Thursday, June 25, 2009

Green Arrow and Black Canary #21

I've been pretty vocal concerning my displeasure over the way Black Canary has been mis-written in this series as of late. Since taking over as the regular writer of this title, Andrew Kreisberg has really played up Dinah as the constant damsel in distress. Anybody familiar with the recently canned "Birds of Prey" comic knows Dinah is FAR from a damsel in distress, and is actually one of the better fighters in all of the DCU. Hopefully, this issue will see Dinah return to her old ass-kicking ways as opposed to her recent descent into incompetency.

-Before I go any further, some background is probably necessary. A bunch of issues back, incompetent Dinah used her Canary Cry on some thug and wound up messing up the hearing of some innocent bystander. Said bystander(now not as innocent)has gotten a hold of some really fancy technology and has managed to take all the sound away from Star City. In layman's terms, nobody in Star City can hear anything. Upon losing the ability to hear, the citizens of Star City have decided it was the perfect time to riot... Yeah sure, that's exactly what I'd do if I lost the ability to hear!

-With that rather lengthy intro out of the way, on with the story. Ass-kicking Dinah(not incompetent Dinah)is running around the streets of Star City, dealing with would be muggers and rapists who are now permeating the streets. While Dinah is dealing with the rioting citizens, Ollie is trying to deal with his crazed stalker, Cupid, who is following him around like a lost puppy dog.

-Dinah heads to a University and finds some professors who have figured out why the city has lost its sound(boy, that sound dumb!). She receives a device from the professors that should allow her to locate the source of the disturbance.

-After a flashback sequence showing Dinah as a teenager dealing with the initial onset of her powers, Dinah manages to track down the source of the mayhem to a rooftop overlooking the city. On the rooftop is some guy with a fancy sound gun attached to his arm. Dinah lunges at the man but he fires a huge blast of sound at her feet, destroying the entire top of the building, and ending this issue.

Hey, you know what? This was my favorite issue of GA/BC since Andrew took over the writing duties! This issue actually focused on Dinah and showed her to be more than Green Arrow's bumbling wife. A few issues ago, Dinah could barely deal with one street thug, but in this issue she was able to take down 6 bozos with ease. The Dinah in this comic is the one who I became a fan of during the "Birds of Prey". Thank you for bringing her back Mr. Kreisberg!

I'm still not sure where Andrew is going with the flashbacks to Dinah's adolescence or what exactly the boy she injured with her Canary Cry means to this story, but at least the main storyline is really picking up steam. I still don't like Cupid and the fact that Ollie is allowing her to run around with him is starting to bother me. She was responsible for several murders over the last few issues, so you'd think Ollie would at least make an attempt to apprehend her... But of course Cupid IS a woman, and Ollie IS Ollie, so I guess that explains his actions there.

In this issue, Cupid thinks to herself that after six of seven archery lessons she's getting pretty good with the bow. That made me smile, because I know firsthand just how difficult it is to learn archery. Last summer I brought myself a bow and arrow, read a few books and web articles on archery and after deciding I knew what was what, I went out, set up a few targets and proceeded to play Hawkeye/Green Arrow. Instead of getting better with each shot, I inexplicably became worse and worse, developing several huge welts and bruises on my arms from the snapping of the bowstring, as well as a grotesquely swollen thumb after I somehow managed to shoot an arrow into the thumb that was holding the bow... I still can't fathom how I managed that... Needless to say, my bow hasn't seen the light of day this summer!

Anyway, back to this comic book. For a score, I'll go with an 8 1/2 out of 10, which is by far the best score I've given any comic in this series for quite some time. Hopefully Andrew can keep up the good work over the next couple of issues.


  1. In all honesty, I figured he let her come with him to keep an eye on her. With no sound, no ability to have police assistance easily, no way to let them know to pick her, save dropping her off at the station. Which would be using up valuable 'hero' time ;)

  2. Hey X-Man, I found a link to a new comic blog which is looking for extra volunteer reviewers. Each reviewer has his own character that he specifically focuses on, so maybe you could be the "Nova" person or something (I don't think they follow any Marvel books yet.)

    I don't know if it's something you're interested in, because your site is already awesome enough, but you write great reviews!

  3. Nagash- You're probably right, but it is still Ollie we're talking about, and he does have QUITE the reputation with the ladies.

    Kello- Thanks for the kind words man! I'll probably give that site a look, it can't hurt right?

  4. Except recently, like, in I can't remember which issue, but near the end of the single GA run, it was stated he was celibate for an entire year.

  5. Wow, Ollie celibate for a whole year?!? I almost can't even comprehend that. I do remember Dinah forcing him to wait until the wedding night after they were engaged, but a whole year??? Yipes, I feel sorry for Ollie's first woman after that one year streak!

  6. Dinah, 40 hours, yeah...

    Was in the TPB Road To Jericho, nearish the end (second to last issue maybe?)

  7. Mmmm, I kind of, sort of remember that trade, that was the one with Red Hood and Bats right? After a while, all of Ollie's MANY trysts begin to blend together!

