Red Hood and the Outlaws #36


I’ll admit, I don’t remember what has happened in the last few issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws. I’m getting old; what can I say. The issue starts out with Red Hood having just taken out a whole buildings worth of thugs and his narration is about him taking the Venom (the same super-steroid that Bane gets his powers from) and just kicking ass. As he exits everything is on fire and he finds Arsenal’s quill.

Arsenal is getting dropped off at a hospital by Starfire. He’s severley burnt over most of his body but she’s not sticking around. A barely conscious Arsenal gets visited by both Red Hood and Green Arrow in their civilian gear. They have some awkward conversation about what has happened and Roy is barely coherent. Before they wind up getting into fisticuffs in the hospital, the mystical warrior Essence that Red Hood has known for a long time shows up to tell them that Roy will fully recover. Red Hood leaves to find Starfire, and Green Arrow and Arsenal have strained conversation, since they are former best friends and all.

As this goes on, Starfire goes to Poland to take some alien drugs. So I guess she’s the junkie and not Roy in this reality.

Green Arrow #6-16: Ollie, We Have A Problem


I know I should have liked this but I didn’t.

This was Ann Nocenti’s return to the comics world. Nocenti was responsible, either as a writer or an editor for so much stuff in the 1980s and 1990s. She’s gone on to pursue outside interests and this was her first work in comics for a while.

I think what killed these issues for me had nothing to do with Nocenti’s writing or anyone on the art side. What bothers me is how hard of a time I have been having getting into this New 52 version of the Green Arrow. I mean there is plenty of adventure, ranging from him being seduced by a set of bio-weapon engineered triplets to a pair of Seattle archers exploiting the Occupy Wall Street mantra for their own personal gain. Arrow also gets a crossover with Hawkman and even goes to China for a while.

So why am I having such a hard time connecting with this? If you’ve read Green Arrow comics for any amount of time, you can’t say it’s because of his rogue’s gallery. The stories where Green Arrow is most interesting are the ones that involve his great extended supporting cast, whether it be a fixture like Black Canary or Arsenal, or more recent  characters like his son Connor or Mia. Unfortunately, none of them are part of this. Oliver does have his Q-Core employees who help him, but they really aren’t that interesting.

Anyone writing the New 52 Green Arrow also has another problem: they’re competing with the television show Arrow. Both have a similar theme, in that Oliver Queen is just starting out in his exploits as a debuting vigilante. But what Arrow did so well was put together a great supporting cast for him. The comics series has yet to show that. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a conscious decision to distance the two.

Jeff Lemire (most recently of Animal Man fame) took over with issue #17. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of moved on from the character. I’m really liking Arrow, and that has become my Green Arrow of choice these days. Maybe I’ll give it a try if my local public library has it. But for now I’m done with the exploits of the emerald archer.

Arrow Season 1 Episodes 7 and 8: The Ones With The Huntress


Helena Bertinelli may be out of the DC Universe proper these days, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appear in Arrow. These episodes weren’t a proper two-parter, but thematically they book end each other.

It all starts with Oliver’s mother almost being the victim of the attempted murder of mob boss and occasional business partner Frank Bertinelli. Concerned about what happened, Oliver decides to take it upon himself to get a closer look at Bertinelli only to find himself loosely dating the mobster’s daughter Helena. Unfortunately the two become a couple, only to find out that they both have extracurricular vigilante activities. The only difference is that Helena’s are more vengeful; she was the one who targeted her father, as he had her previous fiancée killed.

So the couple does everything you expect they would; fight the Bertinelli crime family and the Triad gangs (from earlier in the series), and winds up running awkwardly into his previous girlfriend Dinah (now dating his best friend Tommy). The relationship, well, mutually implodes as Helena wants to be more lethal in her approach.

They officially break up when Oliver won’t let Helena kill her father, instead wanting to turn him over to the police. This was officially her “deal breaker” moment, as she dumps him and threatens to kill and expose his identity if he should ever cross her in the future. If I were Oliver, I could be content with this break up. The episode ends with Tommy asking Oliver for a job, since he’s a broke debutante late 20s/early thirty something. If life were only that easy.

