Green Arrow is a character I’ve always really enjoyed when appearing in the Justice League books. At times I’ve even felt compelled to read his solo title, especially when Smith, Meltzer, and Lemire were at the helm. More often than not, though, I just follow him from afar.
One major thing drew me to his “Rebirth” book, and that’s his reunion with Black Canary. It’s my understanding that Green Arrow and Black Canary only peripherally knew each other since the dawn of the New 52 back in 2010. To newer fans this may not seem like a big deal. To old guys like me, though, that seemed outrageous! Black Canary and Green Arrow are one of the greatest partnerships and romances in all of comic book lore. I don’t know when they got together, but I’ve been reading comic books since about 1980 and they were an item even back then.
In “Rebirth,” they come fact to face, join forces, and have an adventure together. I’m honestly not familiar with the author, Benjamin Percy, but he nailed the chemistry that must exist between these two icons. He kept each character true to their core but also made sure they amplified the best attributes of the other. Isn’t that what all great romances are meant to do?
He also ended the book with a nod to the audience, that yes, this has been too long in the making, which I thought clever.
I think one really interesting development with bringing Arrow and Canary together for the “first” time is that even old fellas like me get to see something I’ve never seen before — the advent of the relationship. Like I said, even in 1980 this couple felt firmly established to my three-year-old eyes. It’s nice to have them both very young, very fresh, and very inexperienced with each other. I really hope DC takes its time fostering the relationship and giving them the time they deserve to grow together. But, man, it’s nice to see them side by side!
In fact, this entire book seemed intent on giving the audience back what it wants. Green Arrow has his famous goatee again, he once again considers himself a social justice warrior, he’s the most lighthearted I’ve seen him in a long time (which, to me, is a must with GA), and his costume is simple, sleek, and dynamic.
The story itself didn’t prove all that interesting. Honestly, it accomplished the one thing it needed to do, which was give GA and BC a reason to team up. And while the writer certainly captured the charisma and charm of this famous couple, there were several instances of clunky dialogue and redundancy.
Even so, if you’re a Green Arrow AND Black Canary fan, I’d consider this required reading. While the plot concerning the conflict wasn’t great, it still firmly delivered on providing a memorable first interaction between two of DC’s greatest characters.