All Associated Cover/Issue Images
- Green Arrow
- All right. You’re playing with the Gods now, Ollie.
- Green Lantern
- Already got a “green” guy on the team. Change your name to Blue Arrow and we’ll think about it.
Synopsis "Justice League Team-up: Green Arrow"
Main Story “Justice League Team-up: Green Arrow” (20-pages)
Steve Trevor is back before Congress to answer questions about why the Justice League has never expanded its roster, never taken on more members. One man who is determined to change that is the Seattle based archer Amazo rampage before the Justice League. They are debating the safely of Cyborg teleporting with Amazo’s inert body to STAR Labs when they are interrupted by Arrow. Superman is willing to give him credit for helping, but there is unspecified bad blood between Aquaman and Arrow. It is left to Green Lantern to give Green Arrow the brush off. The League then Boom Tubes out with Amazo’s body.
One week later in the skies over Gotham City, an A.R.G.U.S plane is airlifting FBI and government agents out of Gotham as the Talons, enforcers for the secretative Court of Owls, make a move to kill the city’s power players. The Talons get to the plane before it takes off and the Justice League is has to catch-up. They force their way into the plane and start fighting the Talons. Green Arrow is once again on site before them, but the League’s answer to his pitch is still the same. The plane is destroyed by a Talon grenade leaving Green Lantern to carry the civilians and Arrow to safety. Lantern then sends Arrow a message by dropping him on a highway far outside the city.
A further week later and the League are fighting a group of cultists. Arrow appears to assist them again and gets an even more abrupt answer than before. He returns to his hidden headquarters at Queen Industries’ Q-Core building and is determined to try again. However, he’s met by Steve Trevor — who already knows Arrow’s secret identity — and is warned about trying to interfere with the League’s activities again. Queen is disheartened and says he needed to be on the League to truly make up for the mistakes he’d made in his past. Trevor then surprises Queen by making him a counter-offer, a position on a different team that he is assembling.
The Justice League return to their satellite Watchtower. The discussion is still on Green Arrow, but Batman reminds them of why they do not allow new members on the team. They let one in once, the Martian Manhunter, and it ended badly. Unknown to them the Manhunter is listening to their thoughts from the ground and comments “They’re not prepared.”
Backup Story: “Shazam” (11-pages)
Billy Batson acts like a jerk. Part two of Shazam’s new origin by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. I’ll leave our analysis/review of this story until a later date and do all the parts together.
- The safety of Cyborg’s Boom Tube depends on the number of people he teleports. Once every thousand jumps a malfunction kicks the Justice League over to Apokolips until Cyborg can reboot. This had happened at least twice before and last happened 1056 jumps ago.
- The Martian Manhunter was once a member of the Justice League, but he left after a violent disagreement. Burned once, the League still refuses to expand their roster.
In this issue Green Arrow attempts to team-up with the Justice League and gets the cold shoulder. Geoff Johns is really mixing up his writing styles in this issues. The first arc was pure widescreen action, last issue was an introspective character study of Steve Trevor, and this issue if different again. It’s not a character study of Green Arrow as such, but it is definitely lighter in tone and heavier on the comedy. The use of these one-issue vignettes is interesting and helps to flesh out the League a bit more. However, these three issues (I include the FCBD New 52 #1 issue with JL #7 and #8) have been far more about A.R.G.U.S. than they have been about the League. Very nice world building, but I’m looking forward to the focus returning of the League members themselves.
The New 52 Green Arrow is an unusual character. There is definitely some sort of brief or character sketch that people are working to — mysterious past, playboy archer, omni-presence of Q-Core — but, a revolving creative team has left his own book without a clear on-going narrative. There was even a Grifter team-up about Daemonites in Q-Core which may or may not go anywhere. I’m also perplexed by Ann Nocenti’s outlandish run on Green Arrow, but I’m trying to reserve my judgement until I’ve read more issues. Nevertheless, Arrow’s appearance here gets as much, if not more, development into the character than the first half-dozen issues of this own book.
Jim Lee is still on hiatus this month so we get another fill-in sets of artists (sets plural). The bulk of the story is carried by Carlos D’Anda whilst a coda is illustrated by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. The is a marked difference in style between the two teams, D’Anda’s bold almost cartoony look easily suits Green Arrow’s sitcom-eqsue attempts to join the League while Reis/Prado’s big-spread of the Martian Manhunter fighting the League looks amazing. I’m not too familiar with D’anda’s comic book work, but his style is instantly recognisable from the unlockable concept sketches included with the Batman Arkham games.
Surveying the Internets
Kevin (Comic Book Revolution) observes that
When I first heard Geoff Johns was going to be the writer for Justice League it was stories like what Justice League #8 delivered that I was expecting to get from this series.
However, the plot device of Green Arrow stalking the Justice League led to Matthew Peterson (Major Spoilers) likening him to an “an obsessed Justin Bieber fan” while his dogged persistence in the face of reality caused the Heretic (Heretical Jargon) to liken him to a character from “a Merry Melodies animated short”.
