Green Arrow #60

"Crawling Through the Wreckage Part One: New Sheriff in Town"
Story by Judd Winick, art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Comics have always been distinctly urbanist by nature. Even people who don't read them can tell you that Superman lives in Metropolis and Batman in Gotham, and those cities -- Bright Shiny Deco New York and Dark Scary Gothic New York -- define the characters as much as Lois Lane and Robin, or Lex Luthor and the Joker. Superhero stories are full of daily newspapers and police commissioners and other appurtenances of city life. But I was still surprised and a bit thrilled to find Green Arrow's new adventures beginning with two mayoral aides debating urban redevelopment.

One Year Later, GA's Star City is the New Orleans of the DCU, recovering from catastrophe, begging for federal aid, prey to carpetbagging developers. Green Arrow is a good candidate for this kind of city-politics storyline -- since the '70s he's been DC's resident lefty, a role that's tough to square with the superhero milieu. (A war on crime is a fundamentally right-wing civic improvement project.) Winick's solution: Oliver "Green Arrow" Queen has been elected mayor of Star City, and now an evil development consortium has hired Deathstroke to get him out of the way. (Note the apparently coincidental overlap with Superman: the hero is targetted by a political opponent for the public acts of his secret identity, rather than by a supervillain for his costumed assaults on crime. There's also some apparently coincidental overlap with Batman: in the hero's absence, a bad guy has turned vigilante. GA pins a glue arrow to him with a note saying "Nice work but stop killing them.")

There is just one incredibly huge problem with all this. Winick structures the story around a surprise ending: we hear the bad guys and the aides and the news reporter who does the exposition talking about "the mayor," we see Deathstroke contracted to kill the mayor, but we don't learn that Ollie's the mayor until the last page. This would be a huge and exciting payoff if not for the Oliver Queen for Mayor posters on the cover of the fucking magazine. Is there not an editor in charge of these things?