Pick of the Week

10.10.2007 – Green Arrow and Black Canary #1

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Avg Rating: 4.3
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Size: pages
Price:

Script – Judd Winick

Art – Cliff Chiang

Colors – Trish Mulvihill

Letters – Pat Brosseau

DC Comics – $3.50

*clap* *clap* *clap*

To those of you at home, the above was meant to describe a little thing we at iFanboy like to call the “slow clap.” Best seen in a movie (such as Wet Hot American Summer), when a character as just done something so outrageous, so unbelievable, so against the odds, that the crowd around him or her don’t know what to do. Until there is one lone sound amongst the crowd.

*clap* *clap* *clap*

One person begins applauding slowly, and then another and another, until everyone is standing, nodding, smiling and cheering.

Mr. Judd Winick, I am officially starting the slow clap for what you’ve done with Green Arrow.

You see, I hated the twist at the end of the Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special. I thought it was cheap and insulting to me as a reader and a fan. Having Green Arrow inexplicably attack Black Canary, and then have her seemingly kill him was appalling. If Conor hadn’t planted the seed of doubt in my head about my reaction by explaining how it was a great and classic superhero comics twist, I don’t know if I would have seen it through to this book.

One of the problems with comics (as well as TV), is that when you have two characters who are obviously in love the thrill is to watch them chase one another. It immediately gets boring once they’re together. It’s the Moonlighting effect, and we’ve seen it in comics with Superman and Lois Lane, Cyclops and Jean Grey, Peter and Mary Jane, as well as many others. Putting a couple together makes them destined to be apart, because that’s where the story is.

There’s been a lot of discussion in interviews and at conventions this past year about Green Arrow and Black Canary, about how they’ve pursued one another for over 30 years, isn’t it time they got to be together? That, my friends, was just a cover for what Winick has done, which isn’t the killing of Ollie Queen. Come on, did you really think they would kill him? No, what he’s done is he’s solved (at least for now) the classic problem of making a couple boring by getting them together, by immediately tearing them apart, not by their own choosing or doing, right from the get go. They’re still in love. They still want to be together. But they’re not. And there’s where the story is and I’m hooked.

What really pushed this issue over the edge for me – and it wasn’t just the great story that Winick is weaving – was the art. Have you heard of Cliff Chiang? If you haven’t, you should go look him up. Because ladies and gentlemen, I have a new name to add to my favorite list of artists. A few weeks ago, I picked up the Doctor Thirteen trade (on a whim and a recommendation) and Chiang’s art blew me away. I actually wasn’t aware he was even on Green Arrow and Black Canary until like last week and I was so excited. He didn’t disappoint. In fact, seeing characters I know better than those in Doctor Thirteen was a delight. Specifically, there is a two page spread featuring the heavy hitters of the DC Universe showing their reaction to Ollie’s “death” and giving advice to Black Canary that is just immaculate. Chiang has a clean style that brings immediate reference to animation style, but I think that is to easy to say and then dismiss. Fluid and dynamic, Chiang is a stark contrast to a lot of the sketchier artist working today. His art makes this feel like a comic book, without feeling immature. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Applause to both Mr. Winick and Mr. Chiang for giving me the bang for my buck (especially at $3.50 – ouch) to make this a wonderful comic book to kick off a new series and new future for some of my favorite characters in the DCU.

Ron Richards

Love to hate it

ron@ifanboy.com

Did you read Green Arrow and Black Canary #1?
Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!

It’s billed on the cover as “The Team You Did NOT Expect To See!” I like to describe this week’s pick as “The Pick of the Week You Did NOT Expect To Read!” Derivative? Yeah. But I like it.

Comments

  1. New avengers didn’t give me the satisfaction I wanted for the first time in a long time. But I picked up the first 2 issues of Thirteen Steps and thought it was awsome. Check it out.

  2. AWESOME!! i can’t wait to read this book tomorrow. I was a little wary but now im sold, im definitely picking it up

  3. Wow. I’m kinda surprised with the POW. Loved the various wedding tie-ins and Winick’s Green Arrow. Can’t wait to read my copy of GA/BC!

