Saturday, January 9, 2010

Green Arrow & Black Canary by Judd Winick (Review)

Citizen's Grade: O.K.

The relaunch of Green Arrow as Green Arrow & Black Canary had me somewhat worried. I was suspicious that their marriage would wreck the great storytelling of Green Arrow as the "shoot from hip", liberal "man's man". I was afraid he may become the conservative, play it safe husband-type. I WAS WRONG!, and I'm happy to say it. Judd Winick's work on GA & BC was collected in three volumes: The Wedding Album, Family Matters, & A League of Their Own.

The Wedding Album is pleasantly entertaining. Starting with the wedding ceremony; which of course is interrupted by an attack of villains, the two must face adversity. On the wedding night, Green Arrow goes "wacko" and Black Canary kills him in self defense.....or so we think it's Green Arrow! It's not, just the perfect impostor.....the shapeshifter, Everyman. With the help of Batman and the rest of the Green Arrow "family", they track Green Arrow down...being held hostage by the women of Themyscira.

They escape the island, and by boat are returning to Star City when a bullet from nowhere strikes the Green Arrow's son...Connor. Left in a coma, Oliver Queen must deal with the emotions & guilt of not being a good father, or father figure. This first volume of the new series ends with a small wedding ceremony where Oliver and Dinah actually get married.

I was really impressed with artist Amanda Connor, who draws the sexiest Black Canary I've ever seen!

Family Matters. Oliver & Dinah return from their wedding ceremony to discover that Connor; left in a coma by a sniper's bullet, is gone. Kidnapped! They begin the frantic search for clues to discover where Connor is, and who has taken him.

Attacked by a spaceship and a trip to London later, they have a run-in with British thief Dodger. He leads them to a Shadow League of Assassins, supposedly directly by the environmental terrorist Ras Al Ghul. They find Plastic Man on the way, and Batman also joins in on the hunt to find Connor.

Dodger is an interesting character that works well with the cynical GA Family.

A League of Their Own. The third volume of the Green Arrow & Black Canary series begins with the revelation that Ras Al Ghul is not behind the Shadow League. They then tell their story to Green Arrow, Black Canary, Batman, Plastic Man, & Family.....and realize that the impostor is a woman named Shado. They explain that the sniper bullet was meant for Oliver Queen, and not his son Connor.

Green Arrow & company track down Shado, a former lover of Green Arrow's and mother to Oliver's illegitimate son, Robert. She explains that her son has leukemia; and that after all other options, she took him to Dr. Sivana. She; in return for Dr. Sivan's help, made a deal to assassinate Green Arrow. Green Arrow & company then find out that Dr. Sivana was behind Connor's kidnapping & Plastic Man's abduction.

Sivana has indeed "healed" Robert, and Connor as well. Dr. Sivana explains that it is Plastic Man's DNA that has led to the medical breakthrough. Robert and Connor has been transfused with Plastic Man's DNA, making them heal faster from disease and injuries, though it has effected their mental state....but to what degree?

A flashback issue at the end of the volume goes back to tell Green Arrow's longest, most accurate shot ever.

The three volumes artwork is done by various artists, including Mike Norton. Norton's art is kinda "cartoony" in some spots, but his facial expressions are good. Overall, Winick's run was decent, and the artwork is o.k. The series was later cancelled and re-launched as just Green Arrow, with much better results as of this writing.

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