The Complexities of Internet Social Justice in Green Arrow 43

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: The internet can be a powerful tool for justice, often simply because it allows information to get to more people than ever before, faster than ever before. It allows the voices of the oppressed and downtrodden to be heard, and I think the #metoo movement may be the greatest sign of this: great things have been accomplished, impossible targets have been taken down, thanks to the platform for social justice the internet provided.

Like any tool, though, the internet’s platform can also be misused. Let’s look at the recent situation where Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired by Disney. I’m not condoning Gunn’s offending tweets, though it should be noted that Gunn acknowledged and apologized for them years ago and never did anything like them again, and Disney was well aware of those tweets when they hired him. What’s significant about this situation is that Gunn’s firing was orchestrated in poor faith, by an alt-right goon who couldn’t have cared less about Gunn’s tweets; he wanted Gunn fired for criticizing the president, and the tweets were the easiest way to do it. He took a platform for social justice and misused it to serve his own agenda, and it’s scary not only that there’s no safeguard against this, but that organizations like Disney can’t see the difference; they simply bow to the “Court of Public Opinion” no matter who’s behind it.

This danger is front-and-center in Green Arrow 43, an issue that finds Oliver and company facing an internet vigilante, an angry public, and a tricky moral dilemma. Continue reading

Green Arrow 38: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Michael DeLaney 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: In the Justice League Unlimited animated series, Green Arrow isn’t recruited to the League for his skills with a bow and arrow, but for his conscience and candor. Indeed, in all the character’s best portrayals Green Arrow’s greatest strength isn’t his trick arrows, but his unflinching honesty, his willingness to stand up to (and get in the face of) absolutely anybody, and his “man on the ground” perspective. These qualities are at the forefront of Green Arrow 38, an issue where (outside of one largely symbolic image) Oliver Queen doesn’t fire a single arrow, instead saving the day simply by standing up for what he believes in. Continue reading

Oliver Casts a Long Shadow in Green Arrow 36

by Michael DeLaney

This article will contain SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

No man is an island — even an archer who spent a decent amount of time in solitude on an actual island. I like to think of Green Arrow as this solo swashbuckling hero, but in the pages of Green Arrow he’s not that, amd maybe he never was. It’s difficult to separate Oliver Queen from the many lives he has affected. Continue reading

Compassion vs. Selfishness in Green Arrow Annual 1

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: Early in Green Arrow Annual 1, Oliver says that “on Christmas everything turns out exactly as it should.” It’s a nice sentiment, but that’s exactly what it is — sentiment. The world doesn’t magically change just because it’s a holiday, and holidays can, in fact, be very depressing times for many people. If Christmas is a special time, it’s because people make it that way, and the desire to do so is the clear line that divides Green Arrow and Count Vertigo. Continue reading

Machinations Abound in Green Arrow 33

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Machinations abound in Green Arrow 33. The issue finds Oliver Queen back home in Seattle Star City, ready to once again protect his home and prove his innocence, but for the moment Oliver seems to be the only person in the city without some sort of master plan — but not without a trump card. Continue reading

A Strong — But Not Perfect — Finale in Green Arrow 31

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Green Arrow 31 brings Oliver’s “hard-traveling hero” journey to an end in a satisfying, uplifting manner, helping Oliver earn a new reputation amongst the superhero community while also reminding him of the unique role he plays within it. Likewise, Ollie and Black Canary fulfill their missions, destroying the Ninth Circle’s satellite and rescuing Wendy/proving Ollie’s innocence, respectively. This issue does what it needs to to be a successful finale, yet there’s a few nagging details that keep it from being quite as strong as the installments that proceeded it. Continue reading

Green Arrow 24

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 24, originally released June 8th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: It’s a unique experience to watch a set of creators leave their mark on an established character in real time. Though Benjamin Percy works with a handful of different Rebirth artists, none compares to the chapters that are drawn by Juan E. Ferreyra. Under their direction Green Arrow is returning to the socialist hero of yore in a unique Rebirth fashion. Continue reading

Green Arrow 19

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 19, originally released March 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: Putting aside your differences and working together towards a common goal is such a simple idea to grasp, but not always as easy to enact. As human beings, we are complicated and fragile things and easily allow our emotions to stand in the way of progress. Sometimes it helps to have a third party tell us to get our heads out of our asses and just do the work. Continue reading

Batgirl 49

batgirl 49

Today, Michael and Drew are discussing Batgirl 49, originally released March 2nd, 2016.

Michael: DC Comics has (sort of) clarified what its upcoming “Rebirth” is, and it has been changing my reading of every comic I’ve read from them in the meantime. It’s still anyone’s guess as to what kinds of changes “Rebirth” brings to the DC line, but we are definitely at the climax/resolution threshold of each title’s story. Case in point: the semi-continuity-resolving, Inception-ish issue that is Batgirl 49. Continue reading

Black Canary 8

black canary 8

Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Black Canary 8, originally released February 10th, 2016.

Mark: One of the privileges of adulthood is the opportunity to choose your family. Even if you love your immediate family, the family that raised you, as you grow older and move away you build another sort of family — a family comprised of friends, romantic partners, mentors, work colleagues, and so forth. This new family is your social circle, the ones your rely on on a day-to-day basis as an adult. No matter your childhood, this chosen family is an essential part of being an adult, of being independent.

The great gift and the great tragedy of life is that people can flit in and out of our lives seemingly at a whim. I moved to LA with no job and no friends, but have lucked into the most wonderful circle of human beings imaginable. Still, some friends with whom I was once super close have become more like acquaintances, and through no fault of either party. What can you do? Life moves you in one direction, and your friend in another. So even in adulthood, as much as we choose our family, life still finds a way to intervene. Continue reading