ACW #640 – Speedy

Action Comics Weekly #640 (Speedy)
“Exiles V”
Writer – Mark Verheiden
Pencils – Frank Springer
Inks – Frank McLaughlin
Letters – Tim Harkins
Colors – Julianna Ferriter
Editor – Robert Greenberger

Welcome to the final installment of Speedy.  It’s been a long and winding ride for our second-or-third favorite archer… he’s gone from being Nightwing‘s sidekick for a six-part arc… to a co-headliner with Nightwing for a nine (hundred?)-part arc… to a five-part arc of his very own!  That’s a lotta Speedy, innit?  19 out of the 42 issues (remember, there were two chapters of Nightwing & Speedy in ACW #627) of Action Comics Weekly… had Speedy!

Today, we call it “run” for Roy… and enjoy the work of our old Secret Six art team!

We open with Speedy gazing over the crowd of protesters.  Our writer makes sure to point out that they probably “vote Republican”… because, if southern California is known for anything, it’s it’s strong Republican base.  Anyhoo, the protesters are carrying some pretty gross signs… the kind of signs that are so bad that you probably couldn’t even post them online as an example of “bad” these days without people flipping out.  So, I won’t.  You probably have a pretty good idea the sort of words appear on ’em.  So, Speedy heads outside to engage in some “crowd control”, and by that… I mean he fires a net-arrow into the crowd… followed by a gas-arrow.  The numbers game soon catches up to our second-or-third favorite archer, and he starts getting his butt kicked.

Just then… a familiar face arrives on the scene!  Is that… could it be… no way, it’s Randy Violent Sean Bauman!  He tells the crowd to “leave da kid alone” before entering the hospice.

Inside, Sean Bauman/Phillip Lossner is led to his brother’s bedside… and we finally get to meet the man this whole arc has been built around, Donald Lossner.  He is, as you might imagine, quite ill.

The brothers have a heart-to-heart, which ends in an embrace.  Sean tells Speedy to keep his motorbike as a token of his gratitude.  I honestly thought we were going to wrap up with the cliche deathbed scene.  But alas, Donald will live to see another day… just not another comics panel.

With the job (well?) done, Roy heads off to meet back up with that date he abandoned at the bar… ya know, the one that probably doesn’t want anything to do with him since finding out he has a daughter?  Yeah, her.  They reconnect, and… get this… she tells him she doesn’t want anything to do with him, since he has a daughter.  Wonk, wonk.

We wrap up with our man returning to the offices of Owen Burley, P.I., and it looks like the goofball’s got another gig for him.  Thankfully, it’s one we’re probably never going to see!

All’s well that ends… right?

Boy, this wasn’t all’at great… it almost feels like this arc was paced expecting a sixth chapter to wrap things up… but found out about the Human Target one-shot that will be taking the “slot” around halfway through.  Very odd pacing, on an already unsatisfying story.

Let’s get into it… from start to finish.  We open with some weirdly-specific anti-Republican rhetoric.  I hate it when either side of the aisle pulls this kind of “drive by” commentary in comics.  It’s just… “here’s a bad guy… they must vote for the party I don’t vote for.”  It’s an oversimplification and an arrogance that makes me think less of any writer who engages in it.

Speedy, again, slings before thinking… I mean, firing a gas-arrow into a crowd as a first resort?  That doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do.  Doesn’t seem like the most legal thing to do, either.  Can you just attack people who are protesting?  Holding signs and chanting?  I mean, we might want to… especially in cases like this, but… can we?  That just seems like a way to punch your ticket to a night in jail.  The whole thing gets out of hand pretty quickly… but, we got this chicken/egg thing here.  Did the crowd grow unruly because they were always going to… or because a gaudily-clad archer had his bow trained on them?

Phillip Lossner arrives to defuse the situation… and to make peace with his ailing brother.  This was a pretty good scene, kind of boilerplate… but, not bad.  I am happy the sidestepped the cliche of Donald dying in Phillip’s arms immediately after their heart-to-heart.  If I were a betting man, I’d have put it all on that exact thing happening.

Roy gets dumped by that lady he picked up during a moment of (her) weakness… because she ain’t fittin’ to battle Lian for Roy’s attention.  Fair play, right?  At least she isn’t leading him on… or, worse yet, trying to unseat Lian as Roy’s top priority.  Our man doesn’t quite see it from her perspective… and, in an incredible showing of maturity, chucks a few ice cubes in her direction.

The non-ending… I mean, is there anyone out there hoping for more of this?  Like, the “Further Adventures of Speedy and Burley, P.I.’s”?  Yeesh… some characters aren’t headliners… and, ya know what… that’s okay.  While I didn’t dig this much at all, I will say… this is the sort of thing that Action Comics Weekly is all about.  Odd little “try out” stories… some are going to hit the mark… and others, well… just ain’t.

Tomorrow: Welcome to Hell

One thought on “ACW #640 – Speedy

  • Grant Kitchen

    Btw at the end of this story it says that Speedy will appear in Green Arrow Annual #2 and it also mentions elsewhere (in the last ACW letters page I think) that he will play a major role in that GA Annual. Well, I went out and bought that Annual because of that. Well, spoiler alert: the extent of Speedy's "appearance" in that issue is a "Who's Who" entry in the back and it's not even a full page entry at that! He shares that page with another GA supporting character. Just in case you were planning on seeking out that issue I thought I'd save you the time and money.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *