Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Articulation Arrow: DC New Frontier Green Arrow

Articulation Arrow Feature- DC: New Frontier Green Arrow

I picked this little guy up a couple years ago, a few months after DC: New Frontier came out. I read the books the line was based on in the student bookstore at Clemson. A professor had actually used them as assigned reading in his class.

Since I was a big Green Arrow fan, I appreciated how Ollie got some screen time amidst all the other heroes being featured. When I found out there was an action figure line, and that Green Arrow was one of them, I had to pick it up.

So, on to the review:

Accessories: Bow, arrow (stolen by cats), stand

Pros: Clean, simple, iconic look. Accessories that actually fit into the figures hands. Neato 50's style stand base. Excellent paint applications

Cons: Limited articulation points, fletching end of arrows sticking out of quiver VERY easy to break (you'll notice that all of mine are gone)

Thoughts: Man, I am crazy about this figure. It neatly captures the style and feel of the book it was based off of, especially with that neat kidney shaped stand. I was kind of disappointed that the arrows in his quiver kept breaking off, but the rest of him has been remarkable durable.

I mentioned the lack of articulation points as a con, and in a way it is. He really doesn't have much posability, but this was never really intended as a play figure. He's there to assume one position and look pretty. Part of the problem I had with the older Marvel Legends line is that they went with so many articulation points that it disrupted the look of the model and made it hard to get them to stand. Since most people will be putting figures like that on display rather than playing with them, I felt that was a mistake. Of course, that didn't stop me from buying tons of them either...

Overall, awesome fig!

Score: 4.5 out of 5 Boxing Glove Arrows

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol. 2 #7

Issue: Green Arrow vol. 2 #7

Title: "The Lean Season"

Credits: Mike Grell (GA scripts) Ed Barreto (GA pencils) Dick Giordano (inks) Sharon Wright (BC scripts) Randy Du Burke (BC pencils
(This issue was a bit unusual in that normal artist Ed Hannigan was out with the flu, necessitating the Barreto fill-in. Additionally, the Black Canary portions of the issue were scripted and drawn by a different team, specified above)

Cover Date: August, 1988

Synopsis: Ollie stops to get Dinah's car washed at the local "Handee Wash." There, one of the employees accidentally busts in on her manager...making copies of all the keys his customers leave him. Later, Ollie gets a lead on some Tong drug activity, leading him to book a cruise to Alaska. Meanwhile, Dinah meets up with an old acquaintance, who happens to be the employee who burst in on her boss at the car wash earlier. She tells Dinah what she knows over lunch.

DInah decides to investigate, hiring a cab to follow the woman's boss. He ends up on a ferry to...Alaska! She returns home, only to find that her car has been stolen!

Later, Ollie is wandering the decks of the cruise ship when he comes across Dinah's car on the car deck. He suits up as Green Arrow, deciding to hide in the trunk and surprise the thief. As he's emptying out the spare tire, he finds several kilos of coke hidden in the trunk...

Thoughts: Not much actually happens in this issue. It serves more as a framing device for future story lines. I think the two writing/two artist teams worked out well and integrated smoothly, however.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Michael Golden Doctor Strange Print

Michael Golden Doctor Strange Print

I picked this beauty up at the Atlanta Comic Expo back in February. Now that I have a working camera and finally go around to framing it and putting it on the wall, I thought I would share with everyone else!

Mr. Golden was kind enough to autograph the print in the lower left hand corner there (as opposed to the printed sig in the lower right)

Action Figure Collection: Out of Storage!

Hey guys! I just pulled my action figure collection out of storage, so I figured I would post the pictures before the cats knock them all down!

To the left, you can see my small collection of Green Arrow figures. The one in the center is from the Identity Crisis line, while the one on the right is from the DC: New Frontier set. The large one in the back and the smaller one on the left are two versions of the same Justice League Unlimited line. You can also see the prone form of the invisible Martian Manhunter in the background, although I can't remember which line he's from.

