Green Arrow #1

This is a big week for DC fans and me, as you get the second of my New 52 reviews! A longtime coworker reader was able to hook me up with a copy of Green Arrow #1 which introduces us to the revamped emerald archer.

Where the classic Oliver Quinn represented the mid school super heroes (with someone, say Wildcat or Alan Scott being old school, and Kyle Rayner and Wally West being new school), the new version is much younger. Gone is his Robin Hood look, and replaced with a more modern super hero film inspired look.

Oliver is the young CEO of Quinn Industries, and he’s much more interested in his top secret Q-Core division which he uses to fund his super hero exploits, much like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne do. He is aided by two of his Q-Core developers Naomi and Jax, who respectively serve him in a Barbara Gordon/Oracle information gathering and Microchip (Punisher’s weapon maker) capacity. Quinn is also now based in Seattle, as it seems that his previous home in Star City seems to not have translated itself in the new status quo.

This first issue was a lot of introduction and exposition, like how he’s more concerned about his vigilante project instead of his company and setting up its first story arc with him fighting a gang of super villains who look straight out of an early 1990s image comic. The art on the book is can’t miss, with Dan Jurgens on the pencils and George Perez on the inks. To me, it seemed like a weird team up. I think they should have gone with a more traditional Jurgens inker, like Brett Breeding or Josef Rubinstein.

Script wise, JT Krul’s story is just kind of average. It’s certainly not as intense as the last book of his I read, which is a good thing. But it felt like it was just trudging along. This reminded me a lot of the 1980s Blue Beetle series, which was about a rich guy blowing off his corporate responsibilities to play hero. It should be interesting to see what direction this book takes after issue #3, as Krul is leaving the title.

As a Ollie fan since he returned in the early 2000s, I do miss his extended family of characters, like Black Canary, Arsenal, his son Connor and even Mia. But in this new incarnation they’re completely missing. Naomi and Jax have some big shoes to fill in being his supporting cast.

So will be getting the next issue? Definitely. As we all know, I’m a super Dan Jurgens fan, so that’s enough of a reason for me to continue. And I do like the re-imagined Green Arrow, so this will be added to my pull list.

Now if some one could finally get me that copy of Hawk and Dove

30 Things I Like About Comics—#3 Hard Traveling Heroes

Writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams’ stories of Green Lantern and Green Arrow traveling across America in the early 1970s are some of the best work from DC to come out of that decade. The premise was very simple. Green Arrow, who had recently lost his personal fortune, had become a modern-day Robin Hood, defending the poor and the less fortunate from crime both gang related and white-collar.

He urges Green Lantern, who usually fights off space invaders and super villains, to come with him and fight the real evils that are facing America–poverty, racism, sexism, drug abuse and more. Green Lantern was hesitant to do such a thing.

An encounter with an elderly black man only reiterates the importance of helping the common man to Green Lantern. The old man asked Green Lantern the following:

“I been readin’ about you…How you work for the blue skins.. And how on a planet someplace you helped out the orange skins…And you done considerable for the purple skins! Only there’s skins you never bothered with–! The black skins! I want to know… How come?! Answer me that, Mr. Green Lantern!”

And thus, the “hard traveling heroes” were born. While they go on their journey, it is not just Green Lantern who reaches an epiphany. Green Arrow finds our that his sidekick Speedy is a heroin addict. For all of his work in protecting the community, he failed to keep his own house in order. After some arguing and going after the dealer, Speedy winds up quitting cold turkey.

The scenes where he is going through withdrawal are pretty horrific. Between that and the graphic scenes of drug use, this really makes you want to avoid getting involved with drugs. This storyline was very well received in the mainstream world, as the New York Times publicly applauded it as comic books had grown up.

unfortunately, this was only a short run and lasted only 14 issues. The pair have gone on to be the best of friends in DC comics. In the 1990s, Hal Jordan’s replacement Kyle Rayner and Oliver Quinn’s son Connor Hawke get to go on their own adventures together much as their predecessors did.