The Green Arrow/Green Lantern story arch matures in Volume two. The authors have continued to tackle real-world issues that reflect the turbulent social period of the 70’s. From Speedy being a heroin addict to racism, Green Arrow and Green Lantern use their superhero status and skills to do the best they can to keep society together. The authors, however, are using the green duo to bring these gritty issues to the forefront of discussion, which is what literature is supposed to do, isn’t it?
Like a good wine, the Green Arrow comics have improved with age. I also think that having Green Lantern as a counterpoint to Green Arrow was good call on behalf of the authors/publishers. Green Arrow can sometimes be grumpy and cranky while Green Lantern can be naive and vapid. In Volume 2 Green Lantern finally has removed his rose-colored glasses, but hasn’t lost his people-are-inherently-good outlook. This bodes well for Green Lantern who has succumbed to an intensely cynical mood, partly due to Speedy’s drug habit and partly because he (GA) is broke.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous reviews of the Green Arrow cannon, this is my first foray into the comic book world. Being a literature teacher I’ve heard all of the arguments why comics are “bad” for kids to read. And I have to say that the comics from the 40’s and 50’s are definitely flat and mind numbing. But as the series has aged, I feel that there’s more grit/meat/content/purpose to the comics as the writers use their medium to speak to their audience. These more mature comics I can support. The purpose of literature is, after all, to get the reader to ponder the author’s view of a societal issue so that we are thinking about our own relationship to the observation. If a comic book writer can accomplish this, than hats off to him/her. I’d rather my kids/students would be reading something that will make them better thinkers and educated about life’s highs and lows.