Saturday, June 6, 2009

If you don't like Dinah/Ollie romance, you may want to skip this one...

I'm posting this one early because I'm going to be out tonight and I'm not sure what time I'll be home.

So what else has changed because of Borrowed Time? Quite a bit.

What is more interesting is what has been changed back.

It’s no small exaggeration to say that various nonsensical elements have been introduced into the DC Universe over the last few years and then glossed over as being turbulence caused by Superboy Prime punching reality. But slowly, in little ways, things have been healing themselves and the status quo has been restored as The Powers That Be take to causality with The Spackle of Infinity and The Trowel of Time.

(You can take this as a metaphor for DC Editorial and the writers you like trying to fix things or as a literal explanation for how various editorial oversights get corrected within the context of just and loving deities working in the DCU. It works both ways.)

The point being that what happened in Borrowed Time is just the latest wave of reality healing itself after being severely sprained for a good long while. And since nothing annoys this writer quite like important changes happening off-camera or things just being assumed to be this way or that way following a big world-reshaping story, we’re going to take a little break, cleanse the palette and I’m going to tell the story of how the Ollie/Dinah romance happened leading up to their wedding.

Why? Because like a lot of you, I was annoyed with how The Wedding of Green Arrow/Black Canary played out.

I agree that the whole thing was a badly proposed gimmick, forged in desperation to try and win back the long-time Green Arrow fans who were leaving the book in droves. I agree that with Dinah being where she was in Birds of Prey, Ollie being where he was in Green Arrow and all the havoc that had been wrought between the two since Kevin Smith left Green Arrow, it made no bloody sense at all for them to be dating much less for a hurried proposal to be made or accepted.

Where I differ with some of you, I suspect, is that I do not see the idea of an Ollie/Dinah marriage being intrinsically flawed. Indeed, most of the complaints I’ve heard about the marriage which were not related to the speed of the courtship basically came down to “I hate Green Arrow”, followed by a litany of complaints of various jackass actions from the last few years.

What I think a lot of fans don’t realize is that Green Arrow has been consistently mishandled for a while now by most of the people who are writing him. And that the image of the loud-mouthed, slogan-chanting, ever-unfaithful, can't keep it in his quiver Lothario who used his heroics as a way to pick up groupies hasn’t never been an accurate assessment of Ollie’s character.

By way of a comparison, what happened with Green Arrow would be like if you opened up an issue of an issue of Superman and found him giving a speech about the importance of helping old ladies crossing the street and listening to your parents while setting a homeless man on fire with his heat vision; the words would be an exaggerated parody of who the character is and the actions would be in complete defiance of everything the character stands for.

That being said, I am going to write the romance we SHOULD have gotten before the decision was made for these two kids to get hitched. It will be a tale of the slow rediscovery of two people trying to still trying to answer the question “Who Am I?” who start trying to figure out if there’s still a chance they can be a “We”.

Why? Because I’m a romantic at heart myself. Because it needs to be done. And because if I can’t convince you that there is something decent at the heart of Oliver Queen that keeps Dinah around... well, then you aren’t going to believe the really unbelievable stuff that happens next.

I may have to get a new name for this. I don’t know if James Robinson has a copyright on the name or idea of Times Past, but this story – and a few other stories down the line – are going to be done in the same mold as the Times Past flashback series from Starman and Hawkman and the recent Secret Origins arc in Green Lantern.


  1. I actually have no problems with Ollie and Dinah if they're WRITTEN WELL. Judd, sadly, didn't do it. If you can write it plausably, more power to ya.

  2. Hey, if it was in the hands of someone like you, who respected Dinah and understood the fans complaints, I'm sure I'd be down with it. Sadly, it would take a lot of love and care to undo the damage, but I think it could be done. I like the idea.

  3. Dear god why aren't you writing BC/GA already?

  4. Thank you for the vote of confidence. :)

  5. Oh, it would. It would. But no more than it would take to undo all the other damage that has been done to Ollie.
    Of course it took me four issues to create a means of smoothing over almost any bump in the road I want... so it may not be that hard after all. But some things can't been pushed under the rug and the Dinah/Ollie romance is one of them.

  6. You really can't copyright a name or a concept, legally. That said, it's nice to have your own name, for clarity.

  7. I don't hate Ollie. I really don't. I hate what's been done to Green Arrow & Black Canary by writers who just want them to be a current couple & don't care how much their stories make that less workable. I'm going back to the early 1980's here.

  8. I think perhaps 'monopoly' might be a more appropriate phrase.
    And yes, my own name would be nice... but "Times Past" does work so well for describing what I want to do.

  9. Which is why I want to go back and try and show just WHY these two kids are together and actually sell the idea of them belonging together outside of "they have a history!"

  10. The Superboy Prime thing was just used to explain some of the weirdness prior. Infinite Crisis clearly stated this is New Earth with its own continuity. Confusing, sure, but at least you're planning on doing something logical with it.
    The events that lead up to their wedding were bad (see: everything involving Sin), and the problem is, it reeks of gimmick. It was inorganic, like Panther/Storm. We just need a creative team who actually cares about them as people and thinks about what would make them finally decide to get married and deal with the consequences, and it'd be much more believable. I'm a bit of a romantic too, and I agree, it does need to be done.

  11. Because not enough small children have clapped their hands while saying "I believe in Starman".