Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ollie Watch: 10/1/08

DC Universe Decisions: Well, the first issue was kind of a train wreck, but let's see how this one goes, as Green Arrow, Guy Gardner, Batman and Superman reveal their political leanings...for some reason.

Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Album: This new hardcover collects all of the various specials and event issues that lead up to the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Batman Comic Strip Saturday

Ahhh Ollie, asserting his left-wing cred by defending hippies...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Drill Arrow

Trick Arrow of the Week: Drill Arrow

Here's an example of precision desert island engineering folks. Using only his wits, elastic from his socks, and what must be an amazingly well equipped abandoned workshop, Oliver Queen manufactured this bad boy to get coconuts out of trees and possible fight some evil. Enjoy!

Bonus Link: Postmodernbarney

Hey guys, bnus post today. I'll have the trick arrow of the week up later this evening, but for now check out this fun post by Dorian over at PostModernBarney.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Lantern vol. 1 #85

Issue: Green Lantern vol. 1 #85

Title: "Snowbirds Don't Fly"

Credits: Neal Adams (art) Dennis O'Neil (story)

Cover Date: September, 1971

Synopsis: As Oliver Queen is walking down the street, he's ambushed by a group of junkies looking to steal some money for a fix. He fights them all off, channeling his anger at Black Canary for breaking up with him into an epic smackdown.

All is well until one of the junkies shoots him with a crossbow. Wounded, Ollie crawls along the sidewalk, ignored by a passing couple, and a police officer. Finally he collapses in an emergency room and receives help.

Once he's patched up, he asks to see the arrow, only to find out that its one of his own!

Intrigued, he decides to investigate the local drug hierarchy. He calls in Hal Jordan as backup, since the arrow through his shoulder will make archery impossible for a few weeks. They hassle a junkie they find in the basement, and from him get the local of a couple of the lieutenants in the organization.

They pay the dealers a visit (one of which has a collection of ancient weapons, including crossbows) only to find Ollie ward Roy in the room with them! Ollie assumes Roy is there undercover and doesn't say anything. The dealers give up the head honcho, and the two heroes run off to confront them.

Unfortunately, the dealers are craftier than the Emerald heroes gave them credit for, and they manage to conk Hal on the head with a wrench. With GL down for the count and a um arm, Ollie is quickly overwhelmed. The dealers decide not to kill them, but to shoot them full of heroin and then call the cops, disgracing the heroes.

Luckily, Roy followed and manages to talk a stoned Hal into getting them the hell out of there. Back at Ollie's place, Hal wonders why anyone would use drugs, since he's come off the high and feels terrible.

Roy tries to explain that its possible a young man who's father figure ran off to go gallivanting around the country might turn to dope as a replacement. Ollie, oblivious, sees Hal of, only to walk back into the room to see Roy shooting up!

Thoughts: This is it guys. This is the storyline that made this run famous. As a matter of fact, I first found out about it because it was featured on a history of comics special on the History Channel. This issue manages to avoid hitting the reader on the head too hard, but you can still tell that O'Neil and Adams were really trying with this one. Obviously drugs were and are a massive problem, so the message is definitely good, I just wish the creators had found a slightly less heavy handed way to do it.

Still, the image of Speedy (wasn't the name just asking for it) shooting up in Ollie's living room is a definitely a powerful one, especially since Roy's turn to drugs was precipitated by Ollie running off on his quest to save America. Irony!

New Adama Powered Blog: Food of Eating +1

Hey everyone! New Arrowcave post later tonight, I promise, but right now I have an announcement:

I've started a new blog: Food of Eating +1, which will cover frugal food shopping, cooking, and meal planning for the lazy geek tired of spending money on take-out. I'll be posting recipes, tips, sale info, and disaster stories from my experience as the aforementioned lazy geek with an interest in cooking and saving money.

Stop by, if you can!

(also, if anyone has any recommendations regarding the layout or a possible header image, let me know. I'm still working on that.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Adventure Comics #256

Issue: Adventure Comics #256

Title: "Green Arrow's First Case"

Cover Date: January, 1959

Credits: France Herron (scripts) Jack and Roz Kirby (art)

Synopsis: Oliver Queen and Roy Harper are watching the news when a story about an expedition to "Starfish Island" airs. Suddenly, Ollie jumps up and demands that Roy suit up; they must stop the expedition, or they'll learn Green Arrow's secret identity!

