“Boys’ Night Out”
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Manuel Garcia (p), Steve Bird (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
After the dramatic events of the Straight Shooter storyline, Roy Harper (aka Arsenal) comes for a visit to the Queen household to see if he can help out. Oliver asks him to take Connor out for a night on the town. The two “brothers” bond over used book stores, strip clubs and a convenience store hold-up.
It must have been difficult to come up with an epilogue after the fantastic Straight Shooter storyline but Winick does it again proving he is one of the best Green Arrow writers around (if not the best). The wonderful thing about this story is that Green Arrow is barely in it, but you don’t seem to mind. The supporting cast of characters is more than able to carry the load, thanks in no small part to their development by writers like Winick. With Mia still in the hospital and apparently not speaking to Ollie, and with Ollie himself feeling very guilty about how his work came literally crashing through his front door endangering the ones closest to him, Roy Harper comes for a visit to see if there is anything he can do to help.
The opening panels here show off some great artwork, deep lines showing every inch of Oliver’s age and worries. Roy and he certainly look like they’ve been around the block a few times and have the lines in their faces to show it. Unfortunately this starts to break down once Roy and Connor head out for the night and we move away from detailed facial close-ups. The drawing of Roy’s face becomes a bit inconsistent throughout the rest of the book and the rest of the artwork in the issue neither adds nor subtracts from the overall feel of the book, it just is.
The rest of the story then breaks down into a boys’ night out with first a trip to a used bookstore (Connor’s idea), then a strip club (Roy’s favorite hangout apparently), then a convenience store where the two get to team up to prevent a robbery. While the action is predictable it is the characters that Winick is interested in and where he excels. Like Batman, he is building a crime-fighting family around the title character, each with their own personality and interests. Throughout the evening Connor and Roy have one long-running conversation in which they come to realize they are different shades of Oliver Queen, the playboy and the philosopher. But Winick does not reduce them to stereotypes. Rather this issue goes a long way to helping round them out as full flesh and blood characters. Note their handling of the hold-up. When it comes to business they play it equally cool rather that have it break down to Roy’s Type A response vs. Connor’s Type B. They have their differences, but they discuss them. And in the end, for Roy especially, you see he has been influenced by just as much as he has reacted to living with Oliver Queen. Roy and Connor are at different stages in their relationship with Oliver and Winick shows that nicely.
My one big complaint with this issue is that Roy never mentions his own child. In an issue devoted to family, particularly father figures and fathers and sons this seems an amazing oversight. How could this not come up in any way, shape or form?
The end of the Winick run on Green Arrow should not be missed. While it was difficult to follow Straight Shooter with just one more issue, Winick writes a nice epilogue here enhancing the supporting cast of what is already a very strong book. This current run of Green Arrow has been blessed with truly exceptional writers to date. Let’s see if it continues . . .
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!