For and Against the New 52 Green Arrow
Much of the commentary on this issue was driven by whether the individual reviewer liked or disliked the new version of Green Arrow. Sean Elks (Player Affinity) strikes hardest with his assessment of the New 52 Green Arrow:
I can name many characters who have been changed by the New 52 and are arguably better because of it. Is Green Arrow one of them? Oh, hell no. He has lost many of the old character traits that made him interesting. He’s younger, less cranky, less liberally outraged, less flawed and less relevant. Geoff Johns seems to try to bring some of that back in this issue by claiming that Ollie wants to join the League because he feels they need a social conscience, namely him. Unfortunately, that claim rings totally false. At no point during his attempts to join the team does he actually express any social conscience. He doesn’t criticize the League and how they do things. He doesn’t make his case whether they want to hear it or not. He tries to impress them and eagerly chases after their acceptance. This isn’t Green Arrow. This is Booster Gold.
The Booster analogy sits even harsher it you think of Steve Trevor as Maxwell Lord and think back to how Lord originally recruited Booster Gold.
It the hints of the old Ollie which lead David Pepose (Newsarama) to reevaluate the New 52 Ollie :
While Ollie doesn’t quite come off as particularly inspiring — he’s kind of clingy, to be honest — Johns hints at a sort of post-Wall Street search for redemption that would make Ollie “Steve Jobs” Queen into a really compelling figure in the New 52. (I only hope that Ollie’s main comic follows suit.)
Geoff Johns treatment of Ollie does seems to meet with approval from those reviewers who haven’t previously liked the character or his own book. Tony Guerrero (Comic Vine) puts it concisely when he say that:
I’ve been trying to read GREEN ARROW but I have to say I much prefer the way he was written here than he has been in his own book.
The statement is put even more strongly by Sir Duke, one of the contributing reviewers on Comic Vine, who says that
No, seriously, I hate Green Arrow. He is, without a doubt, my least favorite superhero. But Johns really delivers with this character. [...] Johns comes around in the end to deliver a take on Green Arrow that honestly makes me want to read more of the character.
The Guest Artists
The guest artist this issue is Carlos D’anda. Greg Elhatton (Comic Book Resources) describes his art as:
…I like his square-jawed style. It’s a little blocky in places, but it’s always reminded me of a strange hybrid of Arthur Adams and Rick Leonardi; the faces are expressive like Adams, but Leonardi’s sense of anatomy and form is on display.
While Mart Gray (Too Dangerous For a Girl) concludes that D’anda would make a great Green Arrow artist.
I like his sharp style, his clarity in storytelling. Based on his work with Ollie here, D’anda should be booked for the Green Arrow title as soon as there’s an opening – it’s like he’s been waiting all his life to draw the Emerald Archer.
As good an as artist as D’anda is his thunder is somewhat stolen by the Ivan Reis’s final double-page splash of the League fighting the Martian Manhunter.
Joshua Yehl (IGN) describes it as:
one of the best executed splash pages I have ever seen. It is visually surprising, emotionally powerful, and hits the perfect beat to sell the story Johns was telling.
Its beats like that which cause Andy Hunsaker (Crave Online) to conclude
…dammit if this book hasn’t become like Heroes. Every episode was mostly a chore to sit through, but there’d be one cool thing that happened that made you feel reluctantly compelled to check out the next installment.
|Character Site||The Captain's JLA Homepage||Jason Kirk||3.0/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comic Book Resources||Greg McElhatton||3.5/5|
|Reviews Portal||Comic Vine (Staff Review)||Tony Guerrero||4/5|
|Reviews Portal||IGN||Joshua Yehl||7/10|
|Reviews Portal||Inside Pulse||Grey Scherl||7/10|
|Reviews Portal||Newsarama (Rapid Reviews)||David Pepose||5/10|
|Community Site||Comic Vine||16 reviews||3.6/5|
|Community Site||iFanboy||1205 pulls||3.7/5|
|Magazine||Crave Online||Andy Hunsaker||5/10|
|Magazine||Player Affinity||Sean Elks||6.2/10|
|Blogs||A Comic Book Blog||ACB||85%|
|Blogs||Big Kids! Big News!||KorimTV||4/5|
|Blogs||Comic Boom Revolution||Kevin||7/10|
|Blogs||Major Spoilers||Matthew Peterson||2/5|
|Blogs||Multiversity Comics||Gilbert Short||5/10|
|Blogs||Razer Fine Reviews||Alan Rapp||2.5/5|
|Blogs||Superpodcasto||El Blanco Gigante||1/5|
|Blogs||Weekly Comic Book Review||Minhquan Nguyen||B-|
|Character Site||Batman News||Andrew Asberry||6/10|
|Character Site||Batman On Film||Chris Clow||B+|
|Character Site||Gotham Knight's Online||Brendan S.||4.5/5|
|Character Site||Simply DCU||Isaac Daniel Frisbie||8/10|
|Character Site||Superman Homepage||Ralph Silver||3 (story) & 4 (art)/5|
Page 1. This is the first mention of Team 7 in the new DCU. The original Team 7 were not a DC Universe property, but were an integral part of Wildstorm’s backstory. They were a covert team of military specialists who were exposed to a mutagen that gave them super powers. The team disbanded and many of its members went into hiding. The children of the original Team 7 members inherited the potential to develop super powers and went on to found the Wildstorm teams Gen-13 and Dv8. How Steve Trevor fits into that — and whether has his own super power — remains to be explored. A Team 7 comic book will be launched during DC’s September zero month.
