Green Arrow #46 – Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Writers; German Peralta, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 2/10
Ray: The last solicitations revealed that this run is ending shortly, with Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly taking over in January. That makes this “Run” all of one arc, and it’s not hard to see why. The Citizen plotline has been a complete mess and Green Arrow #46 only makes it more so. For the first two issues (before last month’s odd break for a tie-in with Heroes in Crisis), Citizen seemed like a militant vigilante who kidnapped and killed billionaires with dark secrets. He even supposedly exposed Oliver as a drunk-driver who killed a woman.
As this issue begins, though, he’s shifted tactics to inciting violence against random members of the 1%, tarring them all as guilty. This makes him a convenient political strawman for the characters to rail against, making this story little more than an Occupy-influenced redo of the last time the Bensons decided to get into politics – the awkward Batgirl and the Birds of Prey story arc about an evil feminist cult engineering a virus to kill all men.
The problem is, it’s not compelling to watch superheroes rail against political strawmen. Yes, they’re right – we shouldn’t poison billions of people based on gender or murder random businessmen on the street, but those aren’t positions held by any reasonable person. It’s just not engaging, and the story further muddies the water with the reveal that Ollie didn’t, in fact, kill anyone while driving drunk – he wasn’t even driving, and Citizen has been engaged in an elaborate campaign to frame him so he can carry out another public execution.
So Citizen isn’t even a strawman lunatic who just believes all rich people are guilty, he’s a psycho who is willing to frame innocent people. The only thing worse than a political story full of caricatures is a political story that doesn’t even seem to have a consistent point of view. Given how good the previous Green Arrow run was, this arc has been deeply disappointing and I’m hoping the character can find his feet again soon.
Corrina: Notice Ray didn’t talk much about the supporting cast? Because they’re barely in this. Instead of dealing with any emotional fallout from Roy’s death, we (and the characters) jump back into this current GA plot of the Citizen who wants to execute the one percent.
However, I can’t blame the creative team for not dealing with Roy that much–I’ll allow they may not have had time to adjust their work if they learned about his death later.
I’ll also allow that they might have been heavily influenced by an Arrow television arc which had a villain with basically the exact same motivation and many of the same methods.
But the Benson’s problem with pacing, in which a story spools out information carefully, leading to a conclusion that fits, is still in evidence. That causes the issue that Ray noted, meaning an inconsistent villain motivation via a plot point that basically contradicted another plot point from the last issue, without much foundation.
The Bensons have improved since their work on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. I also didn’t like the previous arc that Ray holds in such high esteem. That all means their work on Green Arrow hasn’t terrible to me.
But neither has it been engaging, either.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.