  8. Yep that's the one. They don't merge for me, but then I happen to like GA. Head of the top five comic characters in my book ;)

  9. Yeah, I'm a pretty big GA fan too, I'm lucky enough to own most of his series from the 1980's-1990's as well as having every issue of his series' from his rebirth onward. With that said though, sometimes his antics, especially when it comes to other women, tend to make me crazy. If I was married to Dinah, I doubt my eyes would be wandering!

  10. Trust me, I'm the bigger fan :P but hey, no point in comparing arrow sizes, cause that's jus silly.

    On the woman front, during the time he came back, he only cheated on her once. During 10 story arcs. That's pretty damn impressive.
    And now there's this retarded Cupid thing (though the costume, save for the comic cleavage is pretty good)...

  11. No, I'll gladly proclaim you the bigger GA fan Nagash, as much as I like Ollie, he's not even my favorite DC archer! That privilage goes to Roy Harper. I've always been just a bit more partial to Roy than Ollie.

    It's kind of funny that we have to measure Ollie's loyalty to Dinah not by IF he's cheated on her, but by HOW MANY times he's cheated on her recently! I bet if you look in the dictionary under "dog" you'd find a picture of Ollie!

  12. Haha, of course you shall! Bow before my superior liking of a certain Emerald Archer. Yeah...
    Roy is cool, though not a huge fan of the Red Arrow costume. As Hawkgirl said, the bootlaces are dorky :D

    It was one of his staple character traits for many years, so it makes sense. Sortof. He's been very good recently, hasn't even wanted to do with Cupid, which is woah...

  13. Yeah, I have to agree with your words on Roy's costume. I personally liked the Arsenal costume way more.

    I've been impressed by Ollie's willpower concerning Cupid so far as well, but I get the feeling that it's only a matter of time before he slips up...

  14. Yeah, especially the Arsenal costume he used in Tornado's Path (cause it's changed a couple of times - right?)

    I would disagree with you, but I'm not sure where this new writer is taking GA and BC. I did prefer Judd, but I'm gonna give this guy a chance (though BC has been flipflopping between awesome fighter and wet fish)...

    On a similar but unrelated note, I want Phil Hester and Ande Parks back doing GA. Loved their artwork, though the guy doing the current covers is damn good too (similar to Ink - I suggest you pick it up, only a six issue series, I'm liking it so far. And the art is gorgeous)

  15. I like all of the Arsenal outfits except for the early purple, blue and gold ones! What was he thinking there??? I'm actually more partial to the Arsenal outfits around the Judd Winick Outsiders series, the ones without a mask. Since Roy's identity is public knowledge(I think...)I don't see the need to wear a mask.

    I'm not about to quit on Andrew's work yet, I just wish that he'd re-establish BC as the ass-kicking fighting machine I know she is. This current issue was a step in the right direction, but in GA/BC #15, BC could hardly defeat a single goon with a switchblade, and in GA/BC #19 BC only managed to fight Cupid to a stalemate... With BC's fighting experience you'd think she could have taken Cupid down without even breaking a sweat!

    I really haven't had any problems with the current artist(I'm blanking on the guy's name right now), I think he's doing a pretty good job here. Of course, I'd like it if Judd was back on writing duties and Phil was doing the art again, but what can you do?

    I haven't picked up any of the post-Final Crisis mini-series, none of them sounded overly interesting to me, but on your recommendation Nagash, I'll see if I can find the first few issues of Ink. And I have to say that it's pretty cool that we've actually managed to keep this conversation going for 6 days now!

  16. Yeah, that's what I meant - I think it was the same one, but I only have one Outsiders story (the TPB with the Great Ten in)
    This one, good:
    Leaf one, baaaaaad :D
    This one:

    Yeah, I'm not gonna quit, give him a chance to see where this arc is going, but it's been a bit hit and miss, and not much in the way of wordy. Compare to Kevin Smith's run (though, to be fair, comparing Kevin Smith's run to anything but a comic made of bacon is pointless), and see how much damn, well, everything was said there...

    I'm not sure, it's alright art, not spectacular. Nothing special, I'd probably say passable. The cover artist is very good, but then I'm partial to that kindof art (similar in a way to Jock's covers from Year One).

    Yeah, I wasn't too interested in any of the FC stuff, except Legion of Three Worlds and when I saw the art for Ink, that. I think this: sums it up very nicely. Plus, it is nice to see a villain now working as a hero.
    Well, a post a day keeps someone away. Not sure who :D Heh, is quite impressive though, and they just keep on getting longer :D

  17. Oh yeah, the third Arsenal link you posted was the one! Ugh... He looks like a poor man's Hawkeye. THAT outfit was supposed to be a step up from his Speedy look?!?

    All this talk about Kevin Smith's run is really making me want to pull those issues out to give 'em a re-read!

    I actually liked most of the Final Crisis stuff before FC #7. Final Crisis #7 was just a trainwreck of nearly epic proportions! To this day I'm not sure what Grant Morrison was going for... And I'm glad you brought up Legion of Three Worlds, that is turning out to be one of my all-time favorite mini-series. I can't wait for the final issue of that mini to arrive!