Over to the left, you can see my full collection of Justice League/Justice League Unlimited figures. Unforunately, that line is notorious for having trouble standing up, as you can see. Sinestro managed to topple over in the time it took me to stand back and take to picture! Also, just to the left of Shining Knight, you can see The Shade's Nightstick. I didn't notice that he'd fallen off the shelf until I'd taken the picture. I just got the hard-to-find Blue Devil, Vigilante, and The Shade earlier today!

This pic shows off my Marvel Legends series collection. This line is also tough the stand up, mostly because the shear number of articulation points means that they tend to splay all over the place! I don't have as many of these as I like, mostly because I got started on them late and I don't like the new manufacturer that's done the last few waves.

Here are more Marvel Legends, including the Legendary Riders wave and some stranglers that wouldn't fit on the shelf above.

Here we have my collection of the 10" figures from the JLU line (minus the Green Arrow, above) You can also see my little mini-battle between Aquaman and Black Manta from the Justice line. I also picked up Parasite and Solomon Grundy at the same sale and from the same line. One thing I noticed about the larger JLU figs is that the capes on Superman, Batman, and Martian Manhunter are molded plastic, but Aquaman's cape is cloth. Go figure!

The bottom shelf, which you can see the top of here, showcases the Build-a-Figures from the various lines of Marvel Legends I've collected.

Well, that's just me bring the proud action fig daddy. I'll go into more detail on the Green Arrow figs (since he is the actual subject of this blog) sometime later this week.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Local Comic Shop Robbed, Owner Shot

Hey guys, I want to drop a quick link that I felt was important. Local Comic Shop owner David Pirkola of Apparition Comics in Grand Rapids Michigan was shot when someone robbed his store earlier today. He's in critical condition at the moment, and like most comic shop owners, has no health insurance. Obviously, the bill from something like this is going to be massive, so in a showing of support, some comic folks have set up a donation fund run by the co-owner of the shop here.

If you can spare it and feel like helping, please do.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Heli-Spotter Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Heli-Spotter Arrow

Marvel at the wondrous Heli-Spotter Arrow! This little number can be fired above a crowd, where a small helicopter rotor will keep it aloft. Attached are a trio of rotating mirrors, which allow the users to spot their target, even amongst a throng of people!

All this and more can be yours...if the Price is Right!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sorry guys

Sorry about the lack of activity the past couple days. My internet has been down, and now I'm not feeling well. I promise a Trick Arrow of the Week tomorrow, however!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mini-GA Painting by Art Baltazar

In a move with EPIC levels of awesomeness, fellow blogger Rob! picked up this little number for me at New York Comic Con.

Its a tiny painting, done on actual canvas but measuring no more than a couple inches on a side, of none other than our favorite Emerald Archer!

The piece was created by Tiny Titans writer/artist Art Baltazar, who also did an adorable sketch of Aqualad for Rob's Aquaman Shrine.

This may seem odd, but this actually marks the first piece of original Green Arrow art that I own

Thanks again Rob!!

PS: The image wraps around the side of the frame, showing off Ollie's rockin 'stach, but apparently my camera is broken, so I had to make due with a scan.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Lantern #82

Issue: Green Lantern vol.1 #82

Title: How Do You Fight a Nightmare?

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

Cover Date: March, 1971

Synopsis: Green Arrow pays a surprise visit to his beau Black Canary, bringing her a dozen roses he just "happened" to have with him. Suddenly, a pair of strange, harpy like creatures attacks!

After a goof with a gas arrow drives them from the room, Ollie and Dinah notice that the harpies have disappeared. Concerned about all the weirdness, Ollie decides to call in Hal Jordan (with a telegram, which I found delightfully quaint).

Hal flies out in response to Ollie's summons, but notices the same harpy creautres from before. He follows them to a disco (more 70's fun!) but they vanish to reveal The Witch Queen! She villain uses her sorcery to trap Hal in another dimension.

Meanwhile, Ollie and Dinah investigate the florist where Ollie purchased the roses from earlier. As Dinah reminisces about the flower shop she owned with her husband (a career she would return to later) a fist punches Ollie through the window.

