The Citizen storyline took a break last month as Oliver Queen, Justice League and Titans mourned the death of Roy Harper that took place in Heroes In Crisis. While Roy’s death will have a lasting impact it is not something that Oliver can think about too much as the threat of The Citizen continues. Making things worse is that the last time we saw The Citizen he announced one of his next targets will be Oliver Queen. With what The Citizen has done to his targets in the past Green Arrow will have a lot to deal with if he wants his alter ego to be safe. Let’s find out if that will be the case with Green Arrow #46.
Writers: Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Artist: German Peralta
Colorist: John Kalisz
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: During a livestream The Citizen talks about how Green Arrow got in the way of Alison Kim facing judgement. He reveals that while Franklin Rossmore avoided judgement by hanging himself in prison there is one less 1%. The Citizen then asks where Green Arrow is hiding Oliver Queen.
As The Citizen continues his livestream he talks about how they must continue to bring the 1% to justice.
As he talks about this people attack various millionaires on the streets, in their limos, at the airport and at private parties.
Green Arrow and Black Canary show up to stop The Citizen supporters attacking a private party at the Flangan Mansion. Green Arrow stops The Citizen in the crowd and puts him in a submission hold. When Green Arrow takes the person’s mask off he discovers it’s just a guy cosplaying as The Citizen. Green Arrow and Black Canary realize more The Citizen copies will continue to show up if they don’t stop the real one.
The next morning Dinah Lance goes to JSlade headquarters to help with the investigation of Jubal Slade’s murder. Dinah convinces Jubal’s secretary to give her information of his driver, Shane Andrews.
Meanwhile Green Arrow visits Kevin Carlson to learn everything he knows about The Citizen. While hesitant to talk about it Kevin says all he remembers is being knocked out then tortured to the point of blacking out and the next thing he knew he was in a car. Kevin then mentions he is worried about what The Citizen will do to Oliver Queen. Green Arrow says Oliver is under his protection and that he has taken responsibility for driving drunk.
Kevin then reveals that that night was not Oliver’s sins. Green Arrow is shocked that Kevin is saying Oliver is innocent. Kevin reveals that it was their friend Brett that was driving drunk and he has the pictures because Oliver used his phone that night.
He goes on to say that The Citizen wanted Kevin to blame Oliver on camera. Green Arrow asks Kevin for all the pictures from that night. Kevin says he will but is still confused The Citizen got the pictures when Robert Queen paid off the sheriff to hide the murder.
A little later Green Arrow finds the sheriff packing up to leave town before The Citizen can find him. The sheriff says it wasn’t his choice to give The Citizen a picture showing him taking a bribe. He then reveals that a guy on the force, Joe Stranz, took the photo. The sheriff offers information on Joe Stranz. Green Arrow accepts and tells the sheriff to leave his city afterwards.
Across town Black Canary tracks down Shane Andrews address only to find that it was fake. Black Canary looks for more information on Shane and discovers he actually died in 1993.
Black Canary calls Green Arrow to tell him this. Green Arrow mentions that he is at Joe Stranz’s house and tells Black Canary about who Joe is. Green Arrow thinks he is either working for or being bribed by The Citizen. He then forwards Black Canary the information on Joe’s place
As Green Arrow breaks into Joe’s house he discovers a wall with pictures and a map of Seattle. The Citizen attacks Green Arrow from behind. As they fight Green Arrow questions The Citizen why he set Oliver Queen up, revealing he knows The Citizen is Joe.
The Citizen says that the public will decide if Oliver is innocent. Green Arrow ends up throwing The Citizen through a window and his mask falls off revealing The Citizen is Joe. The Citizen gets his mask back on and runs away.
Right after The Citizen runs away the house blows up with Green Arrow barely able to jump out of the house. Black Canary arrives and helps Green Arrow back up.
Green Arrow reveals to Black Canary that he has proof that he didn’t kill Nadia Vanderberg the night of the drunk driving incident. Black Canary wants to go to the cops with the information but Green Arrow says they have to play The Citizen’s game
The next morning Oliver holds a press conference and reveals he has been out of the public eye the last few days because he attended a friend’s (Roy Harper) funeral and needed time to grieve. While the press question him Oliver says at the advice of his lawyer (Kate Spencer) he will be under police protection until The Citizen is apprehended. He goes on to state that while he is not proud of his past he did not kill Nadia. Oliver then leaves the press conference for Kate to answer any other questions.
