Green Arrow 50

The final issue of the series puts Oliver Queen in a bind, as he battles Black Canary over the box Martian Manhunter gave Ollie at the end of NO JUSTICE.

Green Arrow 50
Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing
Pencils and Inks by Javier Fernandez
Colors by John Kalisz

Green Arrow has been generally separated from the rest of the heroes in the DC Universe since the beginning of the New 52 era, dealing with his problems with his own allies and generally not relying on other heroes to help him out. The other heroes generally consider him a bit of a kook, ranting and raving about his generally lefty opinions that tend to push people away from uber-activists.

That rift has been eased a bit in the Rebirth era, which has re-established his relationship with Black Canary. This, in turn, has led to a connection with the Birds of Prey and, eventually, the Justice League. At the end of Scott Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE miniseries, the Martian Manhunter entrusted him with the power to take down the League in case something bad ever happened. Oliver, being himself, told no one about the weapon and, in fact, didn’t even look inside. He was planning on telling his former ward, Roy Harper about it, but then he was killed in the first issue of Tom King’s HEROES IN CRISIS. He just hid it and hoped he would never have to use it.

So when a government black ops group finds out about the box, they’re obviously going to want it. And they enlist Black Canary to get it. Dinah Lance has had a lot of jobs since the Flashpoint event. She’s been a rock and roll star and a member of the Birds of Prey. But first and foremost, she was a spy, and once a spy, always a spy. She tries to get Oliver to just hand the box over, give up the life of a vigilante and run away with her… which doesn’t really sound like something Dinah would want to actually do. Oliver, probably rightly, declines and goes to war with the wet team sent in to get the box. Dinah eventually helps him, but tells him to leave Seattle, leave the country to escape the secret government agency, because apparently in the DC Universe, government black ops teams respect the sovereignty of other nations.

I understand why Oliver Queen has been situated as a loner with a “Me vs. the world” mentality, but man, it’s starting to drain on my enjoyment of the character, because it seems like people are telling the same story over and over again. Now that the current series has come to an end, I would hope that we can change direction a bit and integrate Oliver back in with the other heroes, but his anger at the events of HEROES IN CRISIS – and the Justice League not helping him in this issue as he basically took down a platoon of soldiers – would likely preclude that from happening.

GREEN ARROW 50 was a great issue. The writing was fun and the art was top notch, as always. But the final panels, with Oliver walking away from an empty box that suddenly begins to glow, underlies the fact that Ollie isn’t quite that bright and it guarantees that Green Arrow will continue to be an outsider, despite his deep ties to all the other heroes (he was, after all, with all the other heroes who travelled to Mars to battle Dr. Manhattan in the recent issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK).

Surely, there will be a new number 1 for the character with a new high-profile creative team. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where it all leads.