Random Retrospective #18 – Green Arrow #42

From memory, Judd Winick’s run on GREEN ARROW in the early 00s was solid enough; I was never a fan of his heavy handed approach to injecting issues into the stories that he wrote – nothing against those issues, at all, rather just the unsubtle way he had of delivering them – but when he stuck to straightforward superheroics, he didn’t do too badly at all. For much of his run on GREEN ARROW he was helped by the excellent Phil Hester and Ande Parks art team.

One of his better additions to the Green Arrow stories was the introduction of Danny “Brick” Brickwell, gang leader and looking like the Thing in a suit, who as the issue starts, has had Green Arrow lured to a building which turns out to be a trap.

Needless to say, the trap doesn’t go according to the bad guys’ plan and Green Arrow takes out most of the goons with a flashbang grenade before resorting to some hand to hand fighting. Or maybe that’s hand to arrow fighting?

Despite the arrows and his fighting skills, he’s just one man against many more so is happy when backup arrives – or at least he is until he realises the backup isn’t Connor Hawke, his son, but Mia Dearden, his ward whom he and Connor have both been training.

Escaping from the bad guys, Ollie gives her a dressing down, saying she’s not ready for the role she’s taken on, and that she should grow up and have a real life, not one like his. Which ends with this exchange:

But that heavy subject is just handwaved away when Ollie realises she was wounded in the fight. Cut to some hours later and he’s talking about it with Connor – sure, we can bring up the subject of child abuse and pre-teen prostitution, but let’s not dwell on it, eh? The issue then ends with Brick launching an attack on a charity fundraiser, killing the mayor and the DA.

As I said, certain aspects of Winick’s run worked, others not so much. The verbal slap in the face from Mia simply isn’t addressed for the rest of the issue – it’s just there to stop Ollie whining before he goes into over-protective parent mode when he notices she’s been wounded. It comes across as a shock story beat . . . which goes nowhere.

Still, lovely art.

10 thoughts on “Random Retrospective #18 – Green Arrow #42

  1. I could almost see the sharp turn away from Mia’s revelation if it was played as Ollie not having any idea what to say or do about it. Ollie likes to talk a big game, but he seems like he can get caught flatfooted pretty easily.

    I don’t think for a second that’s what Winick was going for, but that’s what I was say if I was feeling charitable towards him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely could’ve been handled better. Still hard to believe this is the same guy who got his start on MTV’s the Real World and then all off a sudden one day you find out he’s now become a comic book writer. Never read Beanworld, but I do know the overall opinion on his work is very hit & miss depending on who or whom he was writing. I quit reading this version GA after Meltzer’s all too brief run.
    Mia’s never come back since the reboot has she?

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    1. I don’t think she’s been seen since the New 52 launched; but then I tried the new Green Arrow title after the reboot, stuck around for JT Krul’s stories but when Ann Nocenti took over, I dropped it. Haven’t read a solo GA title since.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which is a shame because she had real potential as a hero with a broken past trying to help others the way she wished she was helped. Lots of story potential there.

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  3. Hi! Judd Winick here. Really! And I don’t wanna go round for round with y’all dissecting this issue or my run on green arrow, but I will comment on this scene. It should be noted that Mia isn’t telling Ollie something he doesn’t already know. It was established early on when Mia first was introduced in green arrow, during Kevin Smith’s run, that she was a sex worker. It had been discussed on and off since then that she was a survivor of abuse and a survivor of life on the streets. So, Maher brought this up because she was giving him an honest answer. Ollie was treating her very much like a kid. Very much like someone who doesn’t have life experience. But she had lived a lot. it was a long broken road for her. And it wasn’t a subject that I took lightly either. And also when you do monthly superhero comics, now and again you are required to do a bit of a reset. You need to remind the readers of certain stories. Certain characteristics. Certain things have happened. And when doing a reset he actually don’t have the time to completely not really get into the story. But the discussion of Mia as a survivor of abuse would be an ongoing theme and discussion around her.
    (Oh, and in one of the posts someone implied that I did the series Beanworld. I did not! That is by the brilliant Larry Marder. And y’all should check it out.)

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    1. If this really is Judd Winick then hi, thanks for commenting! 🙂

      And also when you do monthly superhero comics, now and again you are required to do a bit of a reset. You need to remind the readers of certain stories. Certain characteristics. Certain things have happened. And when doing a reset he actually don’t have the time to completely not really get into the story.

      That’s an interesting point that I’d never really considered before; it’s easy to forget that most monthly comics are read monthly and that something that was mentioned just one or two issues ago would have been read a couple of months ago. Sounds obvious but again, not something I’d consciously thought of.

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    2. That is correct, I did make an honest mistake. It was Barry Ween you created, so apologies for the mis-credit.

      I do maintain that Mia as the complex character she was, had a lot to offer readers & writers alike for the sheer potential of stories that could’ve been told with her, rather than the normal, run of the mill stuff/issues that a lot female characters typically deal with at DC.

      I personally want to thank for stopping by & offering your take on this topic. Hope all is well with you & yours.

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  4. Hey. Yep. This is me. And my final thought on this would be that we DID indeed delve deeply into Mia as a character. And particularly the fact that she was a survivor of abuse. She would later test HIV +. Her HIV status was a direct line back to her years of abuse as well as her years of having to survive as a sex worker. We dealt with the fact that she was someone who wanted to become the superhero because of her status. And she was an active player in my run up until I left. And it’s just my opinion as the storyteller, but I feel like she was there, present, examined, and very much part of the story that I told for five years.
    Thanks for listening. It was a happy accident that I found my way to this post, but quite glad that I did. Be safe and be well.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Judd and whatever that happy accident was, I hope you had a look around and found something worth reading here.

      If you did, tell your friends! 😀

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