My Favorite Example of Oliver Queen, Liberal Idiot

September 26th, 2008 by |

One of my favorite examples of Oliver Queen, clueless grandstanding dolt, is in the Grell run. It’s a two issue story (#17-#18) about the murder of a stripper. There are mobsters, drugs, biker gangs, and of course multiple strip clubs, the last of which probably provides the reason for the ‘Suggested For Mature Readers’ warning label on the first issue of the run. (Although it could also be for the violence of the murder.)

The story starts with a long sequence of strip-club scenes, which either highlight the degradation and cynicism of strippers or just show boobies. I forget which. A lot of people are looking for a redheaded stripper named Dawn, including a leather-clad biker named ‘The Horseman.’ Next thing we know, Dawn ends up dead, beaten and crucified, in a scene so gory it makes Ollie lose his lunch.

Soon the police arrive at the scene, none of them looking queasy, many of them making sarcastic remarks. Ollie has his arms crossed and the kind of deep shading around the eyes which indicates great rage in superheroes.

Detective Cameron has a conversation with Ollie that of course sets him off.

Cameron: Maybe he was her pimp, and caught her holding out on him.

Ollie: You’re presuming that because she may have been a stripper, she was also a prostitute.

Cameron: Maybe she was his old lady and he didn’t appreciate her showing other guys the goods.

Ollie: You amaze me, Cameron. You make it sound as if she had this coming. Stripper . . . Hooker . . . I don’t care what she might have been. Nobody deserves to die like that. Except the bastard that did this to her.

Of course, the detective wasn’t saying that she had it coming, was only positing theories that might lead to her killer, and never said anyone deserved to die like that, even the bastard that did that to her. But never mind. It’s Ollie.

So Ollie runs off, gets into a fight to the death with The Horseman, realizes The Horseman was looking for Dawn to try to protect her, trades origin stories with The Horseman, fights with The Horseman again, and finally forms enough of an alliance to ride together to find and punish the men who killed Dawn.

Only to find that they are both just a little bit late. The detective has already found and arrested the killers. The comic struggles valiantly to make both costumed men look gritty and heroic, but if you hold your ear up to the page, you can actually hear the sound that a balloon makes as it gets sadly deflated. I’ve always found that moment strangely endearing. People say that Green Arrow is a bat-clone, but this is the kind of a embarrassing kick to the shins that you could never get in a Batcomic. This is a job for the Green Arrow.

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