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Subj: Green Arrow #22 - Social Crusader?
Posted: Sun May 07, 2017 at 09:23:00 am EDT (Viewed 156 times)
Somewhere in amidst the chaos, both literal and figurative, of Green Arrow #22 there is a logic to it all. Something that ties together everything that is bedeviling Seattle and is capable of making some sense out of why it is some hidden agency wants so badly to inflict so much pain and devastation on oh-so many of its people. What is far more difficult to divine however is what logical chain of events might get Character 'A' to meet with Character 'B' within this marvelously illustrated entry into the Green Arrow canon from artist and colourist Juan Ferrayra. Why and how for example does Oliver Queen go from aiding in search & rescue at the city's airport to next page intervening in the carnage being inflicted by terror monger Eddie Corri? How and Why is it that Corri's fellow terrorists arrive on that secluded bank to be able to in turn intervene to save Corri from Green Arrow? How and why is it reporter Victoria Much learns of Ley Lines and divines the intent of the unseen forces arranging events as the City burns and crumbles? Yes, so much in this issue lacks sense or context. And yet in-between the woolly plotting lie some brief and very effective moments - if Dinah Lance were not a part of Oliver's current life then who would act as his advisor and moderator? In times of great pressure and bereft of his once broad support network who would be there at Ollie's side and be able and willing to both compliment him in action and set off on a solo mission with no need of support?
It is easy to forget that in the modern landscape of the DC Universe Oliver Queen is a much younger man that he was in previous times. Back then Oliver Queen was a product of his time, the radical and volatile politics and liberal social movements of the late sixties and seventies were channelled via the conduit of Oliver Queen like no other character in comics. Today that long enduring version of the character seems out of step with our more politically correct and restrained outlooks and yet this contrast is as much a reflection of the sadly anaemic and non-political content of modern books from the mainstream publishers as it is the changing decades since Green Arrow went on his legendary road trip with Hal Jordan.
As successive writers since 2011 have found, the task to recreate 'Green Arrow' today and have him find resonance with a wide audience would be a challenge prospect indeed if not allowed to reinstall the characters traditional appeals by way of his unique traits of a strong social awareness and his passionate, if flawed, views on the ways of the world and what ails it. But to his credit writer Ben Percy is very clearly well aware of just this problem. In his time on the title Percy has invested in storylines that touch on the way in which Oliver is becoming integral to the city he values and defends, and in doing so becomes drawn himself into its inner workings to become a part of its fabric. And so as the unseen hand of The Ninth Circle causes Seattle to fall into the abyss and the activities of the city's police force and mayor are made suspect it is no coincidence that the increasingly desperate Oliver Queen vents his frustrations to Dinah concerning "..this facist racist mayor", a force of language all to familiar to the audience that may remember the characters traditional setting as older man, Social crusader, and vociferous activist. But one that might yet give Green Arrow a voice and attitude that sets him apart from the other Hawkeye's and Nightwing's out there on the comics landscape...
Yes, for all of its shortcomings and a lack of logical progression between scenes Green Arrow under Ben Percy is actually not so untethered from the characters past interpretations at all. But congratulations must got to artist and colourist Juan Ferreyra for making it seem like it might be so, and for delivering considerable benefit to what might otherwise have been a more lacking episode than the admittedly very flawed one which we in the end received. As a title Green Arrow lacks much in plausibility and actual depth, but in terms of what it says about Green Arrow and where he has come from it can still be quite fascinating to watch Ben percy's slow progression of Oliver Queen towards a fuller sense of social awareness and by the same virtue continue to develop an environment for him to live in that can challenge and hone that still new outlook on both the people he has set out to protect and the shortcomings of the framework that they all live within...
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