    Yeah, I also noticed the posts keep getting longer too. Well, you must be able to tell by now that once I start talking about something I can't stop, so I guess we'll see just how many comments we can take this up to!

  18. I've found that alot though. Arsenal, Nightwing etc etc
    See, I don't like Hawkeye, but the Ultimate version looks good. Though that looks more like Arsenal (or the other way around, not sure which order Ultimate compared to the first pic I posted appeared).

    Yeah, I'm rereading it now. Taking it slow cause at work. Also lets me enjoy it more ^^ He really knows how to write every character though, bang on accurate for everyone. Shame he doesn't write more, still, we get awesome movies from him as well, so can't complain :D
    Though Quiver had a slightly convienient (sp!) ending, it was setup at the very least (slightly).

    I gave up on FC after 2/3, twas just ridiculous, and Grant really doing his X, Q, N, V, S, T, O, Q, V random storylines. Which I'm not a fan of. His stories work better when he's only doing one character (like All Star Superman), though RIP was a bit meh to me...
    I'm waiting for the TPB/THB of Lo3W myself, which I think is September :(

    Oh, trust me, I can ramble on and on, making extremely (sp?) long posts, which, although they go on for quite a long time, don't actually say much in the way of particular interest; they just seem padded out to make the paragraphs longer and longer, though when I want to be I can be short and consise. I just don't want to be :P

  19. You don't like Hawkeye??? Bah. I'm a big fan of Hawkeye... You know, the more I think about it, I just seem to be a huge fan of comic book archers period. Hell, I'm even a fan of Merlyn, and I think he could be a WAY better villain if some writer really took the time to develop him. I'd go so far as to say Merlyn may have the best look out of all the comic book archers. He just radiates cool.

    Man, now I really want to reread the Smith run! The only problem is I have SO many comics I haven't read laying around. Until I've put a dent in the stuff I haven't read, I probably shouldn't start reading something I already have.

    You know, it's pretty weird that Kevin hasn't written more comics, with how well he does seem to know the characters he's writing. Off the top of my head I can't think of any other work he's done with the exception of GA.

    I've always said Grant Morrison is VERY hit or miss. I thought his New X-Men run was fabulous, and I also really enjoyed his Marvel Boy series. I haven't liked his Batman run at all, and Final Crisis started out promising enough, but after the awful Superman Beyond 3D stuff, as well as FC #7 I was just super disappointed. I'd say I didn't understand like 90%(!)of Final Crisis in the end. The Batman-Darksied showdown was really great though.

    Yeah, I love to ramble on and on about comic book related stuff too, which is why I started up this blog to begin with. This blog is the perfect way to just go off on long-winded tangents on all things comic related. You should think about starting up a blog of your own Nagash! You could dedicate it to GA. I'd definitely check it out!

  20. I don't like Marvel in general. Quite often the characters suck (Fantastic Four are the major examples), and right now I can't be bothered to elaborate why ;) I'm tired, had a couple of days off and don't really wanna be on the computer right now ;)
    Merlyn does work, but he's featured quite alot recently, might be a good idea to leave him for a while ;)

    Ha :P I can get through a TPB in no time (no longer than a day), and read all my weeklies in my lunch break. Bear in mind this a week day, so I'm working 9:30-6:30...

    He's a bit of a (I don't know the phrase) delayed writer - seems to take him ages to write an issue ;) But the stuff he writes is good.
    Batman Cacophony I believe was his latest, and he's well known for his Daredevil run/

    Wouldn't know about that - I never read it. I have some issues with the X-Men, stuff that has no way to be explained. He trains mutants to use their powers to fight other mutants. End of. And he can morally justify that? I don't think so.
    I liked Batman and Son, but both RIP and FC were all over the place, I'm not sure how to rate them. Don't know about the 3D thing - what was that?

    I don't have the time to do regular updates, not when I'm working and then doing my own writing/drawing in my spare time - I need to redo the first five pages as a proper script so my artist can start on them, and I'm hoping she'll have done the cover soon.

  21. Well, it's safe to say I disagree with you on the blanket Marvel characters suck statement Nagash. I've always been of the mindset that it's not the characters that suck, it's the creative team behind them that suck. IMHO a good writer can make practically ANYONE interesting.

    Your FF statement was really interesting... I can understand where you're coming from, its been the same four main characters since 1961(!), but once again, I'd say its not the characters that suck, its the writers and their bad/stale ideas. For example, Mark Waid and the late Mike Wieringo had an exceptional run on the series in the early 2000's, but Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's current run has been pretty forgettable(at best!).

    Yeah, I totally blanked on Kevin's Daredevil run... Oops! I probably forgot about it on purpose! I really wasn't very fond of that run...

    I just couldn't enjoy Batman and Son due to my intense hatred of Damien Wayne. I hate that kid! If you don't know about Beyond 3D, you should probably leave it at that! I don't think I could explain what the hell was going on in that mini in a million years. Stay away from Superman Beyond
    3D!!! Trust me, you'll thank me!