Monday, December 17, 2007

Why The Death of Connor Hawke Bothers Me

Okay, here's a list:

1. After the fast one that was pulled on us with Green Arrow, I can't even tell if Winick is serious.

2. Roy Harper is pretty redundant as Red Arrow. At least as a doper or as the poor schmoe in love with a crazy assassin he had something that stood out. But Connor was soooooo much more unique and marketable than him.

3. Yes, I said "marketable." I know to refer to an ethnic character as "marketable" is shocking -- most action figures I suppose should be of white men. But Connor was a very attractive character with a great costume design. He was instantly recognizable. Whereas Red Arrow is boring. Yeh, I said it -- boring.

4. I've always felt that these "ethnic" reboots/versions of established characters would get phased out eventually. I realize that it's a cynical thing to say. But intuitively I could just anticipate it. And I feel killing off Connor sets a precedent.

5. Yes, Connor Hawke was a character that truly had an ambiguous sexuality. Never mind that Peter Parker speculation..this was the real deal. Even the editors knew it. I think he was even close to actually being officially bisexual -- though in the end that never happened. But the fans "adopted" him as being bi. And that's another reason I think Connor was so unique -- and a character with a lot left to explore and write about.

6. This comes too soon after the whole Green Arrow thing. It's like the method used to write these characters is one extreme event after another. I don't think this benefits either Green Arrow or Black Canary. It just smacks of not knowing these characters and not knowing how to write them.

Oh, but I'm sure that the sales will spike.


  1. But the market decides what is best. And if it sells lots, it must've been a good story.


  2. bowesome you deserve nothing but shame in even saying such a thing in jest.

    Having recently read the BC/GA issue with the "supposed" death of Conner I was more than slightly ticked off by this.

    Again the writers just want someone to kill off. If it isn't the girlfriend or spouse then its the ethnic guy.

    They've spent all this time actually giving Conner a few mini's and a regular supporting role with GA this can't be it.

  3. I'm honestly not convinced Connor is going to die. Yes he was shot, and yes, the solicit of the next cover has Ollie cradling him, but (and maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part) I don't think it's a given that he will actually die. There are plenty of heroes that have survived gunshot wounds.

    I also don't think you need to argue the point that Red Arrow should have been the one to bite it. There's plenty of room in the DCU for all three characters. Roy has history and the fact that he was a former drug abuser makes him fairly unique in the comics world. In fact, Tony Stark is the only character I can think of off the top of my head that has a past with substance abuse. I'm just saying there are plenty of stories left to tell with each character. A hero is only as boring as the person writing them.

    That being said, Winnick needs to stop with his superhero snuff fetish. It seems like killing a character is the only way he can think of to bring drama into his stories. I was actually enjoying Green Arrow/Black Canary up to that point. Hopefully our lack of faith in Winnick won't be confirmed.

  4. Great. That's two days in a row you've expressed your lack of confidence in ethnic reboots. They're going to replace Jaime Reyes. They're going to kill my favorite, and last DC title.

  5. Having not read any of this story, I doubt he'll die. Connor's a good character, with a lot of stories left to tell, and it would be a waste.

    My rule for cliffhangers is this: If the cliff is "is he going to die?" or "is he dead," he'll live. Because otherwise, the cliffhanger would be "he's dead--now what?" If there's any doubt as to whether he's dead or not, my money's on life.

  6. I called this when I saw the broken arrow on the ground in the second countdown preview.

    I think probably that is it for me and DC for a while. I'm exhausted, and this character was a favourite of mine, much like Kon-el.

  7. I loved the GA book when Connor was the title character. It sucked that they stopped that title to make room for Kevin Smith's reboot, then it took like a year for that reboot to actually start. Connor is awesome. I think you're right about Red Arrow being boring--Arsenal, not so much. Getting rid of Sin already soured me on this series. If they get rid of Connor, well, that's even less reason to give a crap about it.

  8. I think one of the main reasons for DC to kill off Connor (other than shock value), is that he firmly establishes Ollie as being around forty, thereby supposedly decreasing the original's value to a younger audience. 'Cause you can't have older heroes in their forties or thirty-something married webslingers! Think of the dwindling number of pre-teen readers!

  9. As much as it sucks for DC to do a 180 on various developments (Sin among them, Catwoman's baby is another), I can't say I've ever had the desire to read about Black Canary being a mother. A comic *with* Sin in it would be less appealing to me than one *without* her.

    Then again, I'm not reading it anyway.