There was a lot going on in this episode with the introduction of Huntress, who seems like an appropriate character to add to the show since she’s only tangentially associated with Batman. I like that they introduced her in a way they can use in following episodes, since she knows Oliver’s secret and is a bit of an enemy.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 9: “Year’s End”


“Year’s End” should have been re-titled “Oliver Has The Worst Christmas Ever.” With stepfather Walter missing (presumably abducted by the mysterious cabal that the Queens were involved with since he found the wreckage of the yacht), Oliver decides he wants to bring the Christmas spirit back to Starling City, starting at his own home.

To cheer up his mother Moira and sister Thea, Oliver organizes an over the top Christmas party at the mansion. Great ideas like this never seem to ever turn out just right; Moira is just too depressed to deal with this, Thea is too busy trying to make out with her creepy boyfriend, and best friend Tommy is there with his new girlfriend (and Oliver’s ex) Dinah.

So needless to say, a spotting of a copy cat archer (who has also been targeting people on the list) is reported Oliver is more than happy to duck out on the party. Unfortunately, this new archer (who has taken some fashion cues from baseball pitcher Brian Wilson’s pal the Machine) is not only more lethal but far more brutal than Oliver expected. Thanks to some help covering up what happened with Diggle, Oliver is admitted to the hospital to spend the holidays recovering and pondering how he’s going to stop this new uber-archer.

This episode originally aired in the middle of December, right before the Christmas hiatus most shows go through. It was a great point to have a break in the story, as it sets up a new direction for the series.I’m still wondering if the antagonist is none other than Tommy taking up the Merlyn character from the comics. I guess we’ll find out.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 6: “Muse of Fire”


This just might have been the best episode of the show to date. It’s awesome even though it has the Royal Flush Gang paying a visit!

The episode starts out with Diggle urging Oliver to expand his extra-curricular activities in Starling City to things that are not necessarily stated on the list. And a highly skilled team of bank robbers wearing a deck of playing card inspired body armor seems like the perfect thing for a bow-and-arrow carrying archer to get involved with.

Because this is an action/drama, it can’t be that similar. It turns out that this gang is a family of former Queen Corp employees at a factory that was outsourced and left them unemployed. How they all became extremely well trained para-military types escapes me, but that’s beside the point. But still, they mentioned to put a twist on the villains that would make sense.

Oliver is torn with what to do. He feels partly responsible for what has happened to them, since his father screwed them over royally. Oliver even tries—as himself and not the archer—to track them down and talk some sense into them. And unfortunately they don’t heed his words. The father is killed during a robbery by a security guard who was saved by the vigilante. So at least Oliver’s Q rating went up.

What I liked about this episode was that it showed that there is a bit more to Oliver other than his vengeful side, that he legitimately wanted to help the Royal Flush Gang since his family prospered at their expense.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 5: “Damaged”


I’ve finally gotten a chance to catch up on everything I’ve missed in Arrow! Aren’t DVRs amazing? This episode starts out with Oliver on trial for being the archer vigilante. And who does Oliver choose to be his lawyer? None other than Laurel, his ex-girlfriend whose father happens to be the lead detective on the case and blames him for the death of his other daughter.  That sounds like a great idea.

This episode is pretty funny to me, in the sense that Oliver  is so calm during the whole proceedings. I mean, he is the vigilante and everyone is convinced he is but he couldn’t care any less. He’s also plotting to take down a European weapons dealer at the same time.

How does he do it?

Oliver is much smarter than everyone gives him credit for, helping Laurel build a partially true defense that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time on the island as well as revealing that he was tortured by what appears to be Deathstroke the Terminator (whose costume doesn’t look as good as I was hoping) as well as him being too inept to do be a vigilante.

He better give Laurel a nice thank you gift, as the combination of his bodyguard Diggle posing as the archer while he was in court and him being able to beat a lie detector test with her defense gets him off the hook. There’s an odd scene at the end where Laurel insinuates that she knows he is the vigilante, but I don’t know if it was just me.

