Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Green Arrow (vol.3) #2 (2001)

Green Arrow (vol.3) #2 (May, 2001)
"Quiver, Chapter Two:  Long Time No See"
Writer - Kevin Smith
Penciller - Phil Hester
Inker - Ande Parks
Letterer - Sean Konot
Colorist/Separations - Guy Major
Editor - Bob Schreck
Associate Editor - Michael Wright
Cover Price: $2.50

When last we left Ollie, he looked like a hobo and was using arrows gimmicked with garbage!  Can't leave us hanging like that... so, let's see where this one is headed.


We open in Star City.  It's a normal mid-week party for some of the nogoodnik elite... sorta like a 2000's take on evil yuppies by the looks of it.  Suddenly a "young girl" arrives, doesn't look terribly like a young girl... but we'll play along.  She runs into a bouncer and is delivered to a back bedroom where the creepy Councilman Dreyfus is waiting for her.  Ya see, he was a nerd growing up and beautiful girls like her would never pay him any mind.  Now that he's got the moneys and the powers, he can make girls like her do whatever he wants... and so, he begins to mount her... while snapping Polaroids.  Classy!

Luckily for the young lass, this party was under the surveillance... of our main man.  He makes short work of all the guests and security before popping into that back room.  Well, actually... he leads with an arrow... with a timer on it!  tic-tic-tic...

Ollie proceeds to threaten the Councilman until another heavy attempts to intervene.  In the distraction, Dreyfus begins to flee.  After kayoing the guard, Ollie fires a bolo arrow through the wall, and snares him up.  He turns to the young girl and tells her to vamoose, but not before giving her a business card for the Star City Rec Center.  This next part is pretty neat, the Councilman produces a cell phone... which positively mystifies Ollie.  He thinks such technology ought to be reserved for Batman.  We'll talk about that more in a bit.

The police arrive, and Ollie makes like a tree... but, not before posing Dreyfuss along with some COCAINE??! and a photo of him attempting to make it with an underage girl.

We follow the young girl, who we learn is named Mia... Green Arrow fans ears should be perking up there... back to her apartment, or at least the apartment of her pimp/boyfriend, Richard where she's staying at.  He asks how the night went... and she tells him.  He makes with the "caring boyfriend" deal, saying he'd kill anyone who messed with her... which leads her to ask, if he cares so much... why does he make her hook?  She then tries to quit... which causes him to freak out.  He fears that she will lead the cops straight to his door... something he can't risk.

Mia ain't no shrinking violet (er, not that one) and so she, with relative ease, judo tosses the creep and pins him to the ground.  She then... get this... uses his knife to... sever the tendon between his thumb and pointer finger... which makes me twinge in places I didn't even realize I had!  I like that Mia is being portrayed as having both strength and street sense here.  It stands to reason, since she's been "on the streets", that she'd likely pick up a way or two to protect herself.

We rejoin Ollie as he returns to the mansion of Stanley Dover, where he's been staying.  I'm guessing Dover might be who he saved at the end of last issue.  I really wonder how I would have received this had I been more knowledgeable of the DC Universe back in 2001.  I mean, they say "Stanley Dover" here... Smith's not hiding where we're headed!  Inside, we see that Mr. Dover has helped set Ollie up with arrows and gear, ya know... get him back on his feet.  He asks if Dreyfus had any connection to the Star City Slayer who has been causing young people to disappear of late.  Ollie's not convinced... and just thinks the Councilman is a scumbag.

They continue their chat, and it's pretty neat.  Stanley asks how superheroes afford their gear, seeing as though Ollie's already used his time-bomb and bolo arrows.  He asks if Ollie has checked in with Green Lantern... but he's sure "the little blue guys" have him gallivanting in space, which... at this point, there's only one little blue guy... and one guy with a green ring, and he ain't Hal Jordan!  Stanley asks about Black Canary... to which, Ollie says she can more than take care of herself for a few weeks.  Weeks?  Hmm.  They flip on the television, and it's a news report about Green Arrow's latest escapade with the Councilman... the reporter wonders if Star City's Emerald Archer is "back in action"... to which Ollie replies "I never left." Hmm... innnn-teresting.

Stan and Ollie (d'oh!) aren't the only ones watching the news... we shift to the Batcave, where Batman immediately notices the precise angle with which the arrows are embedded into the wall.  That's not Connor's shot... it's Oliver's!

We wrap up with a visit to who we might assume to be... the Star City Slayer.  He's in a cloak, and draining the blood from a young boy to feed... his monster.  Hmm... it's amazing reading this a second time through, it's all so telegraphed!


Loved this!

Where do we start?  I suppose we can address the 500 lb pink monster in the room first.  It's been, like I said yesterday, 15 years since I read this.  Back then, I was still (relatively) new to the DC Universe... like, I had a decent handle on the mainstream, but if you were gonna come at me with Stanley and his Monster, or Angel and the Ape, or Fox and Crow... I'd have come back at you with a blank stare... and might have asked you to stop making up titles.

That being said, just about everything went over my head the first time through.  I'd love to hear from anybody who smelled what Smith was cookin' from the get-go... so, if that's you please reach out.  I wanna know if you received this story differently than those of us without knowledge of what was to come.  I mean, reading it now, it's anything but subtle!  It's still great, but it's (minus the twist) totally telegraphed.

The introduction of Mia Deardon was well done.  I'd forgotten that she showed up this early on.  For some reason I always associate her with Smith's next arc... though, there might be other reasons for that.  Like I said above, she handled herself quite well... and damn, slicing a tendon is among the more brutal things.  I remember my Earth Science teacher had messed hers up slicing a bagel... and it's something I still think about every time I slice a bagel!  Made me cringe then... and still makes me cringe today.

Ollie not understanding that he's been "off the table" is a great touch.  I really like the idea that he thinks he's been gone no more than a few weeks.  I mean, even if this came out in 1998 as originally intended, Ollie would have been gone about three years "real time".  Adding in the delays, I'd say Ollie was gone more like five to six years.  Either way though, this works great!  It opens us up to some great moments of "discovery", which I'm already looking forward to revisiting.

Batman is still the smartest dude in the room... even (and especially) when it's someone else's book.  I know I complain about that quite a bit... but, here it kinda tickled me.  I like that Bruce is so cognizant of Oliver's style and technique that he can identify an arrow he let fly at a glance.  It's something I totally buy, and doesn't feel at all like a reach.

My only little quibble is, we read that Mia is no more than fifteen... and that's something the art didn't really show me.  To be honest, when I saw her on the first page, my first thought was that it was Black Canary going under cover.  In flipping through again, there are bits where she looks a bit younger... but my first time through, and until the reveal, I was sure it was Dinah.

My minor complaint from last issue, the over-wordiness, is still sorta there, but far less noticeable.  In last issue's "letters page" (which was basically an apology letter from Smith to address the delays) he himself mentions that he over-wrote a bit.  This issue did feel far more breezy and the dialog was not as repetitive, or "using a lot of words and saying nothing", which, as a writing technique is (c) and TM Chris is on Infinite Earths, Inc.

Overall... another high recommendation.  We're basically dodging interesting concepts at every turn.  It's clear Smith had this mapped out to a "t", and I'm already chomping at the bit to get into the next issue.  This book feels new, even today... some decade and a half hence.  If you haven't already, definitely give this run a look.


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