Green Arrow & Batman pal around, Pt. 1Posted: 10/29/2013
And by pal around I mean grimace and yell at each other. Green Arrow has a reputation for being snarky and difficult to work with, and Batman puts his desire for politeness right next to his desire to make out with Commissioner Gordon. We can agree that they’re probably friends, and their lack of superpowers certainly bonds them in some way. But I have a feeling that Batman would just prefer if everyone around him shuts up, making noise only to quietly golf clap every time a batarang pierces a henchman’s head.
Today, our adventure in Green Arrow’s hometown Star City takes place in Green Arrow #69-72, written by Judd Winick and drawn by Scott McDaniel. One of Batman’s baddies touched down in the area, and our Dark Knight arrives to collect the missing piece of his rogues gallery. That and to give away crazy amounts of money.
Recognize that handsome mayor? The one in the blond goatee? Mayor Oliver Queen, who secretly patrols the city in a bright green Robin Hood outfit at night as Green Arrow, also serves as the city’s highest political force. Though he does wear a small mask, so no one can tell his secret identity while he leaps rooftops and smacks dudes with boxing glove arrows.
My DC history pales in comparison to my Marvel knowledge. I’m sort of ashamed, and that also means I don’t actually know what Batman did to save Green Arrow’s fair city. Though if someone mentions Batman rescuing millions of people from a massive danger, I’m cool with that. No proof or further details necessary — no need for suspension of disbelief here.
Unfortunately, the real reason for Batman’s arrival has to do with his one of his trickiest and meanest supervillains — one that holds grudges from the moment Superboy Prime punched so hard that he shattered reality and a young boy awoke in his coffin.
You probably already know Red Hood’s real name Jason Todd, the second Robin and current supervillain — though in the New 52, he’s evolved more into an anti-hero like a sort of lovable Punisher. Judd Winick, who writes this story, also wrote the arc Under the Hood, which brought Todd back from the dead in the first place. If anyone has an accurate description of how the revived evil Todd should act and talk, it’s Winick. Story-wise, Red Hood teams up with local crime boss Brick.
Not to be left out, Green Arrow has his own sidekick as well. Mia Dearden, going by the superhero name Speedy — a name I believe came about as the original Speedy claimed he shot his bow faster than his boss and certainly not as the least threatening superhero name in comics — lives up to the normal sidekick origin story requirements. She’s seventeen, orphaned, use to live on the streets, possesses a natural aptitude for roundhouse kicking crime, etc. Meet Speedy:
She’s made a joke so chilly that you could feel your own body temperature drop as you read it. Most importantly, she committed the most egregious of superhero mistakes — she made herself a fool in front of Batman. I imagine when the Dark Knight pops up to aid your crime watch, the thought is less “thank god” and more “dammit, now I have to be perfect.” Batman judges. Batman never makes errors. Batman only glares and criticizes. Why do you think every Robin that pops out of his teenage kung fu immersion camp comes out as a total badass? No choice when their mentor is the epitome of human capability. Physically and mentally. And he expects everyone who would wears that red and green underwear beside him to be the exact same way, no matter how recently Robin hit puberty.
Superheroes tend to make fairly terrible parents. Late night work schedule, mandatory emotional problems, constant explosions every time they walk outside, etc. And while Batman certainly tries his best despite his faults, he didn’t do a fantastic job with Jason Todd. I mean, Green Arrow isn’t exactly great either, but at least he doesn’t have to pretend to know what affection feels like.
Anyway, the three of them round up information the usual way — gossip spreads when Batman villains step onto streets outside Gotham. And by gossip, I’m talking about pee from the shorts of any local thugs who spot them.
It sucks to fight an enemy trained by Batman. It totally sucks.
The battle finally begins. Lots of fighting and philosophy on Friday! I’m just as excited as you are!