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.