Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Arrow #31 - The Worst Comic Ever? It's a Contender.

I'm just going to get the Good Thing out of the way first and say that despite all of my problems with this book, Ollie as a character is actually written pretty well throughout.

That being said, there are a LOT of problems with this book that far negate that bit of praise.

1. In nearly every single fight scene in this book, Ollie is seen punching and kicking people... completely ignoring the quiver full of all those nice pointy ranged weapons he took his name from. Especially the ones that were built for handling whole crowds of people in a non-violent way. And we know he has glue arrows and flare arrows and the like handy because of...

2. ... the one fight scene where Ollie DOES use the trick arrows! Fighting his fellow superheroes. That's not the problem. The problem is that Ollie already fought Black Canary, Green Lantern and The Flash at the end of Justice League: Rise and Fall and made his escape using the Cosmic Key he stole from Prometheus's corpse.

It's also really unclear if this fight is happening AFTER that point, in which case one wonders why Ollie doesn't use the key to make his escape again, except as an excuse for a superhero fight scene. As it is, the fight scene here plays out without making any reference to the events that happened before... and you can interpret the way it is written to say that the scene at the end of JLA: Rise and Fall didn't happen... which REALLY makes no sense as J.T. Krul wrote both stories and you'd think he'd be able to keep the events of both books straight.

3. Hal's speech here is REALLY off, for two reasons.

First, because while Hal still takes full responsibility for what he did to Coast City in a moment of weakness, Hal can't really say he CHOSE to do what he did given that he was being mind-controlled by Parallax.

Second, Hal should know better than to give Ollie the lecture about how doing this sort of thing can get you killed. Ollie knows that just as well as Hal, his own death having come about because of a long chain of events that started with... oh yeah... Ollie killing a guy in Longbow Hunters! You'd think they'd remember that fact since Ollie's death played such a critical role in the last issue of this comics!

And speaking of weird characterization, Barry Allen's portrayal here is just jarring. It's really weird to see Barry speaking of Ollie as if they were never friends (what about Barry racing Ollie's arrows in the afterlife in Quiver?) much less going out of his way to trash talk Ollie in front of his best friend, his wife AND his son. Whatever happened to the Barry Allen - The Blue Lantern - who was a greater avatar of Hope than Superman - the man who couldn't help but be optimistic and hope for the best at all times?

4. The artwork, at times, is just hideous. Dinah, on this page for instance, looks like she's just been infected with Joker toxin. On the bright side, at least she's wearing her own costume this time...

5. Okay. So having escaped from his friends... AGAIN... Ollie's big plan is to find Electrocutioner and to kill him, by hiding out in the sewers. I can buy the idea that Barry is stupid enough not to check the sewers. I can even buy that a city in Northern California which is based on the coast can have extensive underground caves.

What I can't buy is that given the sewers/catacombs under the city are still intact given the devastation to the rest of the city.

Incidentally, remember Ollie's plan as stated here. It will be important later.

6. Did I mention that Ollie keeps punching people in this comic and doesn't use his trick arrows at all, apart from in that one fight?

Just checking.

7. Because Nobody Demanded It! Yes, this issue also brings us the return of Brian Nudocerda Nudocerdo - the corrupt Chief of Police/Police Commissioner from Judd Winick's run on Green Arrow.

Now, some of you may be wondering how this guy is still in power given that his incompetence and corruption was at the heart of why things were so bad in Star City during No Man's Land One Year Later - i.e. The LAST Time A Gang Of Super-Villains Blew Up Star City And Green Arrow Failed To Save Everyone.

That's a very good question. Shame we don't get an answer. It's a safe bet that even with Ollie's deputy mayor in charge now, the sheriff may still be too "bought" to be removed from office in spite of his blundering aggravating things during One Year Later. But this is never said outright or even hinted.

Another good question is this: Why, since this guy hates Green Arrow and everything that he stands for and has just been bucking for an excuse to bring him down for years, doesn't he make even a token effort to arrest Green Arrow at this point? He's got him dead to rights for assaulting a police officer and interfering in police business, at the very least.

And here's yet another good question; Why don't the cops know Green Arrow is wanted by The Justice League regarding a murder? You'd think with a straight arrow like Barry Allen (who is, himself, a cop in his day job) running around the city, the first thing he'd do is to tell all the cops that Green Arrow is a murderer and they should call the JLA if they see him.

8. The whole scene with Connor, which goes out of its' way to justify Meltzer's Folly from The Archer's Quest (i.e. Ollie knew about Connor's birth and faked ignorance before his death) and Winnick's character assassination from Green Arrow/Black Canary #14 (i.e. Connor gets amnesia and loses everything that made him interesting or unique, including his vegetarianism and his Buddhism).

Now, thanks to the events of Blackest Night, Connor has apparently recovered all of his memories and tells Ollie off for... well, everything. Including Ollie telling off Connor for not telling him sooner that he was Ollie's long-lost son and pretending to just be a devoted fan - a fact nobody has acknowledge since Chuck Dixon wrote that story nearly 15 years ago...

... which would be fine, except that every OTHER story that J.T. Krul brings up here is dependent on Connor having been ignorant of Ollie's abandoning him as a child and honestly believing that his mother was responsible for never telling Ollie the truth. That and for Ollie to have been lying back then, he would have had to have pulled one over on a version of Hal Jordan who had the collective omnipotence of all The Guardians of the Universe. So... yeah.

But the biggest problem is that Connor's complaints here just don't ring true. He claims to no longer believe in the Buddhist philosophy that led him to forgive Ollie for his mistakes and that he no longer respects Ollie.