  10. Let's see, I'm eleven and I want a comic book...
    Do I go into the known quantity that is the bookstore - with their racks of cheap, self-contained black and white Japanese reprints that cost peanuts - or do I go into what looks from the outside like a toyshop full of child molesters and spend ten dollars on a grand total of two books that will last me all of ten minutes, but I need to have read four other books this month to get what was going on? Yeah, that's a tough call, all right.

    As for the whole 'diversity' thing via ethnic reboots - comics are a frathouse, not a sorority. Mostly white, and very male.
    Ethnic reboots are done for purposes of tokenism, and as such are seen as unnecessary to the overall franchise property by those who maintain it - why do anything with the black/hispanic dude when he's only there to make up numbers?

  11. I'm pretty much in agreeing mode here...

    "Red Arrow" defines stupid. I'm quite fond of Roy Harper, and I even liked Arsenal 1.0 (purple suit with archaic weapons.) Version 2 onward was a bad idea, and it seems to me Red Arrow was a retreat from the gun-weilding buddy cop hero route.

    In my perfect world circa 1997, Connor Hawke and Roy Harper teamed-up. Connor is the more effective Kato to Harper's Hornet, struggling only with the two disciplines Harper is superior in: archery and irreverence. Maybe Roy grows a goatee. Maybe Ollie comes back as an embittered, one-armed occasional mentor/sometimes adversary. Maybe Fabian Nicieza should write it.

    I own a Connor Hawke action figure. When trying to define new characters, I'e uttered the phrase, "too much like Connor Hawke." He was unique in and marketable outside comics in a way Roy and Ollie will never be.

    Middle-aged white men just do not invest in minority characters to the extent they can a more obvious writer proxy; Chuck Dixon, Tony Isabella, Gerard Jones and Chris Claremont being among notable exceptions. By the same token, Dan Didio pays lip service to diversity, but clearly his money isn't with his directives-without-follow-through.

    I'm sorry, but DC is to many readers a haven for institutionalized racism. Whenever the company tries to play catch-up, its typically a slew of ethnic versions of white characters invariably replaced by the returning originals or just newly created white characters. Thank the animated Justice League for turning the only original black hero of the Bronze Age wholly owned by DC into something more than a Detroit-era joke or obscure Suicide Squad character. I guess based on the Wall alone, I'd have to add John Ostrander to my previous list, turning a blind eye to Blac Jac Mac.

    I think Chuck Dixon would to this day protest Connor being anything but a naive heterosexual who gets freaky with only girl ghosts, but I hear where you're coming from.

    Am I the only one who finds Oliver Queen severely limited as a character? From Batman knock-off to dated knee jerk liberal to quasi-conservative, Oliver Queen to this day seems like more of a hackneyed concept than a realized character. Never mind that after a decade and a half lay-off, he and Black Canary are still stuck with one another as a couple. He's just so very tired and of times that have passed.

    It of course goes without saying Winnick can't write period, so singling out deficiencies in specific characterizations is like sifting through a cesspool for a particular turd.

  12. Not exactly a reasoned critique, here, but: gawd this is dumb. I gave this title a chance, I bought three issues, and I am done.

  13. I read every issue for the artwork, and then am shamed to have filled my brain with such tripe.
    How I loath Judd Winick. Can't he just go back to writing what he is cpaable of: Barry Ween?

  14. you know if it IS a scam, i'll be happy...but that broken green arrow says it isn't. i think it is weird to begrudge winnick the chance to shake things up, or to have cliff hangers. like-- that people fell for that green arrow red herring in the wedding special.

  15. Koma: I forgot that sarcasm doesn't work well in print. Pardon.

    I'm just really, really tired of all of this event death.

  16. Of course, on a quasi-related topic, I am tired of lesser writer using cheap deaths to illicit cheap emotional response from their readers.

    It's the easy way out. Why bother working with a character, exploring all that came before while building on to it, when you can simply kill him off. It gets a response. Fans of the character are angry, ones who didn't know the character can related back to the time they lost someone close to them, affix that feeling to whoever is the designated morner, and voila--instant pathos.

    I am not agains death in comics completely. But it should be portrayed as more than just shock value.

  17. If hes really "dead" what bothers me is how he died. not fighting not saving someone but shot by some random cloud ! I really hope hes not dead cause hes one of my favorite any one les hoping this is just to trick the readers and its mia or roy thats gonna be would that be too creative for winnick to think of ?

  18. I disagree TOTALLY. I like Roy/Red Arrow way more.