The culprits turn out to be a trio of massive Amazon warriors. They attempt to take Ollie with them, but Dinah gives them a good old fashioned ass-whupping. The women show their respect for Dinah by explaining what's going on and leaving Ollie alone. The Amazons are from a prehistoric culture that was exiled to another dimension by a scorned man. Ever since, they;ve been distrustful of men. They were contacted by the Witch Queen and told that the men they were after (including Ollie) had been abusing women. Now that they know the truth, they lead the pair back to the area where the Witch Queen contacted them.

Meanwhile, The Witch Queen gets a visit from her brother: Sinestro! It turns out that the staff she used was not magical, but powered by Sinestro's yellow power ring! Before Sinestro can recover his ring from the staff, Ollie fires an arrow through the center, pinning it to the wall. Sinestro challenges Ollie physically, but one punch sends the intergalactic villain to the floor. Dinah takes out the Witch Queen just before she tackles Ollie, much to his chagrin.

It turns out that only one male may be present in the dimension of the Amazons, so Dinah follows the lady warriors back to their home to rescue Hal. They get there just in time, as Hal is about to be executed for the crimes the Witch Queen accused him of. The Amazons vouch for him and Dinah,and the two return to Earth. Ollie finds the incident hard to believe, but Dinah and Hal assure him he's not imagining things!

Thoughts: Kind of a blah issue. Again, not sure what they were trying to say, other than demonstrating once again that Black Canary (and other woman) are fully capable of taking care of themselves. Also, I found it strange that they chose to use Amazons, since the DCU already has Amazons running about...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Acquisitions: Quarter Bin Bonanza, part Tres

Well kids, I'd planned on waiting until Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd!) before heading down to Galactic Quest for another quarter bin raid. Circumstances have changed a bit, and I'll be spending FCBD in Greenville instead. Since I had some free time this weekend, I went ahead and pillaged me some quarter bins!

Good haul this time, here's the details:

Doctor Strange: Slim pickins this time, but I did grab some later Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme issues: 61, 71, 74

Defenders: Holy crap, they must have put out some new stuff, or else I missed these the first time around, but there were a ton of classic era Defenders in the quarter bins this time! I got issues 64, 84, 90, 109, 113, 117, 118, 133

Firestorm: Only issue issue this time, #6 of vol.2

Moon Knight: Just two issues, but it brings me ever closer to completing my collection: 36, and 54 of Marc Spector: Moon Knight

Random Stuff: I got a TON of random weirdness this time around, not the least of which is several issues each of Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Who's Who in the DCU. I used to have complete sets of both of these as a kid, and I'm super excited about getting them back! I also picked up more 2 more issues of Amethyst, #4 of the first series and the Special that ended the second. I also found another issue of Strike Force: Morituri, #22. I found a random issue each of Warlord and Micronauts, along with the first issue of The 'Nam from the regular back issues. The latter two are coming with me to Heroescon for Michael Golden to sign. There were a few issues of What if...? that found their way into my pile as well, namely 6, 25, 28, and 29 (all from the quarter bins!).

I also grabbed a few things for other people. There were a few issues of Marvel Team-up that I'm offering to Rick, plus some random Teen Titans and Night Thrasher issues for non-blogger Joe. Luke got in on the deal as well, with 4 issues of Iron Man, some Conan and some Magnus: Robot Fighter.

And last but certainly not least: Green Arrow!

Nothing in the quarter bins, unfortunately, but I did get some stuff out of the regular back issues namely 126, 127, and annual 6 from the 90's run.

Now, we wait for FCBD and Heroescon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Balloon Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Balloon Arrow

Balloon arrows: Great for distracting super-villains and impromptu birthday parties!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dossier:: Roy Harper

Real Name: Roy Harper

Alias: Speedy, Arsenal, Red Arrow

First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73

Modus Operandi: World class archer, former heroin addict

Powers/Equipment: wide variety of trick arrows similar to Green Arrow, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, skilled with a needle...

