and was only $6.

Random other stuff: I picked up a few things for Luke, namely 2 issues of The Outsiders, plus a couple issues of Conan, The Barbarian (which I may not have mentioned at the time. Hey Luke, Conan!). I found 5 issues of the various Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld series, all from the quarter bin, plus a random issue of Blue Devil. I got issue 2 of Jemm, Son of Saturn, because, why not? A random issue of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu also found its way onto my pile, mostly because I don't own any kung-fu comics (well, except all those issues of Iron Fist...) and I think that's a shame.

I mentioned Strikeforce: Morituri in my last acquisitions post, and I managed to dig up 3 more issues of that series. If you haven't read these books before, I'd highly recommend it, and since you can usually find them in discount bins, you won't have to make a huge investment.

And finally, we get to my Green Arrow related finds. Here's the skinny:

There wasn't a ton of GA stuff in those boxes, but I did find a few treasures here and there. They had issues 25, 28, 29, 30, 44, 47, 49, and 97 of Green Arrow Vol. 2 (1988-1998) run. The only other Green Arrow issue I got was #13 of the modern series, since it had a super-awesome cover starring Onomatopoeia. I wouldn't have bothered it otherwise, since I have the trade already.

I think I got a pretty good haul, especially considering that I spent about $10 for the whole lot. That particular store has another location, which the guy behind the counter tells me has even more quarter bins. I won't be able to get over there for a couple weeks, but when I do, rest assured that I'll let you know what I find.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Grapple Line Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Grapple Line Arrow

The grapple line arrow affords Green Arrow additional mobility, useful in world filled with super-powered, flying powerhouses. Different variations have been shown over the years, from a simple arrow attached to a line to the advanced model shown to the left.

Batman may have his grapple gun, but GA does his grappling with style.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dossier:: Merlyn

Alias: Merlyn

Real Name: Arthur King (groan)

First Appearance: Justice League of America #94

Modus Operandi: Master Archer, Assassin for Hire

Powers/Equipment: Trick Arrows, jetpack hidden in quiver, archer on par with Green Arrow and family.

Backstory: Merlyn first appeared when he challenged and defeated the entire Justice League (off panel, don't ask) in an attempt to fulfill a contract taken out on Batman's life. He was narrowly defeated when the killing arrow was deflected by fellow archer Green Arrow. Shamed by his defeat and unable to return the the League of Assassins, Merlyn became a freelancer.

He did join up with the occasional villain group, including Queen Bee's gang and the mysterious "100," but kept a fairly low profile until the events of Identity Crisis. He was one of the first to realize what Sue Dibney's death would do to the super-villain community, but managed to wiggle out of any consequences due to a connection to Amanda Waller and her government sponsored Suicide Squad.

Merlyn most recently appeared in the pages of Green Arrow vol. 3, just before the "One Year Later" event. As he and Green Arrow battled, Dr. Light set off the explosives they'd both hidden previously. The resulting blast destroyed much of Star City and left Oliver Queen in critical condition. Queen survived his injuries, but as of yet the two have not had a final showdown to settle the score.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ollie Watch: March 12- Late edition

Out March 12th- Green Arrow/Black Canary #6- Learn what happens after Connor's mysterious kidnapping!
(Sorry for the tardiness, this came out while I was away on business)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spotlight:: Adventure Comics #251

Issue: Adventure Comics 251

Title: The Case of the Super-Arrows

Credits: France Herron (scripts) Jack Kirby! (art)

Cover Date: September, 1958

Overview: The issue begins with mysterious people from the future sending a gift to the past, specifically a set of "super-arrows" to one of the 20th century's greatest crime fighters, Green Arrow! GA and Speedy run out to test the new arrows, and they prove quite effective in nabbing the bad guys.

Unfortunately, a mishap with the "hypnosis arrow" leaves GA and Speedy helpless before a group of criminals. The crooks know opportunity when they see it, and grab the future-tech for themselves. Armed with the super-arrows, the gang commits caper after caper, with GA and Speedy helpless against them.

