Comics at their best reflect real life, that's the way it was in "Action No. 1" when this new guy, Superman, put the hurt on a wife-beater and a crooked lobbyist. This month the bedraggled Green Arrow reunites with Speedy/Arsenal to protect American Indians fighting a pipeline threatening their reservation.
Where have I heard that story before?
And, down the road, look for a series looking at an America where California has seceded from the union in "Calexit."
Green Arrow No. 18 (DC, $2.99) reunites the hero with his former partner, Roy Harper. It's a welcome relief to see Green Arrow returning to something recognizable. In the past five years since "New 52," the character has been a mess. First he's young, then he's old. Then the comic tries to imitate the television show, which totally destroys any continuity the comic had left.
Hard to say where the character is now, some issues have been painfully confusing, but this one has got it right! Finally!
Writer Benjamin Percy and artist Eleanora Carlini give readers a familiar Green Arrow with the reintroduction of his old partner. In the comics, Harper was adopted by American Indians in the southwest as a child until he was taken on by Green Arrow. After decades as Green Arrow's Robin, Harper went off the rails and ended up on the streets addicted to heroin.
The new comic retells the story of the men, as they meet once again on an Indian reservation where the locals are fighting a pipeline going through their land. It's the first part of a storyline which I hope lasts a long time.
I wish the art inside reflected the cover, where Green Arrow has his mustache and beard. He doesn't look right without it.
CALEXIT No. 1 (Black Mask Studios) won't be out until May, but the concept looks great: "What if a fascist, autocratic President took over the United States? And what if that President lost California, the sixth largest economy on Earth, by nearly 2-to-1...a margin of almost 3 1/2 million votes?"
Of course, that could never happen in real life, right?
In the series from Matteo Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan, the new president tries to impose his order on the state and the people rebel, declaring California an independent nation and "struggle to seize power back from an autocratic government."
I can't wait to read it.
The Avengers No. 4.1 (Marvel, $3.99) Mark Waid's masterpiece about the early days of The Avengers continues to be one of the best books from Marvel. I know I've praised it before, but it is just so good! It's such a relief to read a solid story that has nothing to do with the endless Inhumans versus Mutants storyline running through Marvel, which has been a total bore from the beginning.
This series picks up right after most of the Avengers have quit leaving Captain America to lead three untried superheroes as the successors. In the real world, these adventures with Cap, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were interesting, but Waid takes the concept to a whole new level. Barry Kitson's art is absolutely perfect.
Go to your comic shop now and get all the issues of the series now. It's one of the best things Marvel has going.
And speaking of finally getting a character right, Nightwing Nos. 15 and 16 (DC, $2.99) gives us the Nightwing we deserve. For years DC has seemed to have no idea what to do with the grown-up Robin. He was even a spy for a while, talk about a really bad idea.
Well, he's finally back protecting Gotham's sister city, Bludhaven, and back in costume. Issue 15 is a break from the typical comic fight-fest, as Nightwing looks up old friends Kid Flash and the Red Hood to tell them he has a girlfriend. He also tells his old girlfriend, Batgirl, the news, which is not such a great idea.
In the next issue, the newest Robin, (Damian Wayne, Batman's son) confronts Nightway after fellow Teen Titans tease him that Nightwing will obviously be the next Batman, not him.
Typically, Robin flips out and rushes off the fight Nightwing for the title.
Writer Tim Seeley has a better handle on Nightwing's character than any writer in a decade. Check it out.
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