Backstory: Roy Harper was orphaned at a young age, but was raised by a kindly Native American named Brave Bow. Brave Bow taught the boy archery, leading him to idolized superhero Green Arrow.

The two would eventually partner up, having many adventures together, with Roy even joining the original Teen Titans. One day, after Ollie had left him to go "see America" with Hal Jordan, Roy joined a band and fell into the wrong crowd. The Green Arrow's horror, his former sidekick has degenerated into a full on heroin junkie. Overreacting, Ollie threw Roy out on the street to fend for himself.

Ollie later felt guilty about what he'd done, and tracked Roy down. He ended up leaving him in the care of his lover, Black Canary. Black Canary nursed Roy through the worst of the withdrawals, but by then it was too late. With too much bad blood between them, Ollie and Roy decided to go their separate ways.

Taking the name Arsenal, Roy joined (and eventually led) a new incarnation of the Teen Titans. Feeling guilty over the death of a teammate, Roy left the Titans, only to join up with the Outsiders shortly thereafter. (During this time period, Ollie returned from the dead, and he and Roy mended fences)

After the last incarnation of the Outsiders fell on hard times, Roy left the group. Before long, he was invited by Hal Jordan to join the newest incarnation of the Justice League, headed by chairwoman and longtime friend Black Canary. Roy accepted, taking the name Red Arrow to honor his adoptive father.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ollie Watch: 4/16/08

Ollie Watch: 4/16/08

Catch Ollie and his Outsider teammates in Batman and the Outsiders #6!

As you can see, Ollie gets the most cover space, outside of Batman himself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol.2 #6

Issue: Green Arrow vol. 2 #6

Title: Gauntlet, part 2

Credits: Mike Grell (scripts) Ed Hannigan, Dick Giordano (art)

Cover Date: July, 1988

Synopsis: Continuing from our last issue, Ollie prepares to give Colin a snack down in retaliation for he and his gang's attack. Colin convinces Ollie to back down, but only in exchange for ratting out the folks in charge of the new gang.

Meanwhile, the gang leader, Reggie, surprises his lieutenant, Kebo with a surprise inspection of their operations. Apparently their drug, prostitution, and protection rackets are going smoothly. As Reggie repairs to his room for some private time with his lady, he's confronted by an angry Green Arrow.

Ollie accuses him of arranging the recent rash of anti-gay hate crimes, but Reggie insists that while he's not an example of moral turpitude, he had nothing to do with those particular crimes.

Just then, Kebo and the rest of the gang bust in on them, but Ollie has an arrow pointed right at Reggie, so they quickly disarm. Ollie casually mentions to Kebo (and the gang) that he read up on a prisoner by the name of Keith Bowman, who was gang raped in prison. Kebo admits that he is Keith Bowman, but Reggie reminds Ollie that he has no standing with the gang, as he has not been initiated.

Ollie agrees to run "The Gauntlet," during which he will have to make ti through two lines of men armed with various clubs and knives. He manages to get through with only a few hits, a testament to years of super-heroics, not doubt. Since he has successfully run the gauntlet, Ollie is allowed to make his case.

He accuses Kebo of having the gay men murdered because of his experiences in prison. Kebo admits what he has done, claiming that since the "fags" abused him and gave him AIDS, in effect, killing him, that he's justified in taking a few of them out as well. He and Ollie get in a scuffle, Ollie wins, but Reggie ends of shooting Kebo. The kinds of crimes he's been arranging garner too much notice for a gang trying to fly under the cops' radar, so Kebo became a liability.

Later, Ollie tracks down Colin, who is still hanging out with the gang. He has nowhere to go, he says, and if he did try to leave, the gang would kill him. Distraught, Ollie leaves, but surreptitiously donates a large sum of money (presumably his reward from the bioweapons incident a few issues ago) to an urban youth center. The last panel depicts a man named Greg Osborne celebrating his discovery of the Green Arrow's whereabouts.

