THIRTY DAYS OF DC: Your Favourite Family
Considering I came up with this damn list, you’d think these things’d be easier for me. I had honestly no idea what to put for this as I debated over what counted as a ‘family’ in the DC verse, even though on the surface it’s pretty obvious.
I settled on the Arrows, though. I have a big soft spot for the Bats, and I’ve read more Bat books, but that’s because the Bats get
more books. The Arrows are a tighter, closely knit family that are completely disfunctional, yes, but are tied together inexorably. With both a well meaning but frequently fucking up father figure, a powerful, loving and compassionate mother figure who has her own life and her own friendships, the family is one of the most ‘family’ish of the lot of them.
Ollie is a hihgly flawed father - he more or less abandoned Roy when Dinah first came into his sights, and even if you don’t accept the storylines since that have expounded on that abandonment line (I know his knowing about Connor isn’t accepted as canon by a lot of fen), he’s always got this streak of loving hard, but showing it with incredibly varied results. From the moment he fell off that boat, his journey has been one of learning to be less self centred and his growth as a person is one of those few character growth journeys that’s been allowed to stick.
Maybe that’s it. maybe it’s the fact that this family has been allowed to grow, both as individuals and a unit, that makes me love them so.
Dinah, also, has grown a lot since her time of being Green Arrow’s girlfriend in the Justice League. Her experience in Longbow Hunters, while technically a ‘woman in refrigerators’ moment, being played on the surface for Ollie’s recation, was at that same time a lesson in how that trope can be played right, showing her reaction and her recovery with sympathy and heart. Even if her relationship with Ollie isn’t always the best (and I still think that their marriage could have been great, but it just wasn’t written well), she’s fully a member of the family by way of her strong maternal streak and the way she cares deeply for all the kids. Especially Roy and Lian, of course.
What I would give for more on-panel time between Dinah and Mia or Connor.
I confess I haven’t read much Titans
, nor a lot of the Green Arrow
from teh 90s post Dinah leaving the title, but this needs to be fixed
, because by golly, I love Roy Harper and his Ollie-esque humour, his deep love for his friends and family, and his dedication to being a father to his adorable daughter. Both him and Connor Hawke are the characters I look forward to reading most of all; they have very strong, individual personalities and their stories are, like Ollie’s, about self discovery, learning and growth.
Well, up until the thing that made each of them interesting (Roy’s daughter, Connor’s Buddhism) were slashed away by editorial decisions.
Which leaves me with Mia, Cissie and Lian; rocking young women who were all shown to learn and grow on panel. Fortunately for my view of reality, Cry for Justice
falls foul of the costume continuity law* and therefore Lian is still alive no matter what DC think. And yes, I’m hoping that the rumours of Cissie reappearing in the new direction Green Arrow
turn out to be true, because that’d rock. And that’s the thing about the Arrow family: everyone has their own identity, everyone has their own story. Also, of course Connor is bisexual. That way Ollie's the only one who would be allowed to give blood in the UK and I can giggle at the ridiculous irony.
The biggest crime against art with the Arrow family is that the relationships are not shown enough on panel: The last run on Green Arrow tried to fix this with regular appearances from the rest of the family, but they spend too much time in their own books and not enough time working that magic that happens everytime they are on panel together (see Devin Grayson’s excellent Arsenal
mini, Brad Meltzer’s Justice League
, and both his and Kevin Smith’s runs on Green Arrow
I had hoped Green Arrow/Black Canary would have been more of a family book, but I didn’t get that. Still, I have lots and lots of Ropy, Connor and Cissie centric books on my to read list, and that makes me happy.
*If Dinah Lance is shown in her mother’s costume rather than her own, that’s a sign that the storyline is taking place in an Elseworld and doesn’t need to be taken as canon. Apply it to your comics! They’ll be a lot easier to take.
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