Green Arrow Annual #1 – Benjamin Percy, Writer; Eleonora Carlini, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Happy Christmas
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!
Ray: This Green Arrow annual was delayed three months to make it more of a holiday-themed issue, a decision that doesn’t really seem to have played all that much role in the story. The issue begins with an entertaining segment depicting the entire Arrowfam at Christmas together, although the six issues that have come and gone have changed the status quo a bit, making the issue feel a bit out of place. However, that doesn’t stop it from being an extremely entertaining issue. The holiday celebration takes a turn for the dark when the characters are all sucked into strange dream sequences, courtesy of Count Vertigo. Ollie’s is the longest and most complicated, as he goes from a version of his normal life to his childhood with his mother (that plot has recently taken a twist), to being tortured by a vengeful Diggle.
Corrina: The real-world delays didn’t seem to impact the quality of the story at all. It’s always nice to see the entire cast of supporting characters show up in the book.
Here I will insert my customary frustration that Percy basically just declared Dinah and Ollie a couple without showing why they would be together. Something like the Batman/Catwoman story in the annual out today would go a long way to me having any feels at all for this rendition of the classic couple.
Back to the story. Count Vertigo is like the Scarecrow, a villain used when we want to upend the world for the heroes and explore their psyches. I was surprised that Ollie flashed back more to his childhood than the untold thousands who have recently been killed in the city as the result of the last year, but his part of the story will read nicely to those who want to use this issue to sample the Green Arrow series as a whole.
Ray: Roy, meanwhile, is caught in a traumatic flashback to his days as a drunk and in an abusive rehab environment. Emiko is living out her fantasy of her crush on Nightwing being fulfilled until her ruthless mother re-enters the picture and turns it into a nightmare. Dinah, meanwhile, turns out to be the unexpected star of this story, as it turns out the calluses she’s built up on her ears over the years thanks to her sonic scream have allowed her to resist Vertigo’s influence. She chases the missing heroes, finds them in a trance and faces off against Vertigo in an epic high-altitude showdown at the Space Needle. This is a slightly odd issue, as there’s a lot of things reminding you that it’s a delayed book, but ultimately it’s a fun Arrow-family adventure that lets almost everyone have a moment to shine.
Corrina: Hah! Emiko is all of us who know that Nightwing is not only the nicest hero in the DCU but also the hottest one, too. Nice fantasy, there, Emiko. For Roy, it’s hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t in his rehab, though his calling up “Jade,” might indicate his relationship with Chesire is back into continuity and that might mean…Lian? I guess we’ll see.
Yes, it was nice to see Dinah be the solo hero here, though she’s still saved at the end. But, more, I love the explanation for why her sonic power doesn’t affect her own hearing.
All-in-all, a good slice of life in the Arrow-verse.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.