Monday, November 19, 2007

The Search for Legitimacy Continues...

Completely stolen from Making Light:

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Team Ups I'd Like to See

So, in 1996, with a new Green Arrow, Buddhist monk Connor Hawke, and a new Green Lantern, freelance artist Kyle Rayner, Chuck Dixon and Ron Marz thought it'd be fun to do a crossover and revive the old GL/GA from the "Relevancy" period of the early '70s.

Charitably, it didn't work.

It didn't work for a number of reasons, but the biggest one, I think, is that Kyle and Connor didn't play off each other very well. What made the original stories work was that liberal hothead Oliver Queen clashed beautifully with conservative, um, conservative Hal Jordan. Neither Kyle nor Connor are particularly instigators, and attempts to make one of them the instigator comes off as off-character and childish.

It didn't help that Kyle had already found a worthy sparring partner in Wally West, a hero with years of experience taking on the legacy of his father-figure who resented Kyle as the new guy taking the job of a man Kyle never really knew. Compared to their sparks, the Kyle Conner team ups kind of fell flat.

No, the team up I want to see is the Conner Hawke-Roy Harper team up. Now there are two guys who clash.

On the one hand, you have Roy "Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow" Harper, a character dating back to 1941 when he was adopted by Green Arrow Oliver Queen, who has a checkered history of drug-abuse, fathered a child with a terrorist, and in general is presented as a horn-dog who cultivates a persona of edgy rebellion. Even his recent, inexplicable addition to the Justice League was marked mostly by his falling into bed with Hawkgirl.

On the other hand, you have Connor "Green Arrow" Hawke, a Zero Hour baby dating back to only 1994, who retroactively turned out to be Oliver Queen's abandoned son and enjoyed almost immediate promotion to role of Green Arrow himself and a spot in the Justice League (you know, under Grant Morrison, back when that actually meant something!) As a lifelong Zen Buddhist, Connor doesn't drink, doesn't eat meat, and despite being constantly hit upon, shows nearly zero interest in sex (leading to speculation he's gay).

So here are two characters who are something like brothers, with a common heritage and skill set, so team-ups make sense and occur naturally, and yet they could not act more differently. Roy would instigate, Connor would play peacemaker. Roy's experience as a government agent and Teen Titans leader makes him an excellent pre-op strategist, Connor's lifetime training in Kung Fu makes him a better in the field tactician and improviser. Roy would openly resent Connor for inheriting the title and respect Roy worked for years to earn, while Connor would (probably quietly) envy Roy for having the childhood Connor missed.

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I almost certainly am) but has anyone explored the relationship between the two men who would be the next Green Arrow? Isn't that were the story is, between the genetic son and the adopted one, nature vs. nurture, hedonist vs. celibate, experience vs. natural skill, and tradition vs. the new?

That's what I would like to see.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Tao of Steve