  4. This was a fantastic book. The only other one that came close this week was Booster Gold. This has turned out to be a surprise of a book.

  5. Nice selection sir. We agree.

    Awesome book.

  6. I did not really like this issue, art was amazing, but not much else, it felt very by the numbers to me.
    Favorate was definatly Booster Gold though

  7. Good pick guys but I would have to say that Green Lantern #24 was the best book I read this week. I feel like it was everything that a comic should be and I literally got chills on the final page.

    Geoff Johns is a genius.

  8. I’m so glad you picked this, Ron– this book was awesome. The 2-page spread you reference was great– it harkened back to the 2-page spread in the Green Arrowy/Black Canary JLA Wedding Special, showing the reactions of various people receiving their wedding invites. The issue also had references/tie-ins to Countdown and even back to 52. I loved the Hal Jordan stuff, the Batman stuff, the Connor Hawke stuff, and of course all the Dinah stuff. Just a really, really good comic book.

    This was a great week overall– I think I enjoyed all my books other than New Avengers. Booster Gold was amazing (again!), Green Lantern was really good, Black Adam was very good (the best so far in that series), and even Superman was a really nice issue. Best DC week I can remember.

    Now, I didn’t buy Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man– but I read the last couple of pages– can somebody tell me who the heck that was on the last page…?

  9. I felt that this week was just kind of blah. This book was definitely one of the best one’s that I read, and I had a lot of fun with it. I especially like the twist on what happened with Ollie (although I wonder how long it’s been going on…any thoughts from people who read the original GA series?) And Ron’s right, the art in this book is freaking awesome!

    New Avengers was AWFUL this week. The art was really, really bad this week. It was like a tendon in Yu’s hand tore in half while he was drawing. Also, the story had nothing to do with the cover! I was so looking forward to a symbiote Wolverine, but no…we got to focus on the Hood trying to be the Kingpin. Ugh.

    Nova and Wolverine were pretty good this week, but not great. Just ok.

    Oh and the two Image books I picked up were really, really bad. Graveslinger made no sense what so ever, and the copy that I bought had like 6 ripped pages. The Sorrow was not good this week either. I’m thinking I’m going to drop this one, even though I love everything else Remender does.

    Thank god for the Dynamo 5 trade this week.

  10. Apparently, I’m the only person who doesn’t think “the chase” is the most interesting part of the love story. I just think it’s frustrating.

  11. The second Tigra scene, in New Avengers, freaked me out. It felt a little like watching Goodfellas on network television. It didn’t quite have the teeth that I think that sort of scene usually does, but the fact that Bendis went there in a Marvel superhero comic book impressed me.

    I am a sucker for the Green Lantern oath. Anytime it occurs I get a big grin on my face. I am not sure why that is. This week’s Green Lantern was a thousand times more enjoyable than last week’s Green Lantern Corp. This is my pick for this week.

    Was that the last issue of Stormwatch PHD? If so then that sucks. I was really enjoying this series. This last issue was a bit off. The art wasn’t any good at all and the pacing was too quick, but the rest of the run was very well done.

  12. Did comics come out already? I thought it was on Thursday b/c of Columbus Day.

  13. No, Columbus Day isn’t a major “everything shuts down” holiday.

  14. couldn’t agree more with ron here – i was disappointed by the conclusion of the wedding issue…and then this book came around and TOTALLY redeemed everything. the story has instantly become interesting and exciting, and i’m thankful i didn’t have to suffer through depressed and angry black canary for 4-5 issues. and beyond that, the art was wonderful too.

    hated the fact that the new avengers didn’t make any appearances in their book, and thought that while booster gold was ok, it was the weakest issue so far. so i’m totally down with this pick.

  15. Chang is one of my favorite artists out there. I actually have a picture of the Doctor Thirteen gang as my desktop background as we speak. I will definitely be picking this issue up.

