Saturday, May 17, 2003

Green Arrow #62 Review



I brought this up awhile ago, when Gail Simone came up with an explanation for why Black Canary can still reasonably be mad at Batman for his mind games when, according to the retcon in Identity Crisis, she helped to screw with Batman's mind, and such a retcon sorta makes Dinah look like a bit of a hypocrite when she is lecturing Batman on the topic of mind games (Here it is - "Why should I change? He's the one who sucks!"), and it bears repeating again. When another writer uses the character you write poorly, I do not think that you should feel all that much of a duty to address the poor use of your character, because readers are intelligent enough to get that the other writer screwed up. Or, in other words, you don't need to change, as he's the one who sucks.

I bring this up now because Green Arrow #62 is the second title in recent months to address how bad Deathstroke made the Justice League look in Identity Crisis #3. In that issue, Deathstroke basically kicked the League's ass, until their sheer numbers advantage kicked in.

It was a pretty poorly written scene, and it made the Leaguers look pretty ridiculous. So why does it have to be "in continuity"? Why does it have to be "canon"?

As such, a recent Birds of Prey issue was a sort of response to the Identity Crisis issue, by showing how Black Canary can stand toe-to-toe with Deathstroke, and now Judd Winick, in this issue of Green Arrow, shows that so can Green Arrow.

The underlying sense of "why are you bothering to address this silly plot point?" pervaded my reading of this issue, and furthermore, it pervaded the WRITING of the issue, so it's not even like you can deattach it from the story, so it hurt what was, otherwise, a fun, action-packed issue.

In this issue, Deathstroke shows up to kill Mayor Oliver Queen, but he discovers that it was actually Green Arrow who HIRED him to kill Green Arrow, all part of an elaborate trap by Green Arrow.

What follows is basically an issue long fight, which utilizes Scott McDaniel's artwork to the fullest, as the coolest part of McDaniel's Nightwing was always the action scenes.

This issue has tons of them, and they are well drawn by McDaniel and well-written by Winick.

I think Deathstroke SLIGHTLY jobs a bit in the issue, but not as much as you expect. Likewise, I think the whole "Wow! Green Arrow is all bad ass in that year off!" thing was kinda silly, especially as I don't see how "Running for and winning election as mayor" can exactly coincide with "Going through extensive martial arts training," but the idea of Green Arrow becoming a more skilled fighter is fine by me, just so long as we don't have him beating up, like, Lady Shiva or anything.

Anyhow, this was a fun issue, and I think I can actually recommend it (which is a real rarity for a Winick comic book), with the reservation that it seems like it was written in response to the whole Identity Crisis #3 thing, which is silly. Otherwise, though, this was a fun, action-packed comic book.

Read the Review

10 Comments:

Blogger Melanism said...

I love how all the writers are trying to make Deathstroke seem "beatable" now. I read that issue in the shop and laughed when Green Arrow got the upper hand on Deathstroke.

Then I put it back down.

5/23/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

I wonder if the problem is, Cronin, that Winick, Simone et al DON'T think Identity Crisis is a bad story.

Rereading those comments from that old post, three things strike me: a) Batman has done enough horrible things in the past decade- to a co-worker of Dinah's, among others, to outweigh Black Canary's complicity in the mindwipes; b) Gail Simone is still far more talented and smart than Mark Waid, the writer she's primarily defending, and c) It's possible to convince yourself there's a Mike Grell comic where a rape did NOT occur.

5/23/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Melanism:

I did the same thing.

5/23/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Mauricem said...

Green Arrow always seemed like a bit of a wimp to me just because he seemed to depend on his ability to shoot an arrow really, really straight. But, the idea of him being skilled in hand-to-hand combat seems to take him up a notch so maybe I'll read it.
Still a goofy suit though.

5/23/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Jer said...

When another writer uses the character you write poorly, I do not think that you should feel all that much of a duty to address the poor use of your character, because readers are intelligent enough to get that the other writer screwed up. Or, in other words, you don't need to change, as he's the one who sucks.

Sure, and that's fine if you think that the story that the other writer wrote is both (a) sucky and (b) can be ignored safely with no impact to the shared world setting. If its only one or the other, you probably don't get off that easy.

In a shared world setting it is incumbent on all of the creators to respect each other's characters - if you do something stupid (like have Deathstroke single-handedly defeat a contingent of Justice Leaguers by having them all act really stupid), and its in something that has high impact (like DC's big event push of the last year) this will probably have to be addressed at some point in the book you write. So, I can see how Gail would feel the need to work this out in her own work. It's high impact on her characters AND she may not actually think that the work sucked (though, really, that was a terrible fight scene - it was basically "the League falls to the heavy hand of plot necessity").

In other words, in order to ignore a story you have to believe its worth ignoring AND that everyone else will believe it's worth ignoring too. Given how well Identity Crisis itself sold, I don't think its going to be easy to just "pretend like it didn't happen", and I'd be that many of the writers don't even think it rises to the level of suck necessary to ignore it anyway.

5/23/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous lauren said...

I did not read Identity Crisis and I thought the story was fine. It worked and I did not get any clues that this related to events in IC to spoil it.

Deathstroke was beatable by Dick Grayson and the Teen Titans in the past, so why not beatable by Green Arrow or Black Canary?

5/23/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Deathstroke was never really beatable by Dick Grayson and the Titans, they'd win more by circumstance or luck. Wolfman established Dick Grayson's role in DC as resident jobber.

5/24/2006 10:25:00 AM  
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