Sunday, June 06, 2010

Green Arrow, Black Canary: For Better or Worse by Various

Green Arrow and the Black Canary should never have met- they were from different worlds- literally. The Black Canary came from Earth Two and was married. But when her husband was killed, she was so griefstricken that when the Justice League from Earth One ended up in her world, at the end of the Adventure, she asked to return to their world with them. They accepted, and so Dinah Lance ended up on Earth One.

But soon she came to have a greater appreciation of one of the heroes she'd thrown in her lot with, Oliver Queen, also known as the Green Arrow. Once a spoiled playboy, he'd been marooned on an island when his ship sank, and his only way to survive was to make himself a crude bow and arrows and hunt whatever food animals were on the small island. He supported himself for so long that way that his skill became immense, and when he finally returned to civilization, he outfitted himself with a bow and a quiver of trick arrows and set out to fight crime.

Now, Green Arrow and Black Canary are romantically involved, and this Graphic novel collects several stories involving the two of them, telling their story as it evolved over time.

In "In Each Man- A Demon" Oliver loses all his money, and wonders if he should give up the whole crimefighting gig. But when a trip to the Psychologist unleashes the darker part of Green Arrow and his fellow crimefighters, can they overcome their own bad sides and triumph?

"The Plot to Kill Black Canary" has Olliver volunteering Black Canary to test-drive a new motorcycle. But when a gang decides to use the stunt to take her out, can Green Arrow save her in time?

"Zatanna's Double Identity"- throws a little friction into Green Arrow and Black Canary's romantic relationship when Zatanna shows up with a decided Romantic interest in Green Arrow, and she no longer remembers how to do magic. Can Green Arrow figure out what's going on, and make it up to Dinah somehow?

in "A Gold Star for the Joker", the Joker forsakes Gotham for a visit to Coast City, and kidnaps Dinah. Can she and Green Arrow fight off the Joker without tipping off the criminal that Dinah is the Superhero known as the Black Canary?

"Lure for an Assassin" has Green Lantern returning to Coast City, only to fall ill with some strange illness. As John Stewart takes Hal Jordan back to the Guardians of the Universe to find a cure for his illness, Green Arrow must infiltrate a group who wants to kill the President. But when they threaten Dinah with Death, Green Arrow is forced to become their assassin. But how can he avoid killing the American President?

"Night Olympics" has both Green Arrow and Black Canary bemoaning the weak and wimpy nature of modern criminals. But there is a new one coming, a criminal who wields a Bow and Arrow, much like Green Arrow, and when this young man downs Black Canary, will Ollie be able to restrain his temper and not kill his opponent.

"The Hunters" has Ollie proposing marriage to Dinah, but she is suddenly conflicted. They are in a dangerous profession, where one or both of them could be killed at any time. How can she settle down when they could have children, and one night leave those children orphans?

But more problems lie ahead for Ollie and Dinah, not the least of which is the discovery that Ollie fathered a child with an assassin named Shado, and the little matter of his dying. But when Ollie returns from the dead, will his friends believe it is him? And what will the effect be on Dinah, who was traumatized by his death?

I loved this graphic novel. Ollie Queen and Dinah Lance have a unique kind of synergy, and they have been a couple for much longer than almost any other hero "couple" in comics, and it is obvious that they really love each other.

This graphic novel reprints some of their best stories together, both working together and working apart. The best part is that Dinah is not a weak character who always needs rescuing- she's generally right there with the other characters, opening cans of whoop-ass and taking names with the best of them. She's just like Ollie- a normal human with good training and skills, but no real superpowers (her Canary Cry came later).

I really enjoyed this book, and I'd like to see more of Dinah and Ollie. I hear they are getting married now, and I'd like to see more stories featuring them. These stories were great and well-done, and very entertaining. Recommended.

No comments: