April 9, 2017
Green Arrow # 20
“Vertigo: The Return of Roy Harper, Conclusion”
Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Eleonora Carlini and Mirka Andolfo
Green Arrow #20, “The Return of Roy Harper, Conclusion”, says it all. This marks the conclusion of the “Roy Harper” storyline. Roy Harper, aka Speedy, aka Arsenal has teamed back up with Ollie/Green Arrow after many years and much turmoil. Roy isn’t all that thrilled with this current situation, for you see, he blames Green Arrow for the death of his father.
In part 1 of “The Return of Roy Harper”, the issue opens up on the “Rez” as a group known as the Wild Dog Militia is attempting to break up a group of protesters who oppose the Black Artery Pipeline which is being built straight through Native American land, by none other than Queen Industries. It would seem after Oliver’s supposed death, his company has been up to no good. Enter Green Arrow, Arsenal and Black Canary to aid the protesters. Arsenal has returned to his adopted home on a Navajo reservation to defend it. Now, if Oliver and Roy can stop arguing, they could actually help. It’s a good thing Black Canary was there. The issue shuttles back and forth from present to the past, re-introducing the relationship of Oliver Queen and Roy Harper. Beginning on the streets of Seattle with Roy’s addiction issues, Oliver’s subsequent rejection of him and Count Vertigo stepping in to fill the void in this directionless young man, we see the fast decline of the duo’s relationship.
In the conclusion of “The Return of…”, past and present still shuttle back and forth and both the origin of Speedy and the bad blood between he and Ollie. Let’s not forget Count Vertigo in all this either. In this new Rebirth origin of Speedy/Arsenal, Roy Harper returns to his roots of growing up on a Navajo reservation and raised by his adoptive Native American father, Big Bow, who had saved him from the forest fire that killed his parents. Unfortunately, he too is killed and the true culprit slowly reveals themselves to a now clearer thinking Roy that for so many years had pushed it away with grief and his substance abuse issues. Finally, Roy is able to confront his adoptive father’s killer with the opportunity to exact revenge, but will he do it? Can he do it? What follows next is a huge turning point in the life of Roy Harper and Oliver as well.
The Verdict: Green Arrow has definitely returned to the eco-warrior of old, as he takes on a headline subject from today. If you’ve been intrigued by DC’s Rebirth, then you’ll enjoy this issue it’s the re-emergence of Roy into Oliver’s life since Rebirth began and has built some important themes left over from pre-Flashpoint DC universe. This new origin has kept ties with its pre-Flashpoint Roy but also leaves his New 52 incarnation by becoming more than just Oliver’s tech guy, but ashis wardvand sidekick, Speedy. Writer Benjamin Percy has done a good job in rewriting Arsenal’s origins without losing the character’s substance abuse problems, not only with Roy himself but with Oliver’s inability to see what was happening right in front of his eyes. It would seem at the end of the issue, Arsenal is ready for new directions other than always being the screw-up or cautionary example. The artwork duo of Carlini and Andolfo is pretty good with great colors. This issue is a good start as well for the budding romance between Oliver and Dinah which was completely removed in the New 52 Green Arrow, which was always a selling point for me ever since The Longbow Hunters.