Ollie explains as they make the trip in the Arrowplane: As a young lad, Oliver Queen was shipwrecked off Starfish Island. In order to survive, he invented his first trick arrows: a rope arrow for fishing, a net arrow for more effective fishing, and a drill arrow to help him get coconuts from trees.

Times passes, and eventually a ship anchors off the island. Excited, Ollie swims out to meet the ship, only to arrive in the middle of mutiny! Using his trick arrows, he foils the mutiny and becomes the Green Arrow!

During his time on the island, Queen recorded his progress by chipping a diary into a rock wall. With the expedition about to explore the island, the will inevitably find the wall, and therefore his secret identity!

Luckily, the scientists are using a Geiger counter to check for radiation. With the judicious application of a "fake uranium arrow" the duo discourage the expedition from exploring further. They leave, and Ollie and Roy destroy the rock wall, and Green Arrow's identity is safe!

Thoughts: Apparently Ollie had some sort of primitive lathe on the island, because that was some serious precision engineering he put into his arrows! This origin has been retold several times since this issue, but the original is still pretty darned entertaining!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trick Arrow of the Week: Power Ring Delivery Arrow!

This bad boy appeared in the last issued we spotlighted, Green Lantern vol. 1 #84. It has the ability to deliver a Green Lantern Power Ring into the hands of its bearer, without taking off any fingers!

This isn't actually meant to be a trick arrow, but when you think about it, there MUST be something else going on, or Hal would be missing a few digits. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ollie Watch: 9/17/08

Well, a couple GA items came out today...well here they are:

Green Arrow/Black Canary #13: Well, that didn't really make a whole lot of sense

DC Universe "Decisions": This didn't make much sense either. Very forced, poorly written, kind of a mess. I rarely dislike books, but this one was just something else. I appreciate GA getting more exposure and all, but jeeez!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spotlight:: Green Lantern vol 1 #84

Issue: Green Lantern vol. 1 #84

Title: "Peril in Plastic"

Cover Date: July, 1971

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

Synopsis: Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris, newly reunited after last issue, have spent several lazy weeks getting to know one another on the beach. Towards the end of their jaunt, Carol tells Hal she plans to see a revolutionary doctor in the next town by the name of Palm. Hal agrees to let her go on her own and decides to use the time to visit Green Arrow.

Ollie is now shacked up in a disreputable part of town. Without his fortune, he can't exactly afford penthouses anymore. The two chat for a few minutes, until a report comes over the radio about an failing dam in a nearby town...the same one that Carol is in for her doctor visit!

Hal flies off, and using his power ring, manages to patch up the dam. Unfortunately, the fact that the guardians have weakened his ring means that all the activity has left him almost too tired to stand. In the aftermath of the rescue, Dr. Palm, who also happens to be mayor, comes out and insists on throwing GL a party and presenting him with a key to the city. He also attaches a small device to Hal's uniform, which randomly sprays perfume in his face.

After a strange ceremony, attended only by Dr. Palm and on a plastic stage, GL prepares to leave. Dr. Palm isn't too keen on this idea, and has his goons chase GL down. His will sapped by the perfume, GL cannot escape, but does manage to send his ring to Ollie just before passing out.

Unfortunately, Black Canary picks that moment to show up, and distracts Green Arrow just as the ring drops into his apartment. They go out to dinner, but have a fight at the restaurant and split up. Ollie returns and finds the ring, reasoning that Hal wouldn't have sent it away unless it was an emergency. He puts it on, recharges it, and heads for Piper's Dell and Dr. Palm.

Meanwhile, GL awakens, trussed up in a strange chair. Dr. Palm is revealed to be the Black Hand in disguise, who has hooked up with shady financial backers to use brainwashed workers to produce shoddy goods in Piper's Dell. To prove that the population is totally under his control, he lets Hal and Carol go, only to have them face a mob of angry civilians. The mob traps GL and Carol at the edge of the dam, only to have Green Arrow arrive just in time. He gets the power ring back to GL just in time. Hal then uses the ring to contain the mob and trap Black Hand in his own crappy plastic products.

Thoughts: Again, you have to give O'Neil and Adams props for tackling such am important issue (rampant consumerism at the cost of individuality) but again they end up beating you over the head with it. Literally. At one point, Hal and Carol are pummelled with plastic bricks. The Black Hand ends up trapped in a plastic prison of his own making, etc. And to think, credit cards were a fairly new thing back then!

Also: It took me a couple read-throughs to get the Dr. Palm/Black Hand connection. I blame the late hour.

