Green Arrow #47 – Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Writers; German Peralta, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Corrina: Black Canary Spotlight
Ray: Back when Batman: The Animated Series was ruling the airwaves, they introduced quite a few original characters that later made it into the comics. Alongside stars like Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya, Dini and Timm introduced a new villain named Lock-Up. A sadist of a prison guard, he was fired for abusing prisoners and translated his lust for punishment into a career as a super-criminal, creating a prison for what he saw as “collaborators” like judges and police who were too soft on crime. I bring him up now because he worked perfectly as a supervillain commentary on the criminal justice system – something this arc’s villain, Citizen, fails at in every way. Ostensibly a murderous version of the anti-1% rallying cry of Occupy Wall Street, Citizen breaks every rule he sets up and never comes across as more like a rambling maniac.
Worst of all, he is never given a reasonable origin to explain why a cop would become a straw-man communist radical.
Despite the complete disaster of a villain, who gets the embarrassing end he deserves, this issue actually works a little better than the previous ones in the arc. That’s because the Benson sisters (in their finale on the title) put the focus back on Black Canary and her relationship with Green Arrow. There’s a fun section in the early going where Dinah impersonates Green Arrow to rescue Oliver Queen and the two do a hasty costume swap behind the scenes. In those moments, you can see the Green Arrow run that could have been in this arc – a story of a fully functional superhero couple and a male hero with major flaws who is trying to improve himself. Oliver trying to come to terms with his awful past isn’t a bad idea, but Citizen was just a bad way to do that, given his relentless lies and mock trials. A good villain can save a run, but a bad one can kill it. Oh, well – onward and upward, as Lanzing and Kelly are jumping on this book next issue.
Corrina: I was pleasantly surprised at the Dinah/Ollie teamwork this issue and the writing of Dinah overall. She’s been portrayed erratically since losing her own book a few years back, not written nearly as well as I believe she should. It’s nice to see a story that does well by her. I’ll give the Benson credit for that, certainly.
It’s not their fault that the courtship of this version of Dinah and Ollie was basically nil back in Percy’s run and that this version is basically coasting on the memory of their relationship in other stories. Still, the lack of a base for their relationship remains a flaw every time I read stories with this version of them working together. Perhaps because Ollie himself, despite having his own book, remains opaque to me. (Though Ollie wondering how people voted was a nice touch.)
Eh, Citizen reminded me of the villain from a season of Arrow that was making people vote whether his captives should live or die. Not very interesting, no, but I was less bothered that than Ray. Overall, the finale of this creative team taunts us with what might have been.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.