Sunday, March 22, 2009

Green Arrow and Black Canary #18

Overall- Break out the party hats and streamers! You know why? This was the first issue of this series that I've enjoyed since Judd Winick left and Andrew Kreisberg took over the writing duties! This issue was MUCH better than the last 3 issues by a wide margin. Now don't get me wrong, this issue was far from perfect, but it did provide a glimmer of hope that maybe Andrew Kreisberg knows what he's doing here.

Here's the review. We start with Ollie shooting arrows at Count Vertigo in an attempt to intimidate Vertigo into revealing where Merlyn vanished to after his jail break. Vertigo acts like a smart-ass, since he doesn't fear Ollie will really hurt him. Ollie proceeds to shoot an arrow through Vertigo's leg before winging Vertigo right between the legs, which brings out an angry Black Canary. With the threat of an unwanted sex change, Vertigo drops the act and begins screaming that he doesn't know where Merlyn is, which Ollie believes. Ollie and Dinah argue about Ollie becoming obsessed over Merlyn's escape and Ollie says he doesn't get obsessed over things like Batman does. At that very moment, a Green Arrow signal illuminates the night sky... HA!!

Ollie and Dinah head to the police station where Ollie gives the top cop an untraceable phone and tells him to just call if he needs to get in touch. The cop takes Ollie and Dinah to the morgue and shows them 4 dead enemies of Ollie laying on slabs. Needless to say, the cop thinks it's mighty suspicious that Ollie's enemies are winding up dead, but stops just short of accusing Ollie of perpetrating the killings. While there, they get word that the crime lord Brick's headquarters had just been hit.

The cops and Ollie and Dinah arrive at Brick's penthouse and find him smashed in half from a giant wrecking ball. Since Ollie was with the cops at the time, that clears him, but it still leaves the question, who is killing off Ollie's enemies and why. The answer of course is the crazy stalker woman who still has Merlyn tied up and heavily drugged at her layer. The crazy stalker woman(she really needs a name!)has decided that since Ollie once saved her life a few issues ago, she would return the favor by killing off his enemies for him. She then has Merlyn make a barely coherent, drugged up video challenging Ollie to a duel to the death at the Natural Museum of History, which she sends to the cops.

The cops forward the tape to Ollie, who after admitting to Dinah that deep down he's glad someone is killing his foes, decides to go to the museum to face Merlyn. Dinah is dubious about the whole situation and tells Ollie that Merlyn was never one to rant and rave like that and that he seemed drugged or something. Sensing a trap, Dinah scouts the museum for potential access points, while Ollie just wants to walk in the front door and face down Merlyn. After some arguing, Ollie agrees to follow Dinah, and promptly shocks her unconscious so he can do things his way. Ollie enters the museum alone and finds Merlyn standing there with his an arrow notched and ready to fly, still ranting and raving like a madman and apparently tied in place by nearly invisible ropes. Ollie aims an arrow of his own at Merlyn, apologizes to Dinah and lets it fly, ending this issue and leaving us wondering, did he or didn't he?

Like I said, this issue was way more satisfying than Andrew's early work on this series, as it looks like he's starting to give each character his own voice. Ollie's admission that he was secretly glad that his enemies were dying and Dinah's disappointed reaction were VERY well written and drawn. I can't imagine that Ollie is going to kill Merlyn with the arrow he let fly at the conclusion of this issue, but then again, I'm not quite sure. Andrew is doing a nice job showing that Ollie is conflicted about the death's of his enemies and that he might just kill Merlyn, especially after knocking Dinah out.

Like I said, this comic was good, but there were several gaping flaws here and there. The main one was Brick's death. The guy is supposed to be a major player in the Star City crime scene, no? Are you going to tell me that he didn't notice a wrecking ball had mysteriously planted itself right adjacent to his office? Aren't crime lord's supposed to be a little more paranoid than that? Besides that, the fact that this crazy stalker woman is taking out Ollie's enemies with such apparent ease is also bothering me a bit... I mean, how is she so good that she managed to kill 5 villains and capture Merlyn to boot, with seemingly minimal difficulty? Are Ollie's enemies that pathetic that an untrained crazy woman can kill them that easily? Besides those minor gripes, I did like this comic book. For a score, I'm going to give this comic an 8 out of 10. For the first time in a while, I'm actually looking forward to the next issue of this series. Good job Andrew!

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