So let me ask this, Connor; why are you still out here fighting gang members when your only reason for becoming a hero in the first place was to honor your father's legacy? If you no longer believe in the Buddhist teachings that enabled you to become such a great fighter, why doesn't it seem to be affecting your fighting talent? And if your idealism is not gone along with the rest of your training and personality, and you still have some sort of belief in using your training responsibly to uphold justice and/or the law, why in the many names of the frozen Hell of Buddha are you just letting your father the murderer walk way?!?

Oh, and Connor? That whole "manning up for once in your life" comment? If Ollie hadn't done that once - during Quiver - you wouldn't be around to be having this conversation. Just a reminder - your amnesia doesn't seem to be fully cured.

9. Remember how I asked you to keep in mind that Ollie's plan was apparently to run around the city, hoping to find the Electrocutioner before Barry and Hal found him?

Yeah. It seems his plan was actually to run interference so that Speedy could track down and capture The Electrocutioner.

Not that his thought balloons ever indicated this.

Or that he's ever had the time in all of this to contact Speedy.

Or the opportunity, given that cel-phone communication is probably nil given the destruction in the city and the regular JLA channels aren't available to him.

10. The general flow of time and events in this comic makes no sense! Ignoring the earlier problems regarding how Ollie seems to escape from Black Canary, Flash and Green Lantern twice and that he stole a Cosmic Key last issue that would have been REALLY useful for him to still have this issue, there still seems to be rioting in the streets of Star City, even though Justice League: Rise and Fall ended with a newspaper article showing most of the major heroes, including Green Arrow, attending a memorial service for the fallen.

You know - if Star City is holding big ceremonies/press-conferences in honor of the dead while there are still riots in the streets and people being beaten senseless by the cops... screw it, the people of Star City deserve to get blow up. Twice, even!

In the words of Linkara, THIS COMIC SUCKS! The continuity is non-existent, with the same stories being referred to or ignored as it is convenient. The artwork is very inconsistent with some characters just looking weird. And Green Arrow literally walks away from two confrontations with people who have every reason to try and stop him!


  1. About the art, what the hell is going on in the first scan? In that second panel that guy looks way to happy to have been grazed by an arrow. Below that it's hard to tell if there is one panel or two. I assume Ollie hit those guys with his bow but I'm not sure how. The way they are falling and he is standing I have no idea how he hit them, especially since they both seem to be spitting blood.

  2. *pulls you close and just holds you, trying to hold back his own tears*

  3. Yeah, the faces are just weird throughout.
    And the art is so bad I didn't even notice the arrow grazing that man! Which just beggars the question of why Ollie is using regular pointed arrows here when he has a quiver full of crowd control handy!

  4. I can't even use my 'If Dinah's not in her real costume, it didn't happen" rule.
    Oh well, we'll always have Seattle.

  5. That's the same guy from the panel, before, right? Maybe that's not an arrow but the swining arc of Ollie's bow.
    I realise this doesn't make it any better.

  6. Barry and Ollie
    That whole Barry/Ollie scene just stood out as being so wrong, which just seems so completely and utterly screwed up unless you start applying Marvel No-Prize-esque thinking to it.

  7. So, basically, Ollie's gone nuts, acting completely out of character and running around trying to "fix" things according to his own rules?
    I shall forever call him Ollielax.
    At least until Green Arrow: Rebirth, where it turns out he's been possessed by a demonic entity controlled by Lady Shiva or something.

  8. Thank you for reading this so I didn't have to. I'm gonna go pull out my hair now and leave Dinah to give you an idea of my face while reading this.
    Seriously: Who at DC hates the Arrow Clan? WHO?

  9. No. No it doesn't. But thanks for trying.

  10. Re: Barry and Ollie
    Yeah. Even taking into account the "I hate cops/I hate hippies" argument from Mark Waid's Brave And The Bold mini-series and my own theories regarding it being misplaced Barry trying to look after Dinah aka The One That Got Away, following JLA: Year One... there's too many stories showing the characters as getting along for this to seem natural.

  11. Geoff Johns? I know he doesn't seem to like Ollie much.

  12. Actually, the sad thing is that Ollie is the only one who seems to be written consistently and somewhat close to character.
    It's sorta like how, in Civil War, we were supposed to think Captain America was the bad guy for defying the government? Problem is too many of us thought Cap was making a stand for the right reasons.
    It's kinda similar here, except that Ollie killed the super-villain who destroyed his hometown, maimed his adopted son and killed his adopted granddaughter after the JLA let the guy go rather than see a whole bunch of other cities destroyed.
    And now, suddenly everyone is flipping out about how evil this is, even though...
    a) Barry killed his arch enemy after he threatened to kill his fiancee.
    b) Hal has killed people in the line of duty as a Green Lantern and as a USAF pilot.
    c) If Longbow Hunters is still in continuity, Ollie killing to protect/avenge his loved ones shouldn't be a shock to anyone.

  13. Did they at least keep Amanda Connor on art? Tell me there is at least that.

  14. That does look like the same guy but where did the blond guy go? Where did the guy in the tan shirt cone from? Also why is the guy who was grazed on the cheek spiting blood from his mouth? If he was close enough to get hit by the bow how did he not see Ollie aiming at him for the above shot?

  15. I don't know, man. I don't know...

  16. I saaaaaaay cheshire is playing possum. POSSUM because that if people remember is one crazy psycho bitch. That or theyre' giving them a moment before she wakes up later and goes crazy psycho bitch on them. Also dear god how many little bastards has that woman had, I mean I loved lian but more?

  17. I don't know. But I don't intend to buy it to find out.
    The smart money is on Lesbian Karen, though.

  18. I keep asking Geoff Johns in twitter if all of this is some kind of Dallas-esque dream sequence.
    No response so far ...

  19. Personally I'm hoping for a cosmic reset button scenario. If only so I can sue somebody!