A little later Kate says she is glad Oliver if finally taking her advice and to be careful at the safe house.
Olivers gets in a police car. As they drive off the police officer driving comments how it doesn’t seem fair that the Oliver is getting special treatment. The driver suddenly hits the brakes and reveals he is The Citizen. The Citizen quickly knocks Oliver out and throws his phone out the car. As he drives off The Citizen says Oliver will now face his public court of law. End of issue.
The Good: After the previous issue dealing with the aftermath of Roy Harper’s death in Heroes In Crisis it was easy to forget what Green Arrow and Black Canary were dealing with in Seattle. Julie Benson and Shawna Benson knew this and made sure to treat the transition back to The Citizen plotline with care as Green Arrow #46 progressed. The developments that occur are given importance as recent events propelled Green Arrow and Black Canary to have a greater focus on stopping The Citizen.
One of the decisions that spotlighted where Green Arrow and Black Canary are mentally after Roy’s death was the fact that we don’t see them out of their superhero identities until the very end of the issue. That decision showed that both Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance decided to fully dive back into their work on The Citizen case. Though they don’t say it this case presented them a way to distract themselves from the pain they felt over Roy’s death.
What made this an even better choice was the fact that the Bensons did not throw this fact in our face. Instead they provided small context clues with how focused Green Arrow and Black Canary were handling The Citizen case. That in turn made the subtle ways the Bensons showed how Roy’s death impacted them will be a long-term sub-plot for this series.
That focus made the transition back to The Citizen plotline much more seamless. Even though Green Arrow and Black Canary weren’t on the case for several days they did not forget the details they had learned. Those details made their focus in Green Arrow #46 keep the story moving forward at a solid pace. Everything they did was built on what we have learned so far giving a much tighter pace to Green Arrow #46 that did not worry itself about recapping what has happened.
The progression in Green Arrow #46 led to some interesting revelations as we learned that Oliver wasn’t the one that was drinking and driving when Nadia Vanderberg. This revelation from Oliver’s friend made how Green Arrow still felt responsible for the events a bigger moment. It showed that because since becoming Green Arrow Oliver puts greater weight on his shoulders. And the fact that it was still his father who helped hide the details of Nadia’s death further emphasized how he feels he must answer for his sins.
These revelations also put into question why exactly The Citizen is doing all this. We know he does not like the 1% but we still aren’t clear on why he has turned his back on doing things within the system. That question gives greater provides greater interest in how Green Arrow will decided to get this information out of The Citizen as Oliver Queen.
Oliver going about announcing where he has been and what he plans on doing show how ahead of the game he is now being. This is a smart way to use the fact that his Green Arrow identity is a secret to give him and Black Canary the upper hand on The Citizen. It also a good way to highlight how this all goes back to being a plot centered around Oliver Queen and not Green Arrow.
And while The Citizen is shown to be nowhere near Green Arrow or Black Canary’s skill it was interesting to see how he made up for it by the chaos he is able to cause. Showing the various locations The Citizen’s followers are attacking the 1% shows how influential he has become. That influence is a good way to bring what we are seeing in the real world with how social media can galvanize people to feel rewarded by bringing chaos and violence to the world. It’s an unfortunate negative side effect of social media and Bensons use that fact in a way to enhance this story around the threat The Citizen.
German Peralta does a good job stepping in and keeping the grounded style that works best for Green Arrow. The chaos we see The Citizen’s followers bring to the city was brought to life in the double page spread that opened this issue. Peralta also did a good job in displaying how focused Green Arrow and Black Canary were compared to how casual Oliver was during his press conference.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Green Arrow #46 was a strong return to The Citizen plotline. Julie Benson and Shawna Benson did a great job progressing the plot at a quick pace. The revelations are worked in well to give Green Arrow and Black Canary the information they need to set in motion the final stage of this story arc.