Green Arrow #45: Funeral For A Friend

Written by Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Art by Javier Fernandez
Colors by John Kalisz
Letters by Deron Bennett

In a heart wrenching instant, Arsenal, Roy Harper, was dead.

Julie and Shawna didn’t pull any punches in this weeks Green Arrow 45, by the third page you could feel the heaviness of Oliver’s words. The regret Oliver had has he recalled Roy mentioning his decision to go to Sanctuary. And like any mourning father, stares down the people he thinks are to blame. Oliver’s raw emotion is the strength in the Benson’s writing. It has shown in prior issues, but clearly stood out in this Heroes in Crisis tie-in. Knowing all too well who Clark is, Oliver punched him right in the face, there was no panel to show if Oliver suffered any injury in doing so, but with his anger, I’m not sure Oliver cared.

This anger causes J’onn Jones to psychically apprehend Oliver to attempt to calm him down. Oliver continues to claim that the Justice League and Sanctuary are to blame for Roy’s death, because they were responsible for him. J’onn claims that Sanctuary was trying to help Roy, and I think that is my only problem with this issue, or my problem with Heroes in Crisis as a whole. Sanctuary was suppose to be a place that heroes could go to escape the burdens and responsibilities of being a hero, a place even troubled heroes could go for help. There was no witness to these claims, we never saw the progression of Roy Harper before he was murdered. How helpful was Sanctuary in the first place?

Although no progress was seen, Roy’s best improvement was his sobriety, and how it encouraged others to get sober. We are introduced to Annie during Roy’s funeral, not a superhero or vigilante of any kind. Just a simple civilian, who was once an addict, driven towards sobriety because of Roy. As an individual who has once been through a twelve step program, I have to commend Julia and Shawna. They handled the subject respectfully and showed truth in what comes from those who are addicts, seeking help.

The issue ends with Oliver tears falling making a promise not to disappoint Roy again. It’s unclear how Oliver will go about taking down Citizen from here. He does not seem to be unstable, but the loss of someone so close can leave you in an unclear state of mind and clearly an emotional wreck.

10/10

You can pick up your copy of Green Arrow #45 at your local comic book shop or online at the DC Comics website.

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