It’s Zero Hour for Green Arrow, as he meets his son Connor Hawke for the first time (again) in this Convergence tie-in.
Convergence, while also an exercise in reflecting back on 80 years worth of DC Comics history, is mostly about picking up heroes from different eras and pitting them against each other for survival. While the first week of event mostly concentrated on pre-Flashpoint versions of DC’s most famous characters, the second week of releases is firmly rooted in the mid-1990s Zero Hour event.
It’s an interesting choice of eras in the history of Green Arrow, coming at a literal crossroads for the character and the publisher. Mike Grell had just left the book, and after 80 issues of a gritty urban hunter in a world without powers, DC was keen to put him back in touch with the rest of the universe. It was a path that eventually led Oliver Queen to his estranged son Connor Hawke, who would ultimately replace him as the Green Arrow.
The Ollie we meet here in CONVERGENCE: GREEN ARROW #1 is one that has just lost his home in Seattle, and is separated from Dinah/Black Canary following her discovery of his affair with the young Marianne. Pre-Flashpoint history would see Ollie kill Hal Jordan/Parallax during Zero Hour, and retreat to a familiar ashram where he would meet Connor. Writer Christy Marx takes the opportunity to amplify that troubled era, presenting an alternative meeting interrupted by the coming of Telos and his dome. Connor defends an idyllic inner city Ashram in Metropolis, and signals for Green Arrow’s help when the sanctuary is attacked.
Without the benefit of their road trip (and companion Eddie Fyers), or Ollie’s fateful incident with the plane over Metropolis, we see a side to both characters that’s only been hinted at before. Brad Meltzer’s run revealed Ollie always knew about his son, so there was the implication that he had been running from the truth for a while and been something of a deadbeat dad. In the original continuity, he died not long after the revelation, so we never got to experience him dealing with the issues. Connor borders, and often crosses over into, the obsessive here, but not without good reason at times. Both are forced to suddenly confront the uncomfortable reality at once, and to Marx’s credit neither of them come off as completely rational.
For better or for worse, the artwork definitely conjures a mid-’90s house style at DC, from the period logo on the cover to the familiar hooded outfit. Morales is no stranger to the Emerald Archer, having worked on him as a feature player over a decade ago in Identity Crisis. It’s definitely a welcome return to a characterisation we’ve missed since 2011, and just as Convergence: Superman reminded us of the importance of the Man of Steel’s underpants, so too does Morales make us yearn for Ollie’s goatee once more. It’s also terrific to see Morales acknowledge Connor’s mixed racial heritage, something that artists and colourists have struggled to remember over the last two decades.
Perhaps it’s due to a familiarity with this era, but CONVERGENCE: GREEN ARROW #1 captures the mid-1990s Green Arrow in a literal bubble. While it would have been interesting to pull in a different period of the character’s history, this largely overlooked era serves as a perfect point for a much angrier Ollie and a more naïve Connor. If you’ve not looked ahead at next month’s solicitations, the reveal of Ollie and Connor’s sparring partners is an interesting one as well, bringing together two competing ’90s realities in the same book. Perhaps when the dust settles, the version of Green Arrow that returns will be something a little closer to this one.
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