Page 4. Amazo is one of the Justice League’s earliest enemies. He was created by a scientist called Professor Ivo in Brave and the Bold #30 (June 1960), the League’s third appearance, and has the ability to duplicate the Justice League’s powers. The New 52 Professor Ivo, without Amazo, briefly appeared in Justice League (vol. 2) #3 (Jan 2012) as one of the scientists abducted from STAR Labs by the Para-Demons. Then in Justice League (vol. 2) #4 (Feb 2012) a personnel dossier revealed that Ivo was working on something called the A-Maze operating System (A-Maze OS). That was five years ago in the New 52 timeline so its looks like Ivo completed his research.
Page 5. The League are teleported around by Cyborg’ Boom Tube. The earlier League’s used a Thanagarian teleporter mounted in their Satellite headquarters to get around. Cyborg’s device has been used a total of 3000 times (two jaunts to Apokolips after 1,000 jumps each, plus 1,000 jumps since the last wrong turn). That’s a total of 1,500 round trips. Over five-years that works out as about 6-round trips per week or one a day if we exclude Sundays.
Page 6. It would be Hal Jordan who recognises Green Arrow. There was the famous 1970s Denny O’Neil / Neal Adams collaboration on Green Lantern/Green Arrow which redefined their characters — Hal got a dose of reality/humility and Arrow got a dose of hippy/anger. It was that work which defined their characters until the New 52 reboot. Now neither of them have had that experience get so they are both still stuck in their older modes.
Page 8. Blue Arrow is also the name of UK based recruitment agency.
Page 9. The Court of Owls is Scott Snyder’s big story arc on the Batman titles. It revolves around a shadowy organisation called the Court of Owls who are, as Batman says, Gotham City’s Illuminanti, a secret society dedicated to controlling Gotham City. Batman has slowly become aware of the Court and their armoured enforcer, the Talon.
The Order has been around for a long time so they’ve used up a hole load of Talon’s over the centuries. However, Talon’s never retired, instead they were put into some sort of undead stasis. The Court has now decided that its time to finalise their take over of Gotham City and have reactivated their unused zombie-Talons. These were dispatched enmass to kill the remaining significant figures in Gotham City whom the Court did not already patrol. This assault led to a crossover through the Batman franchise as the Gotham City heroes scramble to defeat the Talons. The mastermind behind the Court its such a good plot twist that I won’t spoil it here.
Page 10. Interesting line from Wonder Woman, “They’re monsters then? So no arguments about the Sword.” The sword was added to Wonder Woman’s regular costume with the New 52 relaunch, but a sword is a deadly weapon. Thus it makes sense Diana’s Justice League team mates are wary of how she uses it.
Page 13. Batman is standing with the Justice League on Green Lantern’s platforms. However, he was talking to Cyborg over a radio link just a few pages earlier and wasn’t with the League aboard the aircraft. So how did he get there?
Page 14. This particular group of Cultists are followers of Felix Faust. Steve Trevor will pay a similar house call to John Constantine in Justice League Dark #9 (July 2012) as the one he pays to Oliver Queen in this issue. Trevor’s ARGUS dispatches Doctor Mist, their magical expert, to investigate the origin of Faust’s cultists, but he disappears in South America. That necessitates Trevor recruiting Constantine to reassemble Madame Xanadu’s mystical team in order to intervien properly.
Page 15. Trevor alludes to something nearly criminal in Green Arrow’s past. Something similiar was alluded to in the first issue of Green Arrow’s series.
Page 17. The Justice League Watchtower sure is ugly. The original Satellite watchtower was from Justice League Unlimited and had two iterations and a the third iteration appeared in normal comics. Each of them has been increasingly complex visually and that continues here. This may be the same design as the pre-Flashpoint version, but it seems to change appearance depending on the artist.
Page 18-19. (The splash page shown in the Reviews section). Its pretty. The Martian Manhunter was one of the Justice League’s original 1960 founders and was often counted as the League’s heart and soul. However, his place in the League as a founder now been replaced by Cyborg and J’onn is now a member of a group called Storm Watch. Like Team 7, Stormwatch are another Wildstorm group and are probably best known as the group that eventually morphed into the Authority. They are a hidden group in the DCU and have existed for a very long time, fighting evil from the shadows, and making sure the world doesn’t get to hear about the threats against them. The grandstanding Justice League look ammatureish in comparison.