Follow with me here. A family brought together by fate use their extraordinary powers to battle crime. Sounds like a great premise, right?
Well, I’m certainly not talking about these guys.
No, J.T. Krul and James Robinson have worked in tandem to bring down the Queen family in a matter of months. It wasn’t that long ago that Green Arrow, Black Canary, Red Arrow, Arrowette, Speedy, and the other Green Arrow could fight crime together. So what’s happened to the defenders of Star City?
Cry for Justice happened.
Actually, for some of them the problem started sooner than that. Connor Hawke, the son of Oliver Queen, has his DNA spliced with that of Plastic Man, thus gaining a quick healing power that costs him his marksmanship with an arrow but not his martial arts prowess. How any part of that even works is beyond me.
The last Arrowette, the daughter of a woman who tried to be Green Arrow’s “Batwoman” back in the Silver Age, dropped the identity after nearly killing someone in anger, and we probably won’t see her fighting crime again any time soon.
Mia Dearden, the current Speedy (I wonder if that meshes with the current DC mindset…is Roy Harper the “one, true Speedy”?), could have been a great character, and is probably the most salvageable. A teenage runaway, she was saved from a life of prostitution by Ollie. Great potential, until Judd Winick decided that she should be HIV-positive. Not that this isn’t a potential source for storytelling, but why do it? Then she runs off to London with her boyfriend only to come back after he cheats on her. Then, of course, she’s the one watching over Lian when she gets killed in Star City’s getting blown up (or at least part of it, to suddenly form a star-shaped forest in the middle of the city..just roll with it).
However, it’s the three oldest DC characters being treated poorly by the writers. Let’s start with Roy. He has his arm removed and his daughter killed. So what is he doing now? Getting high, and having sexy fights with his ex. Actually, scratch that last part, because now he’s impotent, but going to hunt down bad guys makes him feel better. The whole story is here, and it causes Black Canary to leave him in the hospital alone. Why not? He cut ties with Green Arrow, too as well as anybody else who cared about him.
Although this is becoming nothing new for Dinah lately. She also abandoned Ollie, the guy she married a few years ago in the comics (which translates to maybe a month or two in-story time), after he kills a guy and keeps it a secret. I’m not sure which writer I’m supposed to blame for this. Robinson is the one who has Ollie kill Prometheus, but Kull is the one having Roy and Dinah read him the riot act and abandon him because of it. And yet Dinah easily walks away from her marriage, deciding out of who knows where that Ollie doesn’t really want to be married and wants to be alone.
Now Dinah is scheduled to rejoin the Birds of Prey, as that comic will be returning. If Gail Simone wasn’t so strongly connected to comic fans, and seems like a decent writer, I’d see a bad connection here. Then again, it’s like a character can’t appear in a few different books. Superman and Batman practically made an art form of it.
And if you don’t know what’s going on with Green Arrow lately, your really out of the loop.
See, there is so much potential with these character that has been tossed in the garbage to go all grim and gritty. Imagine the series if it were about Green Arrow and Black Canary, married crimefighters, their teen comrades, Speedy 2 and whatever we’d call Connor, and their good friends Red Arrow/Arsenal and Arrowette. We could also have fun moments between Roy’s daughter, Lian, and Black Canary’s adopted daughter, Sin (speaking of poorly used “Team Arrow” characters), that could add those light scenes that keep the comic from going too far into the darkness and adds some depth to their parents.
Think of the storytelling potential. You have one guy who grew up in a monastery, a former prostitute coming to grips with her old life (and I’ll even admit the HIV part has potential of its own), the ex-sidekick balancing single fatherhood with being a superhero, and the usual hang-ups that comes from working with your spouse and raising a kid (which means Ollie should have adopted Sin as well). I don’t know a lot about Arrowette, but under a GOOD writer, she has to be usable somehow! And her mom used to have the hots for Ollie. That’s got to work in somewhere in comics current soap opera mindset (or is that just Spider-Man?), right?
Could this be an awesome comic?
Hell, yeah, it could!
EDIT: Chris Sims has another good take at Comics Alliance.