With the discovery that the Ninth Circle is attempting to spread its operations across the nation and around the globe after the establishment of Star City, Green Arrow has decided to go on a road trip across the nation to stop their schemes wherever he finds them.
Meanwhile, Black Canary, Emiko (the Red Arrow), and Henry Fyff continue chasing leads on the Ninth Circle back in Seattle.
The first mystery he runs across is still in Washington state, in the Cascade Mountain Range. He finds a deer running at lightning speed across the interstate, and, surely enough, the Flash, the Fastest Man Alive, follows after it. Flash notices Oliver Queen, and the two figure out that their goals align. Green Arrow is looking for the Ninth Circle, and the Flash is looking for an organization called the Black Hole.
Naturally, this turns into a superhero team-up between the Emerald Archer and the Fastest Man Alive.
For those expecting a friendly, perfectly in-sync team-up are going to be sorely disappointed. Green Arrow’s obtuse personality and Flash’s optimistic veteran hero and Justice Leaguer status make the two an ill-fitting pairing.
The interactions between the two aren’t endearing, but they are enjoyable. Flash is a little bit of a smartass, and Ollie is a bit of a jerk. They clash and take potshots at one another.
As someone who does absolutely love Green Arrow, it’s really funny. Yeah, Ollie is a jerk. That’s one of the things that makes him unique and lovable. He’s a loudmouth, he likes to lecture people, and he enjoys taking the moral high ground. It’s great.
The “hero takes a road trip” plus a team-up premise invokes the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series by Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams. This doesn’t quite compare to that classic series, but it is nevertheless reminiscent of it. It shows an appreciation of the classic, even if it can’t recreate it.
The question of how Barry knows Ollie’s secret identity, given that Arrow hasn’t been on a Justice League team with the Flash, is left unanswered. The comic just presents that fact and rolls with it.
The threat they deal with isn’t really worthy of this cool a team-up. It’s just a handful of goons and a “Burnt” member of the Ninth Circle. The fight is brief, but the Burnt does get away.
Due to the nature of the threat, Ollie briefly gets super-speed and fires off arrows like a machine gun, which is pretty damn cool. The lightning-speed forest creatures they show are pretty funny, too. A beaver builds a river dam instantaneously.
The art is really dynamic in this one. With art and coloring from Stephen Byrne, you have a unique and very appealing style. The colors are blended incredibly, and the overall comic is beautiful. It conveys movement very well, and the somewhat cartoonish style fits Green Arrow perfectly.
This isn’t the greatest team-up comic ever — the threat doesn’t seem menacing enough to warrant both Green Arrow and the Flash. However, the team chemistry (or overt lack thereof) keeps it entertaining, and it’s worth it just to wait and see if Ollie ever decides to plug Barry with an arrow. It’s a fun issue. Pick it up.
Also, if you want to hear some of the behind-the-scenes stuff on this issue, check out the DC All Access interview with Green Arrow writer Benjamin Percy.
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