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Green Arrow and Black Canary #5

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2008
By: Shawn Hill

Judd Winick
André Coelho
DC Comics
"Child Support"

Plot: Ollie seeks every avenue of aid for Connor, but it's already far too late. Or is it?

Comments: Cliff Chiang's refreshing light approach to some serious themes is missed this issue, but Coelho does a good job of maintaining the right tone for a flashback issue dedicated largely to Connor's unplanned conception. His versions of Ollie and Dinah, as well as several guest star cameos from the League, are recognizable and expressive.

It's a very modern Green Arrow story all around, looking at his feckless youth and contrasting his extremely self-centered immature phase with the driven, idealistic man he was to become. Batman is a ghostly presence in this issue, and his long shadow is subtly contrasted by Winick to Oliver's more authentically troubled playboy years.

The issue is as much a portrait of Sandra Hawke, Connor's mother. Not being a consistent student of the Green Arrow mythology (I’m onboard this title for the distaff costar), I don't know what's become of her, or really a lot about Connor Hawke's upbringing. From this story we learn he was a troubled kid in need of a male authority figure, and that Sandra was a caring mom who did her best to respond to the person Connor was (rather than any imprint of who she wanted him to be). As sons often do, he followed in his father's footsteps one way or another, and had finally reached a point in his life where he was a true ally to his mostly absentee father, when the recent tragedy struck.

This issue paints Ollie not as a deadbeat dad (because he had the money to provide, and he shared it), but as no father at all, one trying to give lessons to Batman before he'd really figured out the kind of responsibility an adult takes on with a child. Now, in his misery, he's willing to dedicate his life to his comatose son. This is something that Dinah accepts, and she renews their vows (remember their recent wedding was a sham spoiled by an imposter) in a private ceremony officiated by Wonder Woman.

Ollie is in fact on the precipice of putting down the costume … when circumstances force his hand again. Something worse than mere assassination is going on, and Winick, by keeping the focus on emotions and family ties, is keeping me interested thus far. I have no idea where the story's going, but I feel like the writer does.



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