  16. When i read my first 4 comics i didnt i was chosing Green lantern as my pick but when i read BC/GA i was just like “damn this good”. its funny when i saw the condolences page i was thrown off by the Athenians part thinking WTF are do they want? Great Comic.

  17. A slow *clap* for you Ron. Nice and nicely done. Adventure, excitement, dissection a comicbook fan NEEDS all these things. Not to mention amazing Darwin Cooke-esque art. I also enjoyed the subtle references to Identity Crisis: both Batman’s method and the autopsy show a strong understanding of these characters and the reoccurring theme of deconstruction, going all the way back to Moore’s first issue of Swamp Thing, in the DCU. The best part about this is that Winick is having much more fun with these philosophical ideas than Moore and Meltzer. He might even be poking fun at them, which I like.

    But moving on to the reason for my first post ever. What’s with all the hate on New Avengers. I felt that the first three issues of this arc were lackluster because of all the random, unexplained encounters. This issue tied all that up for me. It brought the story back to the raft which is the whole reason for the new avengers existence. It also set up a great society of street level villains that match up to this team. I can’t wait to see what happens next. And Yu’s art is the same as it ever was: fresh, energetic, and AWESOME!

    Is it just me or does anyone else think we won’t get this silly symbiote story until Mighty Avengers gets on track thirty years from now?

    Final words: Thanks for the suggestion of Omega the Unknown. This answered a question I’ve had for a long time. What if Daniel Clowes wrote for marvel? Fantastic!

  18. A lot of my favorite titles came out this week, and I was wholly unimpressed by all of them. Especially Runaways. All that delay between issues for squat. At least Whedon’s lateness has given Terry Moore plenty of time to get his run nipped in the bud.

  19. Thank god there was actually someone who posted they liked New Avengers. I honestly think this was my favorite book this week. I didn’t really get into reading comic books until Civil War so all I’ve really gotten is heroes vs heroes. This issue did a really good job setting up a really scary group of villains. I spent so much time reading and re reading the page where The Hood was going over his plan. I loved it. And the beatdown on Tigra….brutal, scary, intimidating. Catching it on video camera and showing it to the gang(however insignificant it may seem was a nice touch. Making something so brutal and sinister into entertainment, into a joke made them that much scarier. This might have read incoherrently but I loved New Avengers this week

  20. new avengers is consistently my favorite book of the week when it is released unless something else comes out that week that really blows me away, so i’m with you. haven’t read green arrow/black canary yet though, so i couldn’t say which i like more, but i’m with you on the love for new avengers.

  21. Yeah so far I’ve only read 2 of my books this week: New Avengers and Green Arrow/Black Canary and I;d have to say that GA/BC was the victor of the two. I still liked New Avengers though.

  22. Yeah so far I’ve only read 2 of my books this week: New Avengers and Green Arrow/Black Canary and I;d have to say that GA/BC was the victor of the two. I still liked New Avengers though.
    Anybody read Booster Gold?

  23. My Pick of the week was probably Green Lantern 24. THe fighting continued (although there are some weird things to it, like why didn’t Guy know that Lethal force got enabled? Whatever, I’m past it), and things actually started happening aside from lanterns and sinestro corpsmen getting torn apart. And Kyle’s back and isn’t Ion… I can live with that. Next month looks to be awesome, and I just hope that they don’t blow it.

    New Avengers was… interesting. Although I usually don’t mind things like this, I was expecting the NEw Avengers to actually be in it since the cover was Wolverine getting a symbiote. Other than that (and the fact that I still don’t really like Yu’s art), I really liked this issue. Just a quick question though: did they shoot Tigra at all? there was one frame that I couldn’t figure out what was happening but looked like a bullet. That entire scene gave me chills (less than if it was actually someone I cared about, but whatever). All in all, a good book

    Booster Gold continues to be awesome, I loved how he was drunk for half of the book.

    And finally, Captain Carrot and the Last Ark was AWESOME. I was kinda confused since I didn’t notice the 1 (of 3) on the cover, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t like this.

