DARK CRISIS: WORLDS WITHOUT A JUSTICE LEAGUE – GREEN ARROW #1/ Scripts by STEPHANIE PHILLIPS & DENNIS CULVER/ Art by CLAYTON HENRY & NIK VIRELLA/ Colors by MARCELO MAIOLO & ROMULO FAJARDO JR./ Letters by TROY PETERI/ Covers by CLAYTON HENRY, MARCELO MAIOLO, MEGAN HUANG & NIK VIRELLA/ Published by DC COMICS
One was a child of privilege. The other was a child of the streets. The details of their lives have changed and changed again, but their love has remained a constant despite their being born of two different worlds on the same Earth. But can Black Canary and Green Arrow continue to find one other when whole universes separate them? Two different stories tackle this question, with the unsurprising end result that true love conquers all.
The first tale by Stephanie Phillips presents a Green Arrow that is the Robin Hood of his medieval world and a Black Canary that is closer to Barb Wire than the Dinah Lance we know, running a nightclub in a dystopian urban jungle. The second story by Dennis Culver features an Oliver Queen who fights crime in an armored suit ala Tony Stark and a Dinah Lance who fights crime as a futuristic cop ala Judge Dredd, as one of the Birds of P.R.E.Y. – an acronym that goes sadly undefined.
Both stories are fun and sure to please those long-starved Black Canary and Green Arrow fans wishing DC Comics would give them a monthly title again. Despite this, it feels like more could have been done with the revelation that Dark Crisis‘ chief villain Pariah kept having to rebuild the universal prisons meant to contain Green Arrow and Black Canary because they both kept escaping to be with one another. At the very least, we could have seen more of the many different Earths Pariah fashioned instead of just seeing several different versions of the two heroes in a line-up.
The artwork is serviceable, if not quite outstanding. Clayton Henry utilizes light inks to offer a brighter, classic style that equally suits both the worlds depicted in the first story, with the crisp colors of Marcelo Maiolo adding distinctive visual differences between both settings. The colors of Romulo Fajardo Jr. in the second story are not so complex and Nik Virella’s rougher aesthetic, while suitable to the grit of the second Canary Earth, seems out of place elsewhere.
As a fan of Black Canary and Green Arrow, I loved this issue. I must admit, however, that there’s little to hold the interest of those who aren’t already fans of Black Canary and Green Arrow. There’s no grand revelations about Dark Crisis that make it essential reading for the collectors and continuity buffs. It is, however, a good love story, for those who enjoy those.