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.

Random Retrospective #12 – Green Arrow #105

Back in the days when legacy heroes were still a big thing at DC, we had Connor Hawke as Green Arrow – a young man who spent many of his formative years at a Buddhist monastery where he met his father Ollie Queen, the original Green Arrow, and ended up following in his footsteps. Here, soon after Ollie’s demise in issue #100, Connor and his travelling partner Eddie Fyers are trying to bring Milos Armitage, an arms dealer and all-round scumbag, to justice, and the trail has led to Gotham where things get complicated as Armitage also happens to have married Connor’s mother, Moonday. To say her grip on history is a little off is being charitable.

This being Gotham, of course, a team up is inevitable but despite Batman being interested in the guns Armitage is selling, it’s Robin that partners up in this issue, though not without the inevitable confusion between good guys that results in a fight.

Thankfully Robin and Green Arrow get on much better and the pair of them team up, find the guns that Armitage is selling and take him down together.

After that, it’s just down to Connor to tell his mother some hard truths while she does everything she can to avoid anything in reality that contradicts her own world view.

Man, that’s a massive case of deflection right there.

I really enjoyed Connor as Green Arrow and as nice as it was to see Ollie return several years later, it seems to have been at the expense of Connor as I don’t think he’s been seen since the New 52 launch over ten years ago.