Review – Green Arrow #45: Funeral for a Friend

Comic Books DC This Week
Green Arrow #45 variant cover, credit to DC Comics.

Green Arrow #45 – Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Writers; Javier Fernandez, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist


Ray – 3/10

Corrina:  Horrible ‘Heroes In Crisis’ Fallout

Ray: Green Arrow takes a break from the ongoing Citizen plot to tie into Heroes in Crisis. The end of the first issue of that event left a lot of readers questioning whether one of those two main casualties was actually dead. Green Arrow #45 makes clear that the other one very much is – Roy Harper is laid to rest in this issue as his friends and family gather to pay their respects. Given the chaotic nature of that series with so many questions, I feel like this issue might have been better off coming closer to the end of the event. I also think it might have been a lot better if it was written with a better grasp of Green Arrow’s character. Points to the Bensons for good use of Roy’s native roots – he was adopted by a Navajo tribe – although Percy brought it back into canon about a year ago. There’s some genuinely affecting moments in the early going, especially in his adopted brother’s speech. Green Arrow’s narration of what Roy meant to him is strong as well. Unfortunately, it all falls completely to pieces the second Ollie actually opens his mouth and talks to people.

See, Ollie’s decided that the Justice League killed Roy. He’s not interested in the investigation that will determine who the actual culprit is, he just immediately decides to punch Superman, accuse the Justice League of not caring about Roy because he wasn’t a Justice Leaguer (an odd plot point when he was a member of the League in an acclaimed run by Brad Meltzer), and accuse Bruce of not being there because he’s a coward. Ollie being irrational and grieving makes some sense, but the fact that it escalates until he’s about to pull his secret weapon to destroy the League until Martian Manhunter actually forces his way inside his head to stop him is an issue. It ties in with the biggest problem of this run as a whole – I don’t like or trust this Green Arrow. Are we just supposed to forget that he killed a woman driving drunk, according to the last issue? The end of the issue has a few good moments where Ollie meets a fellow addict who Roy helped and reflects on his own failings, but it feels like too little, too late.

Tribute to Roy Harper. Credit to DC Comics.

Corrina: Ray focused on what’s wrong with Ollie this issue. I’d like to focus on Black Canary then.

Because one of the best aspects of her character is standing up for friends, especially Roy. Dinah and Roy always shared a connection. She originally helped him get clean when Ollie gave up, she was a surrogate big sister to him and an aunt to his daughter, Lian.

Obviously, much of Roy’s history has been rewritten over the years. Lian no longer exists, though Roy’s history with Cheshire apparently still does, given her presence at the funeral. That this story used Roy’s connection to the Navajo works well, too, especially his foster brother’s role. That part is some of the strongest writing so far from the Bensons.

And then from there, it falls apart.

I like the idea of someone who helped with Roy’s recovery, and vice versa, talking about what he meant to her, but this is accomplished by bringing in a brand new character. Why not give these scenes to Dinah, as she talks about what Roy meant to her, how she once helped him or is that erased now too? ::shakes head:: If so, it’s a loss for both their characters.

But, meanwhile, all Dinah does is stand around hanging onto Ollie. Given his behavior, it’s unclear why she does or why she has zero voice this issue.

I begin to suspect DC cares as little for Black Canary as it did for Roy Harper.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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