On the Queen family front, relationships between Moira and stepfather Walter keeps getting strained, as he wonders about all the shady activities she has been involved with of late.

Arrow Season 1 Episode 4: “An Innocent Man”

arrow-episode-4 “An Innocent Man” was a good episode. Probably a great episode just for the Moira subplot alone, but we’ll talk about that later.

This episode had Oliver as the Green Arrow teaming up with Laurel to get an innocent man off of death row, as he was framed for a crime by one of the businessmen on Oliver’s father’s vengeance list. This accomplishes two things for Oliver: another target can be dealt with and somehow he can start rebuilding his relationship with Laurel, albeit as a vigilante. As this goes on, Laurel’s detective father tells her she shouldn’t get involved with the archer, as he’s just as dangerous and violent as the criminals on the street. And unfortunately for Oliver although he did free the wrongly convicted guy, he did prove Laurel’s dad right about how prone he is to violence. Unfortunately, there’s some grainy video footage of Oliver armed with a quiver that leads to his arrest for allegedly being the vigilante terrorizing the criminals of Starling City.

The episode also dealt with the fallout from the previous episode, as Diggle has recovered and wants nothing to do with Oliver’s archer vigilante-ism. Diggle winds up quitting working for the Queen family as a result, but doesn’t snitch on Oliver. There’s also a bunch of flashbacks in this episode to Ollie’s time on the island, where the Asian man who was protected him forces him to kill animals to survive. These scenes were a little creepy and unsettling.

Throughout the episode, Oliver’s stepfather Walter is investigating some weird financial records in the company. It turns out that his wife Moira (Oliver’s mom) had purchased an aircraft hangar. When Walter goes to investigate it, he finds the wreckage of the sunken Queen family yacht that was assumed to be lost at sea. The ending cuts to Moira on the phone with an unnamed man about how all the business men that are being targeted and wonder if it has anything to do with her deceased husband turning over the list of evil business people to the vigilante.

If this isn’t a cliffhanger ending, then I don’t know what is. Oliver is in jail for being the vigilante and his mother is responsible for the shipwreck that killed his father. And the next episode has Deathstroke in it!

Arrow Season 1 Episode 3: “Lone Gunmen”

arrow-deadshot-episode-3The third episode of Arrow (titled “Lone Gunmen”) brings in the highest-profile non-Green Arrow character into the series to this point. We’re talking about the master assassin Deadshot.

Without his trademark goofy costume, Deadshot is in town and murdering various business people attempting to buy out a company. Things get extra personal for Oliver, as Deadshot has turned his sites on his stepfather Walter. Oliver now has to find a way to work alongside Detective Lance and the rest of the police, in order to not only stop Deadshot but to protect his family as well. Green Arrow stops Deadshot, but along the way his bodyguard Diggle gets shot. This forces him to reveal to Diggle that his disappearances are in fact him going out as the archer vigilante of Starling City.

It was a good episode with a lot of action. But what’s best about this episode is that it’s planting seeds for future issues, and I’m not just talking about Oliver’s reveal to Diggle. There’s a lot of other stuff being sent out. Oliver’s sister Thea seems to be building to some sort of personal crisis, between the drug abuse and legal woes. Their mother is also up to something. But the biggest reveal has to do with Oliver’s ex-girlfriend Laurel an his best friend Tommy–while he was presumed dead, they were hooking up. In short, his best friend was sleeping with his ex. Eep.

And this brings me to something else I wonder about. Tommy is loosely based on Thomas Merlyn, a villain from the Green Arrow comics. I guess it’s only a matter of time before he and Ollie have a falling out. Now that I can’t wait for.


Arrow Season 1 Episode 2: “Honor Thy Father”

Arrow fights China White

The series Arrow starts picking up steam in the second episode. In “Honor Thy Father”, they really get across how much Oliver is sacrificing in his own personal life to avenge his father’s legacy, as well as how intertwined everything in his world really is.

The episode starts with the Queen family going to a very public court hearing to have Oliver’s death certificate revoked, as he was assumed to be dead for the past five years. On the other side of the courthouse, his former girlfriend-turned-prosecutor Laurel is in court trying to get a business man convicted of murder. This gets Ollie’s attention; the man is on the hit list.

