I Second That Emotion

March 14th, 2009 by | Tags: ,

In the latest issues of Green Arrow, Ollie has a bushier mustache, a longer, curlier beard, and a darker attitude.  None of these new directions please me, but I’m a die-hard Ollie fan, so I forbear.

Ollie’s got a companion on his new, dark path.  It’s a girl who has a crush on him, and is proving her love by murdering his enemies.  She’s new enough that no one knows about her, so suspicion is falling on Ollie.  After a long talk with Dinah, he looks down in shame, and confesses, “Those men in the morgue.  My enemies.  Men who have sought to harm for money or revenge or to quiet the demons that sing to them.  They’ve caused so much damage, not just physically.  Emotionally . . . mentally . . . to this city.  To you.  To our family.  And I can’t help it.  I’m glad they’re dead.”

Dinah’s reaction is  a anguished look.

My reaction – well I had two.  The first reaction was that I have read every issue of Green Arrow since Ollie popped back to life, and quite a few before it, and if a guy named ‘Sling Shot’ caused physical, emotional, OR mental damage, I missed it.  The second reaction was, “Of course you’re glad they’re dead.”

Because, really Ollie?  Really?  You are still the Green Arrow, right?  You didn’t change your name to IsSorryBadPeopleAreDeadman when I wasn’t looking, did you?  GrievesForHisEnemies Avenger?  General Empathy?

Of course you’re glad they’re dead.  I know of people, people I have never met, people who have never done me any harm, that I would be happy to see dead.  I would never kill them.  I would never encourage anyone to kill them.  I would want their murderers, assuming they were murdered and didn’t just choke on their own bile, caught and punished.  But the fact that they were dead would put a spring in my step, and I won’t lie about that.  Call me Captain Schadenfreude if you like.

I would think that a man who has killed a few people himself wouldn’t sweat over understandable feelings of relief that cold-blooded killers wouldn’t be hunting him and his family anymore.  Anyone?

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8 comments to “I Second That Emotion”

  1. General Empathy’s superhero career was one of a very, very tall high, which was quickly followed by the lowest low ever.

    The US gov’t sent him into the wilds of Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden. He went into a cave and, two hours later, a special forces team was sent in to retrieve both of them.

    You see, General Empathy captured bin Laden… but then spent two hours hugging him and crying and going “I know man! I know how you feel!”

    “General Empathy- Terrorist Empathizer.” Front page news, New York Times. Oops.

    Ollie being upset that people who maim, murder, and torture are dead is probably one of the dumbest developments I’ve seen in comics in a while, and I just this week read a comic where an alien space monster vomits acid blood all over things.

  2. Gimme a break: Ollie is the Radical American Leftie. He wouldn’t support the death penalty even for supervillains who attempted to kill him. When written well, Oliver Queen would feel righteous anger against the murderer, not guilt over the murdered.

    But God forbid a mainstream DC comic should milk a conflict for anything but hand-wringing pathos.

  3. I think it’s generally in Ollie’s character to feel glad murderers have been punished, as long as it comes with a liberal (large) dose of liberal (equal rights activist) guilt. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a crappy direction for said character.

    And really David, when has an alien space monster ever not vomited acid blood all over things?

  4. Ollie is the kind of guy who would consider that taking pleasure in others suffering, which is a bad thing.

  5. @david brothers: See, what I really don’t want to see is General Empathy get into one of those cult compound stand-offs, or PETA meetings.

    @Jason: Well, there is that. But they’re not suffering if they’re dead?

  6. Didn’t GA actually kill people during the longbow hunter days? Or was that erased by one of the many universe-wide continuity redongles?

  7. @OnimaruXLR: He did for sure, but maybe being dead himself opened his eyes on the subject. That’s the only real explanation I can come up with.

  8. I can only assume it’s meant to cater to the crowd of people who seem to think that heroic is superfriends era nonviolence.