Saturday, September 22, 2007

More on the Wedding Special, Spoilers

Notintheface has an interesting idea re: Ollie's apparent brainwashing. Now, I didn't know about these hypos, or if I did, I completely forgot. *sigh* However, I'm not convinced it was Ollie, mostly because of the solicits for the upcoming Green Arrow/Black Canary series. Before seeing the Wedding Special, I'd thought that with Connor being the Green Arrow first seen in the new series, that meant that Ollie was missing. And that idea has stuck with me. However, I can see this going in any number of directions now.

I want to enjoy the new series. I've always liked Ollie and Dinah together, simply because in the right hands, they've always been fun as a couple, especially when they were arguing. Ollie is flawed, no doubt about it, and Dinah's one of the few women strong enough to put up with him without losing herself to him.

Judd Winick is not one of my favorite writers. He's got great ideas and is good with character. He's always shown an understanding for Ollie and Roy's relationship and he's done a nice job with Roy over the years, especially in The Outsiders. But too many times, the seams show. Too many times, you can see the plotting because what we get is plot convenience.

So, yeah, everyone who's pointed out (in too many blogs for me to go back and find the links) that Dinah could've taken Ollie down easier without needing to resort to an arrow through his neck has a valid argument, even if I can also see that Dinah wasn't mentally prepared, couldn't get proper leverage, and her instinct at that moment was to go for the kill. Would Ollie unconscious from a blow to his temple from her hand, for ex, been as dramatic as that arrow? I don't know. But we do know he's not getting up and walking around in GA/BC 1, and it's clear Judd wanted Ollie/? either dead or incapacitated for the start of the new series. Was that the only way to achieve it?

There are only so many writers out there and a lot of books these days. The top tier, the ones we as individuals wish could write all our favorite comics, are really not able to do that. And because of the need to use many writers, consistency, in characterization as much as background details, can get muddied quickly. Even editors, apparently, can't keep up. Or we wouldn't have had the minor errors Tony Bedard made in a recent BoP. It's the difference between a self-righteous Ollie as written by Denny O'Neill back in the day and the pompous ass written by many others after (not counting Mike Grell who did a good job with him). And a writer might work for us on one book or with one set of characters and not another. And we all get disappointed by different things.

The Wedding Special, until that final scene, was clearly meant to be funny, on an almost slapstick level. And so, we have Dinah freaking out trying to retrieve her ring and trying to knee Deathstroke in the balls even though she more likely would've ignored the ring to bring down the baddies and she knows Deathstroke well enough to know he protects that area of vulnerability. The thing is, the book made me laugh, and that's as much thanks to Amanda Connor's fun art as to what Judd Winick wrote. I really didn't think I was supposed to take the details too seriously, especially since, with so many writers and artists handling various aspects of the marriage storyline, all the pieces didn't line up, at least not as well as I would have liked.

We all have the little things we like to rant and complain about. I can do an entire rant on how long Roy's hair should be. And we all have expectations of some sort, I think. I know that Gail Simone has done such a fantastic job writing Dinah that anything anyone else writes simply pales in comparison. So while I'm looking forward to what Sean McKeever can do with her, I'm also a bit nervous.

Then again, I didn't think anyone could do justice to Catwoman after Ed Brubaker left the book, but Will Pfeifer proved me wrong. And yet, he wasn't nearly as good with the Amazons. Which just supports my premise that no matter how good a writer is, they won't appeal to everybody, at least not all the time, and a writer can be great with one book or character and not another.

I want GA/BC to succeed, but I suspect that even if I enjoy it, it won't be one of my top books each month. And that's okay, as long as it's enjoyable.


  1. As usual Shelly, you make some very valid points. I find it to be very annoying, when a writer sacrifices character for a plot point. I think that if Judd Winick needed "Ollie" dead, it would have worked just as well, for Dinah to come waltzing out of the bathroom, and find him on the bed with an arrow in his neck, and the window wide open or something.

    Or maybe Dinah just had a whole lot of pent-up hostility left over from the U.S. Navy remark.

  2. Thanks, Sally.

    Well, obviously, Ollie attacking Dinah was part of the plot. As for the Navy remark, lol. ;)

  3. For me, the art was the main attraction of the book. I smiled at some of the dialogue the first time that I read it, and then when I re-read it, realized that some of it wasn't nearly so cute as it first appeared.

    Hal having to get rid of the strippers was funny, but what did you think of the comment that Roy made when Hal came back out and wonders what the girls were doing?

    "...With THOSE girls? probably drinking herbal tea and swapping stories about their contempt for men..."

    No Roy, that's what YOUR party turned out to be. It also seemed just a tad out of character for Roy to make that comment. These are women that he has basically grown up with, for heaven's sake.

    It just seemed mean. And Roy's not mean.

  4. Y'know, Sally, when I first read that line of Roy's, about the women's party, I took it to be facetious, or possibly based on the idea that some men just don't like to think that women they know can be raunchy. But the more I think about it, I think you're right. The art enhanced the writing so much that the writing seemed better than it probably was. And I think my opinions of the characters actually enhanced the writing, too, in that I filled in mentally what Roy meant, etc.

    I want the series to work and do well, but I do have reservations about it.

  5. Anonymous10:26 PM EDT

    It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. I wasn't convinced it was Ollie either but a recent interveiw with Winick on newsarama states that it was and that he is most certainly dead.

    But Final Crisis is coming--reboot.

    I loved the art, it was light and fresh. Definitely enjoyable.

  6. Well, if that's really Ollie and he's really dead, that just sucks and Winick has slid down from middle tier to lower tier of writers for me. Cuz Ollie's already done the dead thing and in a far more heroic manner, and one can only go to this well so many times before it becomes ridiculous.

    Maybe Judd thinks this is his way of making up for all the women in fridges thing or something. Now I'm peeved.

    And it's not clear yet how Final Crisis will shake things out.