Things get even more complicated, as the business man not only puts out a hit on Laurel but gets in contact with her father, Detective Lance, about being harassed by Starling City’s archer vigilante. It’s up to Oliver to save her, get the businessman behind bars and keep Father Lance out of his hair.

The Queen family subplot is pretty interesting, as everyone—his mother, stepfather and sister—is having a hard time reconnecting with Oliver, as he’s been extremely distant since his return. You get the feeling he wants to be more involved in their lives, and even the family business, but he can’t due to his obligations he promised his father. He figures out how to completely lose all signs of competency, showing up drunk to a press event for the Queen Foundation and embarrassing himself in the process.

If there was any must see segment in this episode, it would be the last five minutes. Oliver’s mother is taking a phone call in private, where the conversation pretty much says that she was part of a conspiracy that sunk the Queen family yacht and that there is no way that Oliver is aware of the list. This scene is followed up with a flashback of Oliver’s time on the island, and him being captured by an archer.

That last part is why I like this series so much. I’m enjoying how each episode is interconnected, and especially how they seem to be building towards something in a slow burn fashion. I don’t seem to be the only one happy with Arrow; apparently it’s the hightest rated new show on the CW.

Arrow – “The Pilot”

I finally got around to seeing the first episode of the new Arrow series on the CW. This is the Green Arrow’s first solo television series, starting with a late 20s/early 30s Oliver Queen returning to his home of Starling City after being shipwrecked for the last five years.

Oliver was on the family yacht which sunk in a typhoon, possibly with some foul play hinted at.

The Oliver that everyone remembers has now been replaced by a darker brooding one, who has returned home to save a city that has become increasingly more corrupt. He has sworn to his father–who killed himself to allow his son to survive–that he will do everything in his power to fix the city. The older Queen told his son about all of the corrupt business men and government officials that he had the displeasure of dealing with.

But just as Ollie is found to be different, he finds his circle of family and friends to have changed as well. His mother Moira (played by Susanna Thompson, an actress who looks and sounds eerily like Jan from the Officehas remarried one of his father’s business partners, as well as plotting to abduct her son to find out what his father told him. His younger sister is a coke head party girl.

The pilot has Oliver going out on his first mission as a vigilante, targeting a Bernie Madoff-type white-collar criminal who has bilked millions of dollars out of the common folk of Starling City. To complicate things, Oliver is being chased by a police detective who happens to not only be the father of his ex-girlfriend Laurel (who seems to be a stand-in for Dinah Lance, better known as Black Canary) but of his other daughter who died during the yacht accident. To make that clear, Oliver was cheating on his longtime girlfriend with her sister (who died on his yacht) and is now being chased by their father when he goes out as a bow-and-arrow toting vigilante.

The resulting show is a lot of fun, with all the characters intertwined on multiple levels. The only problem is that they haven’t made Oliver all that likable yet and why he has undertaken such a public crusade still isn’t clear. It’s also not really explained how he has become such a bad ass archer and street fighter as well.

On the whole, it’s a pretty interesting concept and I can only assume my questions will be answered as the series progresses. Stephen Amell is believable in this role, which is more inline with the New 52 version of the character or even Connor Hawke than the traditional Green Arrow. The show works on the whole and is worth checking out future episodes. I’m already much more interested in it than I was with Smallville.


Grifter #4

Everyone has been saying that the Grifter series has been pretty cool, and I was meaning to pick it up once Liefeld was on board. But I did manage to pick up Grifter #4 solely because of its Green Arrow connection.

The issue starts out pretty intensely; Grifter has crashed a car into the lobby of Q-Core (Oliver Quinn’s family business) trying to get some attention from someone, with a hostage. And as everyone knows, messing with the company owned/operated by a super hero only leads to violence.

What happens next in this issue is what really sold me on this whole series.

Scott Clark’s pencils are amazing, melded with a great three dimensional rendered background. It just makes the fight look that much more awesome, as Grifter and Green Arrow slug it out across the city of Seattle. It ends with the archer defeating him, but before he can be taken into custody he gets rescued by some chick on a motorcycle (who I assume plays a bigger role in the series).

