Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Green Arrow Annual #2 Review

Tie-In/Tied Up

Written by: Julia and Shawna Benson
Art by: Carmen Carnero, Trish Mulvihill, and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 30, 2018

Entitled rich boy Oliver Queen grew up a member of elite society. But after a drunken escapade left him stranded on a deserted island, Oliver learned to survive and become more than a man—he became a hunter. He became a survivor. He became a hero. But when Green Arrow comes face-to-face with a challenge he never saw coming, his entire worldview—his reason for being a hero—comes into question. Because that challenge has a name: Amanda Waller!

The Benson Sisters jump on the Green Arrow book and while I was really looking forward to seeing what we can expect for their upcoming run, DC decided to give us all a 'tweest" and make this one a tie-in to No Justice.  Okay...I would have rather seen a story that they had full control over, but I still went into this with an eye on how they handled Ollie and his supporting cast.

We open with a "what's in the box" bit that clears up by the end (no, it's not Gwyneth's head) before heading back to see Ollie getting the crap kicked out of him by Brick.  I guess the big guy is still mad at the outcome of the "Trial of the Century".  Yo, Brick...get in line!

The extended fight is really just page filler until one of Brainiac's ships arrives in Seattle and tries to get Oliver.  The tie-in is on as Oliver tries to get ahold of Team Arrow before all of the QPhones short out and Oliver saves the day with some ducking, weaving and arrow shooting.

We get a very forced way for Batgirl to get ahold of Oliver, but what got me the most in this issue is how people don't know things you think they should and then do out of nowhere...and then don't again.  Oliver has no idea the ship was Brainiacs until his name is said then without question, seems to know what is going on.  

Tying into No Justice, we find out that a Queen Industries Satelite has been hacked and destroyed, but it's not Brianiac's doing...Amanda Waller is in the house.  Well, she's at the North Pole, but you know...In the house!

Before dealing with her, though, Oliver fires up the Arrow Plane and heads to Happy Harbor where all of Steve Orlando's characters are in stasis and Ollie gets attacked by a few adaptive Brainiac robots.  Yea, they have the powers of the JLA, but Ollie has enough arrows and goes all Pokemon on them.  By the way, Fire melts Ice.  You're welcome!

After finding Canary frozen, it's off to the North Pole where the Arrow Plane goes down, Ollie mentions the island a couple of times, skis a bit and finds Waller at the Fortress of Solitude.  The two argue a bit and...scene.  Yep, it just ends since this is all stuff that will be addressed in the actual No Justice book.  Really?  Why go through all this just to end it so abruptly?!?

If that's not bad enough, we continue a few days later with Martian Manhunter thanking Ollie for saving the day without giving us any information at all.  It must have been pretty impressive since we find out what the box is from the beginning of the issue.  The issue then ends with Oliver and Dinah heading off on a road trip that sets up a later story.

I really don't know who this Annual is for.  If you haven't been reading No Justice, you will likely be confused and pissed off that you don't get the whole story.  If you are reading Scott Snyder's book, there is not anything here that I'd call necessary.  I don't blame the Benson's, this was a bullshit assignment and it really felt like they were handcuffed from the start.  The biggest bunch of nonsense was that because of the nature of the story, they didn't even have Ollie's comrades along for the ride.

So, do I think they know Ollie and will write him well?  Well...hopefully, they don't go to the island well too much more and they really seem into the whole "Pretty Bird" nickname for Dinah and that really has the potential to get real annoying, real fast.  My answer to the question, though, is I don't know yet and that's the biggest fault of this Annual.

Carmen Carnero and the entire art team do a really good job here.  The character work is good overall and even though a chunk of the issue is devoid of a lot of background details, it all looks good and doesn't detract at all from what is going on.

Bits and Pieces:

I was looking forward to seeing the future of the Green Arrow book here, but throwing the Benson's into a No Justice Tie-In handcuffed them and what we got was an issue that just was an unnecessary diversion until their real run starts.  I can't recommend this to anyone, whether they are reading No Justice or not.


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