  24. I’ve come to really appreciate Winick. He gets a lot of crap for rocking the boat, but he always gets interesting results IMO. I just recently picked up the “Under the Hood” trades and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    So, since I’m a trade reader and won’t get to this for a while, would anybody mind spoiling it for me? What’s the deal with Ollie? I’m dying to know.

  25. off subject again…but….Yu’s art has got to be my favorite right now and can someone give me some info on Booster Gold. I didn’t read 52 and I don’t know him from the past. Everyone seems to love this book so i’m interested in picking it up, but i wanna know a bit about it first.

  26. I don’t have the issue in front of me right now, but I’m pretty sure it explains him pretty well in the first issue… so you can start there. If not, wikipedia. The series is AWESOME though. Basically, he has to go through time fixing things (the past 2 issues have been him keeping JLA members alive by fixing their pasts) that someone wearing a Supernova suit (check the 1st issue) has been messing up.

  27. zachtastic 4: I agree with deezer. Just pick up Booster Gold #1– it has several pages detailing what you need to know about his origin, etc. I do love that book….

  28. You know, I think my dislike of New Avengers this month had to do with two things: first, the cover was completely misleading. I went into the book expecting a big fight with symbiotes, but the whole issue is about The Hood and his band of merry men. The second problem I have (which has been a problem for most of the run that I’ve read) is that Bendis writes this series in such a disjointed manner that you have no idea what’s going on half the time until one issue comes out that ties it all together. I get using stuff like that as a story telling technique, but for the last like 5 issues it’s made the story incomprehensible. I can’t enjoy a book that I can’t follow.

    That said, I’m usually a fan of Yu’s art, but goddamn it was so horrible this month. Just way too sketchy and sloppy from the norm.

  29. Just read GA BC 1 and I have to say I don’t love the art. It’s very very classic, which is cool, but i prefer thinner outlines for the most part. However, I do LOVE Chiang’s batman and it would be really fun to see a Green Lantern mini-series done old school style by Chiang as well. I thought the story line was pretty good. I’m looking forward to the next issue, which is the obivous litmus test for a good book.

    My book of the week so far, however, is Batman Confidential 10. I don’t actually know if it came out this week or not though ’cause I’ve missed the past couple weeks of books. Anyway, it was a VERY brutal and gritty take on Joker’s origin and the art fit the storyline perfectly. Check it out if you want a seriously dark batman arch.

  30. Liked it. Good pick. Now I have to find my copy of JLA #13 because I forgot what happened. ugh.

  31. I’m sure you guys were busy and your heads were about to explode from all the editing and stuff but I’m diggin’ that I get a third episode of iFanboy this weeked. Especially since it’s 2 HOURS LONG!!! Haven’t listened to them yet but I’m very excited. Thanks guys.

  32. Green Arrow? Sorry, i couldn’t get past the fact that Batman wears a butchers apron over his costume while using a red chainsaw to split the chest cavity. That was re-donkulous.

  33. I can’t believe you guys forgot that Everyman was one of Luthor’s cronies from 52!

  34. Green Arrow? Sorry, i couldn’t get past the fact that Batman wears a butchers apron over his costume while using a red chainsaw to split the chest cavity. That was re-donkulous.

    So no gags or jokes for you? Life must be so dull.

  35. I agreed with Ron’s comments on Black Summer #3, I know that Ellis is prone to killing people off with lead ups but this issue really surprised me as for the last 3 issues we see this guy as the protagonist, he fights with his superior/team mate who says they should surrender, and when he does so, he gets himself blown away!
    I didn’t really mind the art, I found it to be appropriate to the book content and the series content, this was my pick of the week as I keep far away from anything wedding related ever since X-men #30.

  36. Question for everyone: regarding New Avengers, as mentioned on the podcast, the way they dropped/shortened the whole Deathlok storyine. Previous issues had set up the bad guys’ acquisition of Deathlok as a big deal– so big a deal in fact that at the end of one issue (was it last issue…?) the New Avengers went charging off to warn Tony Stark that the bad guys were going to try and kill him with Deathlok.