Finally, Green Arrow comes up with a scheme to put an end to the super-crime wave. He and Speedy challenge the crooks one last time, armed only with regular old pointy arrows. The crooks try taking them out with yet more super arrows, but GA and Speedy's keen aim allows them to use their pointed arrows the destroy the super-arrows mid flight. Without their edge, the crooks are easily defeated. GA decides that the super-arrows are best left for later study, and locks them up the Arrowcave's vault.

Thoughts: Everything about this story screams "Silver Age," from the big-headed future people, time travel, seriously goofy super arrows, to bombastic dialog; this story has it all. Plus, check out that art credit! Yup, the man, the myth, the legend, Jack Kirby contributed the pretty pictures for this story. I had no idea he'd ever drawn Green Arrow, and finding that out warmed my geeky heart.

(Looking forward in the Showcase: Green Arrow, I see that Jack Kirby had quite the run on GA stories. Woot!)

Annnnnnnd we're back...

Loyal Readers!

Thank you for your patience. Despite the best efforts of a certain airline (coughUSAircough) your humble correspondent is back home and ready to blog!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Admin note: Sporadic Updates

Dear readers, I regretfully inform you that posting will be sporadic to non-existent for the next week or so. Your humble correspondent is being sent to Sin City (Las Vegas, not the Frank Miller book) for a trade show by the dastardly villains at his day job (running a blog no one reads pays surprisingly little). I will have access to the internet, but obviously not to my collection or a scanner.


Spotlight:: World's Finest Comics #95

(sorry about the image guys, I only own the Showcase for this one)

Issue: World's Finest Comics #95

Title: Green Arrow vs. The Red Dart

Credits: Unknown (script) George Papp (art)

Cover Date: July-August 1958

Overview: This story introduces a new chracter, the Red Dart. GA and Speedy meet up with the Red Dart when he shows up to assist them in catching an escaped criminal. After using his "trick darts" (I swear I'm not making this up) to capture the crook, Red Dart introduces himself and offers his assistance as a hero to GA. Ollie accepts, and Red Dart assists them on several more cases.

It is only later that we find out that Red Dart is secretly working with the criminals he's supposedly foiling. By posing as a hero and getting in Green Arrow's good graces, he hopes to throw him off the scent of what he's really doing: robbing a gold shipment from the central bank.

Green Arrow and Speedy arrive to foil the robbery, and initially welcome Red Dart's help. However, in the middle of the fight, Red Dart switches sides and uses his "rain dart" (again, not making this up) to defeat GA's smokescreen Arrow. Apparently prepared this possibility, Ollie counters the dart with an umbrella arrow. Silly trick arrows aside, Green Arrow reveals that he knew Red Dart was on the side of evil all along, due to hi use of prison lingo and presence of gold assaying chemicals on his hands.

Red Dart and his compatriots go to prison, and all is well in GA's home city (not yet Star, as far as I can tell).

Thoughts: Wow, tons of Silver Age silliness in this issue! Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it, but even I had to groan at the rain dart and umbrella arrow. This story is in Green Arrow's Showcase, so if this sounds fun, check it out for yourself!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Fire Extinguisher Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Fire Extinguisher Arrow

The fire extinguisher arrow allows GA to fight fires from a distance, and to get flame retardant into spots fire fighters might not be able to get to. As an added bonus, it can be used to great effect against demons who are out to get you, as shown in Ollie's battle with Etrigan (left). That one even provoked an unusual compliment from Batman ("I will never...ever..mock your trick arrows again).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dossier:: Connor Hawke

Name: Connor Hawke

Alias: Green Arrow II

First Appearance: Green Arrow vol. 2 #0

Dossier: Connor Hawke, son of Oliver Queen, first appeared in a special #0 issue of Green Arrow vol. 2. Ollie's son from a youthful tryst, Connor first meets his father (although he doesn't know who he is at the time) while Oliver is seeking refuge from the world at an Eastern Ashram. The two bond, and Ollie teaches the young man what he knows about archery (a lot).

