Remember that scene in Alison Maclean’s cinematic version of “Jesus’ Son,” when writer-of-the-novel Denis Johnson plays the guy with the hunting knife sticking out of his skull? Remember how Jack Black, as drug-addled orderly Georgie, pulls the knife out of that character’s head and then pulls it out in a later scene after accidentally running over a rabbit? “We’ll camp in the wilderness,” he whisper-shouts with manic glee, “and in the morning we’ll breakfast on its haunches!”
I point to that movie and its deranged poetry because “Green Arrow/Black Canary” #29 also features a character with a hunting knife sticking out of his skull. Only in this case, it’s Oliver Queen’s pal, Lucas Hilton, who has a knife embedded into his brain. And the doctor says that any attempt to remove it would kill him instantly. Plus, having a knife in his brain may or may not affect his personality (though, at the time we read that scene, we have a feeling that it probably will, and we’re right).
So, when he goes all crazy later on in the comic, running around with the knife still sticking out of his head, and then shoots another cop point blank, well, we were warned that an old knife-in-the-skull injury such as his could result in “massive personality disorders.” Oh, but the best part? Lucas Hilton is called, by his colleagues, Lt. Hilt.
Get it? Lt. Hilt. And he has a knife sticking out of his head! I smell supervillain.
Yes, this is a comic where stuff like that happens, and it’s as dumb as it sounds.
This is also the issue that ends the 14-part saga that began when Andrew Kreisberg took over this series as writer, and joined then-current artist Mike Norton. This is the end of the Kreisberg/Norton run. And though Norton produced some sturdy linework over the course of his two-year stint on this series, Kreisberg didn’t prosper quite as well — as you can probably surmise from the whole Lt. Hilt gag.
What we get in this 30-page finale is the showdown between Green Arrow and Cupid — the lunatic with a crush on Oliver Queen. Like all great stories, it ends with an exploding helicopter and a battle at the local dam. Black Canary in peril. Green Arrow shooting girls in the hand. And, oh, before that final sequence we got to see Green Arrow, with clenched fist, proclaim, “Tonight, I decide what’s trivial.”
Yes, this is terrible stuff.
But it looks pretty great, with Bill Sienkiewicz providing finishes this month over Norton’s layouts. And David Baron laying down bold chunks of color, giving the whole issue a suitably trashy feel.
If you just look at the pictures, you can find a lot to enjoy in “Green Arrow/Black Canary” #29. Maybe that’s for the best. Because the dialogue? Well, it quotes Tim Gunn in the epilogue. That’s witty, right?