    Am I right on my recap so far? I’m doing it out of memory, I don’t keep the issues with me here at work. 🙂

    Anyway, in last week’s issue, the Deathlok thing was dealt with in like one page– the baddies used him and he was destroyed. In the podcast, Ron, Josh & Conor credited that as being just a cool thing that happened– all this buildup re: Deathlok, then he was quickly disposed of.

    Is there any chance that Bendis had to shift plans somehow re: Deathlok, though– perhaps part of some effort to sync up New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, after they’ve gotten so far apart….? I know he writes these issues way in advance, but perhaps it’s possible he came back and rewrote certain things, got rid of certain storylines, to try and deal with the delays caused by Cho on Mighty Avengers….?

  37. just a question raised by the podcast…
    aren’t all of the villains in the Hood’s crew the guys that broke out of the Raft?

  38. Is there any chance that Bendis had to shift plans somehow re: Deathlok, though– perhaps part of some effort to sync up New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, after they’ve gotten so far apart….?

    I’ve been thinking the same thing, but not because of the Deathlok business, which makes pretty good sense to me. The cover is what has me thinking that originally this was going to be a crossover with Mighty Avengers fighting the symbiote swarm. But since MA is far behind Bendis quickly wrote –and Yu quickly drew — this fill-in issue that delves into the back story of The Hood and his gang. They had to keep the Wolverine cover because they had already solicited it. I don’t have any evidence for this, it’s just a theory, but I’d love to hear someone from Marvel comment on this. (Where’s Jim McCann when we need him?)

    If anyone has an October Marvel Previews they could go read what the pitch for the issue was. That might give some clues.

  39. I could never sell my comics off to make ends meet. Well, honestly, that depends on how badly I needed to make ends meet. However I have recently come to to conclusion that I will have to dispose of some of these comics at some point. The collection is just getting too big. I keep saying I am going to go through my boxes and pick out the ones that best represent my comic tastes. The problem I have is want my books to go to someone who is going to read them and enjoy them like I did when I bought them. I don’t like the idea of them going into a quarter bin somewhere. When I do get my ass in gear I plan on giving them away to a local children’s hospital, but I wouldn’t expect to be paid for that.

    No, I couldn’t sell my comics.

  40. Agreed–Green Arrow/Black Canary was a lot of fun to read. I’m also turning the corner on Mr. Winnick.

    Oh, and I know you guys discussed the sort of ‘played’ jokes in Booster Gold #3, but seeing Skeets hold the reigns of a horse alongside Booster was freakin’ hilarious! I was SO expecting Ron to mention that!

  41. I have been reading Black Summer since it has come out and I have really enjoyed which surprises me because Ellis is not one of my favorite writers.

    But Ron’s review of the book I thought was horrible. It was barely in context with the actually story.

  42. If anyone has an October Marvel Previews they could go read what the pitch for the issue was. That might give some clues.

    I’ve checked and negated my own theory. This story was planned at least since July.
    NEW AVENGERS #35
    Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
    Pencils & Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
    The Hood makes his play for the big time by gathering the most ruthless rogues gallery of evil the Marvel Universe has ever seen. What does a guy who wants to be the “Kingpin of all super-villains” do to make his point? You have to see it to believe it.
    Guest-Starring Tigra. Poor Tigra. Poor, poor Tigra.
    32 PGS./Rated A

  43. I don’t know if you gents missed this because I don’t think you mentioned it on the podcast, but there’s some even deeper stuff going on in GA/BC#1. Athena was revealed to be an impostor(to the readers) at the end of Amazon’s Attack. Turns out she’s Granny Goodness in disguise so this book is launching with a Countdown/Final Crisis tie-in (something that hopefully doesn’t spoil it in the end).

  44. Thunderbolts has fallen off the radar for similar reasons as Runaways–it’s either delayed or on some bimonthly schedule. Also, the last issue was mostly setup, so it’s been a while since stuff has “happened” in the book to get people talking.

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