Next Time: The Main Event, the reason this series is famous...Speedy on drugs!

I'm Not Dead!

No reason to call the Star City police guys, I am indeed still alive! Life conspired to interfere with my quest to chronicle the exploits of everyone's favorite Emerald Archer, but it appears it has lost interest and wandered off somewhere.

Expect new content tonight, where I'll finally restart our spotlight series on the Neal Adams/Denny O'Neal run on Green Lantern.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yet another haitus

Sorry guys, I'm getting sent on a 3 day business trip to Montreal, so no updates till Thursday, when I'll post the rest of the Dragon*Con report.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dragon*Con Report, Part 1: Pictures addendum

I can't believe I forgot this picture in the last post:

The mook in the middle, dressed as Quagmire from Family Guy, is a friend of mine. I believe the young ladies on his arm are dressed as female versions of Namor, The Sub-Mariner, and Aquaman.

Either way, yowza!

Dragon*Con Report, Part 1: Pictures

Hey everyone! Sorry it took me so long to get the Con report up, but this weekend was really draining, and your humble correspondent needed time to recover! Tomorrow we'll go over my acquisitions (very few on the comic front, unfortunately) so today we'll focus on the amazing sights that were there to be seen at Dragon*Con.

You can view all the Con pictures here

First off, we have everyone's favorite crazed loner, Rorschach! I especially like the detail of the stained trenchcoat.

Next up we have WWII icon Rosie the Riveter! This was one of my favorite costumes at the whole convention. Not only was it a really neat idea, but it was also extremely well done. The young lady even looks like Rosie!

This...is....DRAGONCON!!!! Here King Leonidas and one of his 300 soldiers form a shield wall, protecting the Exhibit Hall from marauding Persians.

The Superman Family was well represented this year, including this lovely lady dressed as Supergirl, and the young man next to her, dressed as the Connor Kent Superboy.

Tony Stark was out on the town, as usual. Here we have a rare shot of Mr. Stark without a drink in his hand. Look closely for the movie version of Iron Man's chest plate, complete with glowing lights.

This one gave me a nice chuckle. Poor Lego guy, all alone in a world not made of bricks.

Here's another Watchmen costume, this time of retired superhero Nite Owl!

I caught this shot of the nefarious Nazi war criminal Red Skull as he stepped outside for a quick smoke.

Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, along with paramour Maid Marian, made a good showing this year. Unfortunately, it appears that not all the men were Merry at this particular moment.

Thousands of people attend Dragon*Con every year, but I believe this is the first time royalty have shown up. Here we have the King and Queen of the Inhumans, Black Bolt and Medusa! They even brought a little stuffed Lockjaw with them.

Iron Man in all his glory. I guess Mr. Stark managed to find a storage closet to change in...
(Isn't that costume amazing?)

So, we were walking into one of the hotels, and the guy in front of us was nice enough to hold the door open. Well, low and behold, it turned out to be Jerry Doyle, most famous for portraying Mr. Garibaldi on Babylon 5. He stopped to chat for a second. Nice guy!

The villainous Crime Syndicate of America was out in full force at the convention. Unfortunately I only managed to get a quick shot of Johnny Quick.


I'm not sure why Colossus was hanging out by the trash can, but since he was in his armored form, I wasn't about to ask!

The merc with the mouth, Deadpool!

Emma Frost is a lovely, wholesome woman. And I'm not just saying that because she threatened to melt my brain if I said otherwise!

No one did manage to catch the Gingerbread Man that weekend. All we found after this picture was one of his candy gumdrop buttons.

Here we have Hawkgirl, in all her glory, and complete with mace! Luckily she happened to be on the ground briefly, so I could get a picture.

The Bat Family also put in a good showing at the convention this year, with Batman, Batgirl, and Robin all together for a picture.

Psylocke and Black Cat folks. Aren't they lovely?

Here's me and noted supervillain Black Manta. BM was good enough to pose for a picture with me, and he didn't stab me with his trident or anything! This guy's costume was great, complete with voice modulator, light up eyes, and surely attitude.

Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego? Well, this weekend, she was in downtown Atlanta!

Catwoman, complete with whip. Yipes!

There are more, which you can see at the link I posted above, but these are my favorite.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dragon*Con Placeholder

Hey guys! Dragon*Con is over, and I have a ton to report! As soon as I process everything and move all the pictures off my camera, I'll tell you all about it!