Thoughts: Well, this issue continues the hate crime storyline from last issue. Some commenters have felt that these kinds of stories are not appropriate for the comic medium, but I think that it fits perfectly with the "mature readers" line the DC was putting out. Now, whether the carefree urban crusader Green Arrow was the best choice to tell the story.... I don't know. Green Arrow was practically the only DC superhero with a social conscience at this point, so they didn't have too many people to choose from without creating a new character. All in all I like the slightly darker take. But then again, sitting here 20 years later, I know that the light hearted Ollie would make a comeback later on. At the time, I bet lots of GA fan felt their character had been derailed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spotlight: Green Lantern #81

Issue: Green Lantern vol. 1 #81

Title: Death be my Destiny!

Credits: Neal Adams (pencils) Denny O'Neil (scripts) Dick Giordano (inks)

Cover Date: December, 1970

Synopsis: Continuing from our last issue, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Black Canary accompany their Guardian friend back to Oa for trial. Despite their best efforts, he is soon found guilty of imperiling a world to save one person. He is stripped of his immortality and sentenced to spend the rest of his days on Maltus, the Guardian's planet of origin.

The quartet arrive on the planet expecting to find it sparsely populated but instead find it covered in a seething sea of sentients.

Consulting the planetary archives (and interviewing its keeper) they discover that several decades ago, a strange comet passed over the planet. The dust from the comet seemed harmless at first, until the Maltusians ceased being able to have children. As the population aged, a revolutionary scientist named Mother Juno colleced gene samples from the populace. Using these, she was able to artifically create new people for the planet.

Un fortunately for the Maltusians, she refused to stop, even after the crisis was over and they were able to have children again. The planet has grown more and more crowded, until water became strictly rationed and fresh food was barely a memory.

Determined to help the Maltusians, the four head to Mother Juno's lab. After a long fight against her specially bred guards, she is defeated not by the superheroes, but by her own people, who have followed our heroes to the lab.

Our Guardian friend decides he can do much good for the Maltusians, and refuses GL's offer to go back to Earth with them. He is content to spend the rest of his (now limited) life easing the suffering of his ancestral world.

Thoughts: Well, this was certainly an improvement over the last issue! At least this time, the book had a clear plot and you could tell exactly what the authors were trying to tell you. The overpopulation theme seems a bit more...big picture than what they were going with before. I mean, individual racists are one thing, but an entire planet suffering from too many people is another. My favorite bit was probably Ollie using a Sap Arrow (the kind you knock someone out with not the kind that comes from a tree) to defeat one of Mother Juno's over-sized guards.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Acquisitions: Sale-a-palooza

So, I ended up in South Carolina, collecting documentation to respond to the aforementioned personal crisis (let's just say it has to do with the state of South Carolina demanding I pay them a large sum of money) and since i was in the area, I decided to stop by the comic shop I frequented during college, Planet Comics.

Turns out my timing was fortuitous, as they were having a big sale. They had several large tables stacked with graphic novels for 40% off.

Now, as I mentioned, I'm in a bit of a dire financial situation, so I couldn't exactly splurge. The first thing I noticed was a bunch of trades collection the Marvel Transformers series from the 80's. Now, I loves me some Transformers, but none of them were from the beginning of the series, so they did me no good.

Then I spotted the mother load. A perfectly good copy of Showcase: Justice League of America vol. 3. At 40% off (around 10 bucks) it was too good to pass up.

Then I moved onto the back issues boxes, of which Planet Comics has an obscene number. I mean seriously guys, I only checked on TWO titles I was looking and found several issues of both. At that point, I decided to quit while I still had a credit rating.

I got:

Strike Force: Mortituri- I got a little over-excited on this one (and I didn't have my list) so I ended up getting a couple redundant issues. They did however, have the advantage of being cheap. I picked up issues 4, 6, 8, 13, 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Amethyst: There's a funny story that goes along with this one, which I'll share in a sec. I managed to find issues 1, 2 ,3 and 10 of the first maxi-series.

