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.


rob! said...

its always touchy bringing real world atrocities into superhero comics, but Mike Grell i thought handled that kind of stuff fairly well; this storyline sounds interesting to me.

Anonymous said...

Eh, it's an okay story. Green Arrow is the type to get fired up about hate crimes, and I think it is a different kind of wrinkle to bring into comics, which may be a good thing. I don't really think that homosexuality is the proper domain of the genre, BUT helping those in need is always the role of the hero.

I suppose I don't have much more than that to say.

Adama said...

@Benton: I dunno Benton, I don't think a genre really has limitations like that. Now it may be a different tone than is normally associated with these books, but there is a mature readers label on the cover.

@Rob: I think it was really well handled, myself. I was actually shocked to see a bunch of people treat the couple like it was no big deal in a comic book written in 1988!