Being an Ally in Green Arrow 40

by Spencer Irwin

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

Spencer: One of the biggest challenges for many people — but especially for straight, white, cis-gendered males — is realizing that not every story is your story. We don’t always need to be the center of attention, our opinions don’t always need to be voiced, our methods and plans aren’t always right, much less the best ones for everyone else involved. That’s certainly what Oliver Queen was reminded of in last month’s Green Arrow 39 as his attempt to help out the war-torn country of Rhapastan backfired on him. He never should have gotten involved at all, right?

Wrong. Ollie’s conscious is his best feature — his mistake wasn’t getting involved, but charging head-first into a strange land without truly understanding the problem and working with the locals to address the root causes. The people of Rhapastan didn’t need a savior — they needed an ally, and that’s exactly what Ollie becomes in Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Marcio Takara’s Green Arrow 40. Continue reading

The Trap of Guilt in Green Arrow 39

by Spencer Irwin

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

Spencer: For the first few decades of his existence, Green Arrow was just Batman with a bow and arrows. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when Oliver Queen lost his fortune and gained a social consciousness, that the character became something unique and important. In today’s divisive times, I appreciate Green Arrow’s status as a “social justice warrior” more than ever, but honestly, the fact that Ollie is often pretty bad at this aspect of his job is probably just as important. That Ollie often needs to be educated allows creators to explain unfamiliar concepts to the audience, but it also means confronting the kind of guilt and privilege that often plagues even the most well-meaning of activists. Continue reading