Perhaps those flames will counter my wave of indignation and we'll all wind up letting off a little steam.
But I cannot sit silently after reading this article, which reveals that filmmaker and journalist Ann Nocenti will be taking over writing duties on Green Arrow.
Now, Ms Nocenti's got more than enough pedigree (certainly enough to write Green Arrow, snort!); she wrote a passel of comics for Marvel in the '80s. In addition to some strong 'socially relevant' stories for Daredevil, she wrote a miniseries starring, Dazzler, which immediately gives her credit for gumption in my book.
Plus, I am delighted to see that she recognizes at least two of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Comic Books (Self-Referentialism and Decompression).
"Over the years I'd run into a comic here and there, and I would try and read it. It was like multiple characters, lots of characters squashed onto a page. A story you couldn't really get into. You had no idea of what was going on, and I thought, ‘They kinda lost their way, they're not telling single stories anymore.' "This is very encouraging; if Nocenti can bring the 'done-in-one' to Green Arrow (and perhaps bring the practice back into fashion), she will have my admiration and thanks.
But I'm much less encouraged that she apparently knows zero about Green Arrow.
"Green Arrow," aka Oliver Green, is a rich billionaire based in Star City, which is apparently based on Seattle. "He's modeled after Robin Hood, so I guess his origin story is ‘steal from the rich and give to the poor,' " she says.
Nocenti didn't know anything about the character until she read Wikipedia. "The thing that struck me the most was the phrase that kept coming up over and over — ‘thrill-seeking activist.' Which I can get behind because I'm kinda a thrill-seeking activist."
I get it, DC; you're doing whatever you can to try to find more female writers. Ordinarily I might not favor that kind of 'reverse-sexism', but given the atrocious portrayals of Starfire and Catwoman since the reboot, it's pretty clear that something needs to be done to ameliorate the Slavering Fanboy Writer Syndrome that's smothering comic books.
But really... even I think Ollie deserves a writer -- male or female -- who doesn't have to look him up on Wikipedia to find out who he is. Is this one of the "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow"? Give him a writer who admittedly knows nothing about him? Have we forgotten Jodi Picoult already?
Green Arrow has a Golden Age pedigree, with a longer and more consistent publishing history than anyone other than the other original JLAers. And you pick someone to write him who managed to be a comic book writer for, oh, 15 years, without ever having heard of Green Arrow?
I can't believe I'm saying this, but: GREEN ARROW DESERVES BETTER. DC, don't give you characters short-shrift in the rush to diversify your writing staff.