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MELTZER, BRAD & HESTER, PHIL – GREEN ARROW – THE ARCHER’S QUEST 2003 DC Comics

 

Graphic novel about a modern day Robin Hood style superhero with a bow and arrow. The Green Arrow died and got mysteriously resurrected by a powerful hero called The Shade, who watches and occasionally interferes in people’s destinies. That happened at the close of his previous adventure. Now the Green Arrow is haunted by the question of who attended his funeral.  He has along chat with Clark Kent, as he was killed off and brought back to life in his Superman guise. Green Arrow then goes on a sentimental, nostalgic quest through all aspects of his life, collecting together various trinkets and mementoes of his past, as keepsakes for his son, who is now a hero in his own right called Red Arrow.  The quest takes in minor details of a life, from a key ring, to a photograph, and a certificate of membership of the Justice League Of America. It is a very disappointing comic book in that so much energy is put into pursuit of minor keepsakes preserved as a legacy for the son. Green Arrow is also obsessed with finding out that a mysterious figure seen at his funeral really was. He learns that he is a super-villain of old called Cat-Man, a name Green Arrow sees as highly unoriginal, being derivative of both Batman and Cat-woman.  It turns out that The Shade entrusted the Cat-Man to preserve some aspects of G A’s past.  This upsets Green A as he had hoped Shade, as a God like elemental being would handle affairs for him personally instead of delegating them to a mortal.  This is a dire comic book, given the minor bric a brac nature of the material sought in the quest. There are great moments, such as when Green Arrow goes to his old cave-lair, which his son compares to the Bat-cave owned by Bruce Wayne. The ruined cave is now the hiding place of an old Batman villain, Solomon Grundy who tries to kill the intruder.  Other battles are pointless, such as when the Green & Red Arrows break into the JLA headquarters to steal a certificate they could easily have asked for, and have a needless meeting with the Green Phantom.  Green Arrow is an understated hero, but this graphic novel does him no justice at all. http://www.dccomics.com/

 

Arthur Chappell

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