The funny story involves issue 2. There must have been at least 15-20 copies of that issue in Planet Comics stock. I thought it was weird that a store would buy that many copies of one issue, but I didn't give it too much thought. When I got to the register, the guys behind the counter burst out laughing. Turns out that issue is sort of an inside joke with the staff. The reason they have so many issues is that they'd bought a collection from a customer without checking it thoroughly. It was only after they'd paid for it that they realized that in addition to everything else, they'd just purchased 50 copies of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld #2. Apparently, the guy never came back after that. Now every time someone actually buys one they get a big kick out of it!

Free Comic Book day is only about 3 weeks away, expect some major additions then!

Friday, April 11, 2008

No post today

Personal crisis (not infinite or final) cropped up, no post today.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ollie Watch: April 9th, 2008

Ollie Watch: April 9th, 2008

Green Arrow/Black Canary #7: Mysteries are revealed in the newest issue of GA/BC, as the multi-chromic couple head to London to find Connor's assailant.

Booster Gold #8: The Blue and Gold join up with the new "Freedom Fighters" (including Green Arrow) to defeat the menace of Maxwell Lord and his all conquering OMACS. (It is kinda their fault!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Arrow vol. 2 #5

Issue: Green Arrow vol. 2 #5

Title: "Gauntlet"

Credits: Mike Grell (scripts) Ed Hannigan, Dick Giordano (art)

Cover Date: June, 1988

Synopsis: A young gay couple comes into Sherwood Florist (Black Canary's flower shop) to purchase a rose to celebrate their 8th anniversary. Dinah congratulates them, and they leave for a walk in the park. Soon after, they're ambushed by wrench wielding assailant. One of them is killed, the other put in critical condition.

The cops, finding a receipt from the shop on one of the victims, arrive to ask Ollie and Dinah if they saw anything. Dinah takes one look at the photo and heads for the bathroom, while Ollie questions the cops to get a better read on the situation.

Apparently there's been a wave of gay bashing in the city, and the cops are hampered by an unwillingness of witnesses to talk. Some are scared, some are indifferent, and some feel that the victims deserve it.

Meanwhile, Dinah's assistant, Colin, tells her he can't work for her anymore. He's been forcibly recruited into a new gang, and they've put him through "The Gauntlet," injuring him severely. Dinah encourages him to go to the police, but Colin insists they can't help.

Ollie decides to go undercover and wanders out of a gay bar and into the park. As soon as he's out of sight of the street he's ambushed by a group of thugs. He fights them off, only to discover that one of them is none other than Colin, Dinah's assistant!

Thoughts: I'm still not entirely sure Green Arrow is the right guy for this venue, but the story sure is interesting. I suppose he has earned his social issue cred in his previous adventures with Green Lantern, so it would make sense for Ollie to be the one to investigate a string of hate crimes. I was dubious of Dinah's reaction to the crime scene photos at first, since she's a veteran crime fighter and has presumably seen worse, but it considering her recent experiences, it may have hit a little too close to home. Overall, I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Acquisitions: Dollar Bin Blowout

I took some time this weekend to travel a few towns over to see my family. While I was there, I decided to check out my childhood comic book shop, The Book Exchange. I didn't have any ideas when I went over there, I just wanted to see how the place was doing. Honestly, things didn't look so good, but they did have about a dozen or so discount bins, all at $1.

I looked around a bit, and didn't find anything interesting...until I got to the G's. I found an absolutely stunning run of Green Arrow vol.2. At a dollar a piece, the sheer amount they had hurt the pocketbook, but I didn't want to risk leaving it for one of the other 3 Green Arrow mega-fans out there.

All in all, I got 37 issues of Green Arrow: 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 26-27, 31-33, 40-43, 45-46, 48, 50, 53-54, 59, 60-61, 65, 68-69, 74, 76-77, 103, 113, 117-118, 128, 134, and 136.

That filled in some pretty big holes in my collection, but since I didn't own many of those issues to begin with, I still have quite a ways to go. It does mean that I have most of the earlier issues, so at least I can begin reading and get a few stories under my belt before the holes stop me. I'm one of those people who won't read back issues unless I've got a good chunk to go through. I find that if I read random issues here and there I get really confused and don't enjoy it as much

While I was at it, I also managed to find the first two issues of Strike Force: Morituri, which I read over the weekend and really enjoyed. I really can't laud that book enough. There was also a random issue of Justice League: Europe. They had more, but for some reason I didn't include that series when I transferred my list from paper to Excel (something I've since corrected).

