23 September 2009

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Star City, Part VI: Green Arrow: Moving Targets

Comic trade paperback, 252 pages
Published 2006 (contents: 2004-05)

Borrowed from the library
Read August 2009
Green Arrow: Moving Targets

Writer: Judd Winick
Pencillers: Phil Hester, Tom Fowler, Eric Battle, Tommy Castillo
Inkers: Ande Parks, Rodney Ramos, Jack Purcell
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterers: Clem Robins, Rob Leigh, Pat Brosseau, Phil Balsman

The sixth volume of the Green Arrow series is the thickest yet, encompassing a few story arcs. In the first, "New Blood", Oliver Queen has to deal with the aftermath of City Walls in more ways than one-- a new crime lord named Brick has arisen to replace those killed off in that story, and Mia is becoming the new Speedy more and more. The latter of these plot lines is quite good-- and the reveal of Mia's HIV-positive status is handled fantastically well-- but the former I find hard to buy. Brick has a tough hide, yeah, but I have hard time seeing why he's so dang hard for two Green Arrows to beat. (Also: Brick keeps on saying he'll do something really awful if GA interferes again, but GA keeps on doing things... and Brick suddenly stops caring.) In "Teamwork", Mia joins the Teen Titans, a story which for some reason has Mia taking the exact opposite stance on being HIV-positive as in the previous story. Okay, then. The final part of the book is taken up by "New Business", where Constantine Drakon and the Riddler take on Team Arrow, and the Outsiders show up. It was fun to see Drakon again (his opening scene was fabulous), but otherwise, this is a bit of an explosion-and-punching fest. Roy "Arsenal" Harper steps into the role of GA-dependent-character-beat-to-within-an-inch-of-his-life-to-prove-the-situation-is-serious in this one, giving Connor Hawke a break for once.

The biggest event of note here is that penciller Phil Hester and inker Ande Parks leave the title for good after "New Blood". Sometimes you don't quite realize what you've got 'til it's gone, and though I always sang their praises, their skill was sure made apparent by appearing right alongside their replacements. The sense of mood is all gone, panels are busy, and people are impossible to tell apart. Worst of all are the facial expressions; everyone here looks angry and ugly.