But before all of this happens, Grifter tells Green Arrow that the only reason he set foot on the Q-Core campus was that the company had been infiltrated by Daemonites. This makes sense with the character Grifter, as the Daemonites play a role with the character going way back to the days when Wildstorm was still an independent publisher through Image Comics.

Nod to the past aside, this was a fairly good series. If only Green Arrow was as interesting on his own as he was in this. Unfortunately I’m not going to be sticking around, because he doesn’t stay in the series after the issue.

Friday Fights #2: Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye

Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye (268/365)

Photo courtesy Flickr user JD Hancock

This week we pit two super archers against each other:  Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye!

ARCHERY MASTERS: Green Arrow and Hawkeye are both considered to be the best archers in their respective universes. They’ve also mastered the art of creating wacky trick arrows, whether they’re boxing-glove or explosive arrows ADVANTAGE: Neither.

COMBAT SKILLS:  They’ve both trained in various martial arts forms. Again, their prime weapon in combat is their archery skills. Hawkeye gets the nod, as he’s trained with Captain America, who is the trainer of the stars over in the Marvel Universe. But Green Arrow has one thing that Hawkeye doesn’t–he’s cagey. Oliver wouldn’t think twice about throwing a handful of sand in Hawkeye’s face, let alone picking up a beer bottle and smacking it upside his head. ADVANTAGE: Slight to Hawkeye.

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Hawkeye may be a reformed criminal, but Green Arrow can get scary tough in a heart beat. Don’t believe me? Read Rise and Fall, where he gets pretty intense. Don’t make Ollie mad. ADVANTAGE: Slight to Green Arrow.

THE WINNER: Clint and Ollie would beat the snot out of each other, and I think they would eventually just call it a day. They really are too similar; they’re both even married to women who have bird codenames! It would end with the two of them hanging out and Green Arrow making his world famous chili for everyone!

Green Arrow TV Show Is A Go!

CW’s new Green Arrow is a go! CW’s new prime time drama Arrow is about rich guy Oliver Queen turned vigilante after being stuck on a deserted island and learning to fend for himself. This preview is fairly grim and tone, but did you notice the cameo appearance towards the end?

There was a shot of the mask of Deathstroke the Terminator with an arrow through it. I guess that means we will be seeing him in Arrow at some point this season. The show airs on Wednesdays starting this fall.

Justice League #8

Justice League isn’t a title that I plan on regularly reading, but I was intrigued with the eighth issue featuring Green Arrow. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the current portrayal of the character and as a lifelong Oliver Quinn I wanted to check this out.

Geoff Johns put it together mostly as a stand alone issue, with Green Arrow trying desperately to win the affection of the other Justice Leaguers. With the exception of Green Lantern, no one wants anything to do with him. Arrow tries his best to tag along and assist, much to everyone’s disdain.

This was a really fun issue to read. Unfortunately all of Green Arrow’s tagging along doesn’t get him a seat at the big kid’s table. The book does end with Steve Trevor, the government’s liaison to the team, offering him an opportunity to join another team. Please let it be Justice League International…

If I regularly rated things with starts, I would say this gets ****. It’s a good read. The story is self contained, but still fits into the greater continuity of the series. Pick this up.

Green Arrow’s Chili Recipe

To me, it’s always been a weird character point that the Green Arrow was a chili aficionado. I don’t know why, but it always struck me as odd. So how exactly does he go about making it?

After years of being mentioned, his recipe was finally featured in 2002’s Green Arrow Secret Files & Origins #1. I’ve actually made it. While it’s darn tasty, its freaking hot. How hot is it? So hot that its a running joke that the only people who enjoy it are Green Arrow (because its his recipe) and Batman (because he’s crazy tough).

This leaves me with the question of who on the DC staff at the time actually came up with this recipe?

Green Arrow Show Coming To CW

Huffington Post had this picture of the Green Arrow costume for the upcoming television show on the CW network. Dropping the color from the title, the pilot for the series “Arrow” chronicles how Oliver Quinn changes rich guy to arrow shooting vigilante, and feuds with his best friend turned arch-enemy, the wizard archer Merlyn.

