WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Green Arrow Annual #2 by Julie & Shawna Benson, Carmen Carnero, and Trish Mulvihill, in stores now.
Justice League: No Justice is as much a Green Arrow story as it is a cosmic adventure on an epic scale. While the Justice League is out in space trying to save the universe from four giant gods, Oliver Queen is here on Earth trying to save his -- our -- home. In Green Arrow Annual #2, we see everything the Emerald Archer goes through just to get to where he is in the big event series. But to get there, he needs a little help from an old friend: the Arrowplane.
Green Arrow is one of the few superheroes still active following Brainiac's attack on Earth. The Titans, Teen Titans, and Justice League of America have all been hit hard, and as we know from No Justice, they are all comatose. Not knowing this, Oliver tries to reach out to his family, but can't get a hold of anyone. In order to make it from Seattle, Washington to Happy Harbor, Rhode Island as quickly as possible, he needs a jet powerful enough to make the trip in a short amount of time. He needs the Arrowplane.
Unfortunately, the plane doesn't make it through it's first adventure in decades. When Green Arrow takes it to the Arctic Circle in order to hunt down Amanda Waller, the freezing temperatures prove to be too much. The plane freezes up and Oliver crashes, destroying it completely. Thankfully, it did the job well enough to get Green Arrow where he needed to go. In a way, the Arrowplane was the secret MVP of No Justice, because it got the archer right where he needed to be in the end.
The History and the Future of the Arrowplane
As you might imagine, Green Arrow's success as a superhero all leads back to Batman. In the 1940s, Oliver Queen followed the Bruce Wayne model to a T. He was a billionaire playboy with a secret identity. He had no powers and he road around in themed vehicles. Like Batman before him, there was the Arrow Cave, the Arrowcar, and the Arrowplane. Eventually Oliver was taken in his own direction, and the high-end tech was traded in for a career as the superhero equivalent of Robin Hood. Comic book creators have not forgotten his past, though.
In "Archer's Quest" by Brad Meltzer and Phil Hester, Green Arrow and Arsenal take a trip down memory lane when they visit the old Arrow Cave and take the Arrowcar out for a spin. It's a little ode to the Golden Age history of the character and allows for some nice character moments, but that's not what we get in Green Arrow Annual #2. Sure, the Bensons want us to smile at the return of a comic book artifact, but there's more going on here.
At the end of the issue, Oliver admits to Dinah that he has "plans for an upgrade" with regards to the Arrowplane. It's here that we see that Julie and Shawna Benson are planting the seeds for their upcoming run on the ongoing title. In August, artist Javier Fernandez will join them to tell the adventures of Green Arrow, starting with issue #43. This isn't just some throwaway line about some fun piece of comic book lore, folks! The Arrowplane is coming back, bigger and stronger than ever -- get ready for another Rebirth in the pages of Green Arrow.