Years (months, weeks? Comic book time is subjective) later, Oliver Queen dies in an explosion. Connor decides to take up the mantle of The Green Arrow, and in the meantime learns of his true relationship with Ollie. Connor would star in the Green Arrow monthly from Ollie's death until the series' cancellation.

Connor also worked a stint in the Justice League, starting in JLA #8. IN his first appearance, he singlehandedly saves the League from the villainous Key. His arrows are destroyed early in the fight, forcing him to use his dad's trick arrows (much to his chagrin). He remains with the League for some time, but eventually leaves as he feels he has no place, as a simple archer, with the cosmically powered JLA.

When Ollie is brought back to life by Hal Jordan, Connor leaves the ashram once again to help his father defeat the dastardly Stanley Dover. Connor was the only person able to enter the building, as only someone related to the people inside (Mia, Ollie, and Stanley) could bypass the mystical barrier erected over the building by the devious mage. Overwhelmed by the demons summoned by Dover, Connor would have fallen had not Oliver Queen's soul (until then happy in heaven) elected to return to his resurrected body to save him.

After this incident, Connor moves in with his dad and serves as a supporting character for the remaining run of the third Green Arrow series. Recently, in the pages of Green Arrow/Black Canary, Connor was shot in the chest by a mysterious gunman and left in a vegetative state. As if that weren't enough, he was recently kidnapped by persons unknown.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Non-GA Spotlight:: Justice League Europe #2

Issue: Justice League Europe #2

Title: Somebody Up There Hates Us

Credits: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis (writing) Bart Sears (pencils) Gene D'Angelo (colors) Pablo Marcos (inks)

Cover Date: May, 1989

Overview: The JLE begin the issue by looking into the incident that occured in the last issue by having Sue Dibney (who has volunteered for permanent monitor duty) use the JLE computer to cross reference Nazi and meta-human activity. The computer spits out 3 results, one in Frankfurt, Germany, one in Dover, England, and one in Santa Cruz, CA.

The team decides to split up and investigate each site. Animal Man and Captain Atom head to California, where they find the Neo-Nazi camp in ruins. Just as they land, they're attacked by a super powered Viking, who accuses them of being in cahoots with the Nazis. They scuffle for a bit, but Cap. Atom eventually tires of the game and stuns the man with a bolt of energy. The only trouble is, it seems to have done more than stun him, the Viking is in a coma!

Power Girl and Rocket Red fly to Frankfurt, where they find their building in ruins as well. Suddenly, they're accosted by a meta-human with light based powers. After another fight, Power Girl knocks him out, but "Rising Sun" ends up in a coma as well!

Finally, Metamorpho, Flash, and Ralph Dibney take a ferry to Dover (the London teleporters were broken) only to be ambushed by yet another superhuman, Tuatara. This guy has a nautical theme, and nearly drowns our heroes before being subdued, and falling into a coma!

The coda lets us know that all the previous events have been part of a scheme by an outfit called the Dome. Story continues in the next issue.

Thoughts: Another fun issue. Again, we have Captain Atom unsure of his command, but we also have lighter moments, like Sue Dibney's apparent crush on the dashing Captain (and Ralph's obvious reaction!). We also have a very serious moment as Power Girl and Rocket Red discuss the Nazis. After lamenting the loss of life at the Frankfurt facility, Kara accuses Dmitri of sympathizing with the Nazis. Dmitri counters that he's just upset at the death toll and reminds Power Girl that his country suffered under the Nazis to a much greater degree than the US. Sufficiently chastised, PG apologizes. I like when comics throw in bits of history like that. We'll see how the storyline plays out in the next issue. Until then folks, good day!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol. 2 #3

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.