This will almost certainly be my last major acquisition until Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd), when I'll hit the quarter bins at Galactic Quest, hard!

Spotlight:: Green Lantern #80

Issue: Green Lantern #80

Title: Even an Immortal Can Die!

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

Cover Date: October 1970

Synopsis: Our Emerald Trio (Ollie, Hal, and the Guardian) continue their trek across the country, but discuss ending it as they're all ready for some stability. Just then, a truck driver veers into their lane, forcing our heroes' truck off the bridge and into the water below.

Hal uses his ring to bring them up to the surface, and they're rescued by a passing tramp freighter. The captain tells them that he's transporting industrial, waste recently banned by the government, to a facility for disposal.

Later, the ship's boiler overheats, knocking out Green Lantern and forcing the crew to dump the )explosive) waste overboard. Ollie is dismayed at being forced to dump the waste into the river, but agrees that it was their only choice.

Hal is severely injured, and the Guardian's time on Earth has weakened him to the point that he can either douse the fire and clean up the pollution, or he can transport Hal to the hospital. He chooses to save his friend, but this choice is not without consequences.

Shortly after Hal's recovery, the Guardians back on Oa send an image to the trio. They condemn their brother's choice to save one person over the health and welfare of many. He is to stand trial on Gallo, home of the Tribune. The Tribune are a race even older than the Guardians, who sit in judgment of immortals who stray.

The trio arrive on Gallo to a chilly welcome by the Gallan robots, who force them to give up their weapons. Hal hands his over willingly, but when Ollie protests, the robot attacks without warning. Obviously outmatched, Green Arrow quickly surrenders.

The three arrive in the courtroom, but something is amiss. There is a human looking man on the bench, and all the jurors are robots. When Ollie and Hal try to protest, they are quickly fitted with devices that cover their mouths. The judge sentences the Guardian to death with no testimony and no time for deliberation.

Hal and Ollie are dropped into a holding cell with two other beings...who turn out to be the real Triune! The man behind the bench eas the mechanic in charge of maintaining their robots. He went insane at some point, and recently used the robots to usurp their power.

Hal and Ollie escape and manage to retrieve their weapons and use them to defeat the Judge's robot minions. Ollie stops him from escaping just as Hal releases the Guardian from his execution machine. Relieved, the Triunes are anxious to return to their duties, but a comment from Ollie convinces them to consider their mission carefully before continuing. Meanwhile, the Guardian declines to continue his journey with the Emerald Duo, deciding instead to remain behind and face justice for what he has done.

Thoughts: I don't really know what to think about this issue. What was it trying to say? The death penalty is bad? Robots are bad? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one)? I really have no idea. The art was good, and it was nice to see Ollie use his brain to escape the holding cell, but outside of that, the issue was rather forgettable. I think that's a shame, since this is the first issue in the run that I haven't really enjoyed.

EDIT TO ADD: Something I forgot to mention the first time around, but check out that cover! I didn't enjoy the story, but that is some kick-ass cover art!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

As I found out from Rob! over at The Aquaman Shrine, WB is creating a new Batman vehicle called Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The plan to to have Bats team up with heroes all over the DC universe. As you can see from the picture to the left, our friend Green Arrow is on the short list! Also slated to appear are Blue Beetle and Aquaman.

The show premiers later this year. I'll have more as it develops.

(Sorry guys, no trick arrow today. I'm out of town and don't have access to a scanner)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dossier:: Black Canary

Real Name: Dinah Laurel Lance

Alias: Black Canary, " The Blonde Bombshell"

First Appearance: Flash Comics #86

Modus Operandi: World class martial artist, costumed crime fighter, florist

Powers/Equipment: Deadly sonic scream capable of stunning or even killing opponents. Custom motorcycle.

