Green Arrow #50 – Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Writers; Javier Fernandez, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: Good Try?
Ray: It’s the final issue of Green Arrow for now, and Lanzing and Kelly bring Ollie’s story to a close in a dense and often confusing issue that ties together plots from the last few runs. Over the last few issues, we’ve seen Ollie start to spiral following the death of Roy Harper and his attempted murder at Citizen’s hands. But there’s also the long-dangling plot thread of the mysterious box J’onn J’onnz gave Ollie in case the Justice League ever needed to be stopped. It may have seemed like a good idea then, but Ollie’s declining mental state has made people question that. That’s where Black Canary comes in, and this story surprisingly picks up on plot threads from multiple reboots ago. Dinah’s past as a government agent with Skywatch goes back to the early days of the New 52 and I barely even remembered it was a thing, but that old connection calls her back into service to take down their target – Oliver Queen, so they can obtain the box and take an unstable vigilante off the table.
I’m not sure about this whole plot, honestly. Dinah’s decision to go along with her handlers to try to convince Ollie to go peacefully rings false. Ollie’s been distant and a little obsessive, yes, but he’s hardly gone off the deep end like some heroes have – even Batman in his own title recently. She spends most of the issue trying to play both sides, talking Ollie down even as she helps him escape assassination. Riot, the young vigilante introduced two months ago, plays a key role in forcing Ollie into a corner. The resolution of this issue, which leads to Ollie as a lone warrior again and exiled from Star City, comes rather abruptly and seems designed to pit him against the Justice League – especially after an odd ending that makes it seem like the Justice League was playing him all along, and then not. There’s a lot going on here, and it feels like this arc had to be wrapped up several issues early. I’m not sure what comes next for Ollie, but this wrap-up didn’t quite stick the landing. And we still don’t know why Emiko left!
Corrina: The good: circling back to the mysterious box. The bad: making Dinah the fulcrum of the government going after Ollie. The Good: the suggestion their connection is because Dinah herself timelost/timechanged. The Bad: it keeps her history as a spy, which belonged to her mother in the new 52, sorta.
In other words, the plot does a disservice to Dinah and makes her current history a helluva lot more confusing than it ever was. And that’s saying a lot, as Black Canary’s history has had some really crazy moments.
Moving on, I thought Ollie was generally in character for the whole issue, with his unwillingness to trust anyone, his stubbornness, and his loyalty. I feel like this plot would have worked with Shado playing both sides, with Dinah and Ollie as a pair, and then with Dinah finally frustrated with Ollie failing to tell her about the box.
However, the art is tremendous, especially in the panel construction, with insert boxes that emphasize a particular item or person. The motorcyle chase has a tremendous sense of movement; Black Canary cutting lose was a terrific sequence, and the “shadows” of the stealth technology of the government agents was superb. Basically, it all looks very good.
It’s just not enough to save the story.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.