R.I.P. Gary Gygax

Thanks for the good times...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fun in the Arrowcave

Fun in the Arrowcave: 10 Ollie Dollars to whomever can tell me what's wrong with the panels to the left...

Spotlight:: Green Lantern #78

Issue: Green Lantern vol. 1 #78

Title: "A Kind of Loving, A Way of Death!"

Credits: Neal Adams (cover, pencils) Denny O'Neil (script)

Cover Date: July 1970

Overview: As Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and their Guardian companion continue their journey, we make a brief segue to that Blonde Bombshell, Black Canary. We meet up with Canary as she confronts a small gang of bikers on an isolated dirt road. The bikers decide that they really like Canary's chopper, and that they should go ahead and take it from her. This turns out to be a giant error, as the issue points out, Black Canary is one of the world's greatest martial artists. She quickly drops the entire gang, but one of the bikers recovers enough to run her down.

The scene then switches back to Hal and Ollie, as they come upon an Indian Reservation. Starved, they grab some beans from the town's only restaurant, just in time to stop the very same bikers from taking what they want and killing the proprietor. Ollie uses a net arrow to capture one of the toughs who tried to escape on his bike, but notices something odd about his ride. It is the very same motorcycle that Superman made for Black Canary! (The editorial note tells us this happened in JLA #75) After interrogating (read: beating the crap out of) the dastardly biker, they get the story out of him. Just as they're leaving, the owner of the restaurant they ate at makes a snarky comment about the white man's abuse of his people. Unaware of this aspect of humanity (which both Ollie and Hal are ashamed of) the Guardian decides to stay behind while Ollie and Hal go looking for Black Canary.

They manage to track her down near the road the bikers left her on, but all is not right. She seems enthralled by a strange man name Joshua. After failing to convince her to come with them, Hal and Ollie back off to try and decide what to do. Hal and Ollie have a brief falling out (and fistfight) when Hal suggests that Dinah might just not like him anymore. Furious with Hal, and himself for losing control, Ollie runs off, only to find Joshua and his followers at the firing range. As his followers (all women, natch) practice their shooting, Joshua rants and raves about how white people cannot coexist with people of other races. Being a horrible racist is bad enough, but he then instructs the women under his thrall to attack and wipe out the nearby Native American village.

GA sets off a flare arrow to summon help, but is struck down by a bullet grazing the back of his head. Hal arrives in time to disarm and capture most of the women, but Joshua and Dinah manage to escape. They find a wounded Ollie on their way back, and Joshua orders Dinah to finish him off. She tries, but a flood of memories wash over her: her husband Larry, who was killed by Aquarius, her time with the League, and finally, her love for Oliver Queen. Now free of Joshua's influence, she drops the gun, while Hal drops Joshua.

Ollie recovers, and comments that even though Joshua used his powers to enthrall Canary and the other women, that he must have found something within them to work with. The potential for bigotry is within all of us, and it is up to us to resist it. Dinah helps Ollie back to the truck, while Hal reminds the reader that Joshua was not the first of his kind, nor will he be the last.

Thoughts: Alright, so this issue was a bit heavy handed. You can tell that Adams and O'Neil were really trying on this one. Their message is a good one of course, but it got in the way of the story in several places. Green Lantern fans will definitely rejoice in this issue, as this is the first of the O'Neil/Adams run where Hal does NOT blindly trust authority to the point of absurdity. It was great to see Black Canary, and the splash page of her memories was the high point of the issue for me (see below, almost reminds you of Ditko, eh?). I like that we're reminded yet again that Black Canary (and by extension, women in general) are not helpless damsels in need of rescuing. BA drops those bikers like a bad habit. It was only when one of them ran her over that she got into any trouble.

Also: Get a load of that cover! Nothing says 1970 like Hal Jordan back-handing a hippie!

Next week: Another Adventure Comics story (I don't own Green Lantern #79...yet, its on the way)