Green Arrow #46
Oliver returns to Star City after the funeral for Roy to find that Citizen has continued to work in his absence, going after the rich and corrupt in Star City. To do so, Citizen has enlisted the aid of like-minded citizens in the vein of V for Vendetta, with his accomplices sporting the same mask as Citizen. Oliver and Dinah follow a trail of breadcrumbs, starting with Ollie's friend Kevin, who informs Green Arrow that Oliver was not driving the car that killed Nadia (more on this in a moment), and eventually the trail leads them to a cop named Joe Stranz, who is in fact Citizen. After Stranz escapes, Oliver attempts to out Citizen in public through the proper legal channels, only to climb into a police van driven by Stranz, who then kidnaps Oliver.
There are a number of issues with this current story arc, but it essentially boils down to a single problem. In the interest of including an undercurrent narrative regarding due process and the court of public opinion, which I am not trying to dismiss as it is highly relevant and interesting, the story manages to lose a number of opportunities for greatness. I wrote two months ago about how this arc could potentially take one of two paths. The first path– the bold path– would have been to saddle Oliver with the mistakes of a reckless youth and expose said mistakes for the world to see. To invoke real consequences for the character as a rich white male in the 21st century United States would have made quite the statement. The second, more predictable path, would be to establish the death of Nadia as a red herring– something Oliver was framed for, setting up the pseudo-villain (or perhaps vigilante is equally appropriate?) to have been somebody in Nadia’s life who is seeking to correct the injustice of her killer walking free.
The latter it is and thus a golden opportunity to forever change the landscape of the character feels like it has slipped just out of the Bensons’ grasp. In and of itself, although predictable, the story is well written, and as previously stated, relevant to current issues faced in the United States, but it had a chance to be something special; it could have been a book remembered by fans for decades, spoken of in hushed tones as we do “The Longbow Hunters” and the O’Neil/Adams run. Instead, it is distinctly of the moment with a blind eye towards the future.
As we barrel towards the conclusion of the Julie and Shawna Benson's tenure on Green Arrow, we see a story teetering on the line between greatness and forgettable.
Green Arrow #46: The Well Worn Path
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 4/104/10
- Art - 6/106/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10