As a long time Green Arrow fan, I’m really curious to see how this works out. They want to take it in a darker direction. I wonder if that means it will be a super hero procedural show, kind of like NCIS or Cold Case, except with a super hero. Should be interesting.

Green Arrow #5

Green Arrow as a series confuses me. Oliver Quinn is one of the coolest characters in the DC pantheon. That said, this book could be better.

Arrow is still fighting the team of Midas and Blood Rose around his Q-Core office building. This issue its the gloopy gloppy Midas, who we really don’t know much more about. Apparently he is some sort of evil version of Swamp Thing. Ollie seemingly kills him, shoving an arrow through his head. They also introduced a new addition to Ollie’s professional life, as he now has to report to a fetching young woman named Adrien who has the power to override his corporate decisions. The book ends with Blood Rose having him in checkmate, with a gun drawn at his head.

I think what disappoints me about this book is that the story is not engaging. The reader doesn’t feel attached to Green Arrow, his villains aren’t very compelling, and the whole “hostile takeover of your business because your preoccupied with super hero stuff” has been done so many times.

Well let’s think about the positives. Dan Jurgens’ art is always great. And Ann Nocenti is taking over the writing on this book, which I’m excited for. Green Arrow has the potential to be a really good book; it just needs to get back on track. I would say this series is on the ropes.

Green Arrow #4

It’s hard out there for a pimp Quinn. Green Arrow #4 is the first post-JT Krul issue of the series, and JLI mastermind Keith Giffen is manning the writer’s chair. It’s a quick read; Blood Rose, the evil assassin woman from the last issue, is out to kill Ollie.

She’s teamed up with some local gangs–who were surgically implanted with incendiary devices–not with any success, and takes it upon herself to assassinate him. Ollie survives and we still don’t know what’s going on.

As a first issue, Giffen succeeds in getting the readers attention. A lot happens, but everything makes sense. And again, Dan Jurgens’ art is still awesome. Can’t wait for next month!

Green Arrow #3

One of the best things about not being busy during the holidays is that I finally have a chance to catch up on my reading. Green Arrow #3 finishes writer JT Krul’s arc on the newly revamped emerald archer. Green Arrow is in a final showdown with Rush, the webcam obsessed metahuman who wants to kill our hero so everyone can watch on the internet.

Obviously Green Arrow defeats (and then saves) Rush. He does it in enough time to get back to lead a shareholder meeting. I’ve been enjoying how balance has been a big theme in this series, with Ollie trying to balance his professional/business life with his super hero hobby.

As always, Dan Jurgens’ art is great and Krul is doing a great job with his scripts. I’m kind of torn about him leaving the series after issue #6, since I think he’s just hitting his groove. Oh well, that’s the comics business…

Green Arrow #2

How did this issue of the new Green Arrow series compare to the last one? Well, to quote Matt Sharp of Weezer when Al Delvecchio asked how the fish sandwich was, “Not so good, Al.”

This second issue has Green Arrow still fighting the game of celebrity obsessed super villains from the last issue. They really don’t get much characterization for their leader Rush. Anyway, there plot is to show how evil they are by beating up (or killing, they’re not picky) Ollie on a YouTube like website. When he’s not wearing his quiver, our hero is feuding with some of Quinn Industries’ higher ups who are mad that he’s not as involved with the company as he should be.

Green Arrow #2 was a bit of a yawner, so there’s not much to go into. JT Krul’s take on the character and his new world works in theory, but this story just isn’t connecting. Maybe its cause the villains are pretty flat. I just don’t know.

On the art side, Dan Jurgens and George Perez are fine. I’m digging the art, so at least there’s that. The one thing that kind of freaks me out is the way they do Ollie’s face. He doesn’t have his trademark goatee, which is fine. But they draw him with stubble–only where the goatee would be! Make up your mind, either have him clean-shaven or not!

Basically, the less that’s said about this book is better. I’m not digging Krul’s writing that much. Does anyone recommend anything of his?