Backstory: The history of Black Canary is a convoluted one. Originally a Golden Age, WWII era member of the JSA, Dinah grew disillusioned with her home dimension after the death of her husband. After a crossover adventure with the JLA, she decided to stay on Earth 1.

Here, she became a long time member of the JLA, eventually falling for her dashing teammate, Green Arrow. The two became an item soon after.

The story gets a little more complicated after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now, the WWII Black Canary and her modern counterpart separate people. In this case, a mother daughter pair. Young Dinah grew up surrounded by super-heroics, and dreamed of taking up the mantle herself one day. Her mother objected, but Dinah soon found herself helping to found the JLA.

One day, while attempting to break up a drug smuggling ring, Dinah was captured and tortured. Her lover, Green Arrow, eventually rescued her, killing her captors in the process. This event would haunt both of them for years to come. As a result of her injuries, Dinah lost her Canary cry, becoming a normal (if exceptionally dangerous) person for the first time.

She and Ollie stayed together for some time, but eventually broke it off after she caught him making out with a Green Arrow groupie. She struck off on her own, joining up with her childhood "aunts" and "uncles" in the JSA. She moved from that to a long stint in Oracle's Birds of Prey organization. (During this period Dinah was exposed to a Lazarus Pit, restoring her Canary Cry).

Eventually, after the death and rebirth of Oliver Queen, the two got back together as a couple. Recently, Ollie asked for Dinah's hand in marriage, and she accepted. Although their wedding interrupted by a super villain attack, and she ended up killing a shapeshifter posing as Green Arrow, the two are now a happy couple. Currently, she's assisting Green Arrow in recovering his son, Connor from unknown kidnappers and serving as the first chairwoman of the Justice League of America.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Non-GA Spotlight: Doctor Who #1

Issue: Doctor Who #1

Title: "Doctor Who and the Star Beasts" (main) "Return of the Daleks" (back-up)

Credits: Mills and Wagner (scripts) Dave Gibbons (art)

Cover Date: October, 1984

Synopsis: This first issue finds the Doctor on his way to Spain for vacation. Unfortunately, the TARDIS is up to its usual tricks, and ends up putting him inside an alien space ship.

The aliens quickly subdue both the Doctor and K-9, moving the Doctor into an operating theater. We find out that they plan to implant a deadly bomb in his stomach. The Doctor is allowed to escape, but with a pair of alien spys on board the TARDIS.

Meanwhile, in England, two teenagers stumble across a truly adorable blue, fuzzy alien that they name Meep. They take it home and try to nurse it back to health, all the while passing it off as an exotic pet to the boy's mother.

The Doctor hears a news report about the crash of the Meep's UFO, and decides to investigate. He arrives just in time to help the two kids fight off an attack by the very same aliens that previously captured the Doctor. It turns out they they're hunting the Meep. They fear and hate it for reasons that remain unclear.

The Doctor quickly realizes that the attack was beaten off far too easily, and suddenly remembers the pain in his stomach. He suddenly figures out what the aliens have done to him, and warns the children to run... THE END!

The back-up feature is a fun little tale about an alien planet which films a movie about Daleks. The fantasy turns to reality when one of their less reputable citizens uses a mysterious crystal to make the Daleks real. Her plan turns against her after the Daleks, being Daleks, inevitably betray her. She teams up with the planet's military to use the crystal to return the Daleks to their fantasy world, eliminating the threat and leaving the movie studio with tons of absolutely amazing footage...

Thoughts: This issue was a ton of fun. The writers managed to capture what really makes the Doctor fun and translate it into comic book form. I thought the Dalek story (surprisingly) was the less compelling of the two stories. It just didn't click with me for some reason. The Star Beast story continues with the next issue, so I'll make sure to review that as well so you'll all know what happened...

No update today: 4/1

Sorry guys, life got in the way again. However, there are a couple things in Green Arrowdom coming up soon, so plan on reports about those tomorrow. I'll also go ahead and post a spotlight on one of those Doctor Who issues I picked up over the weekend.