Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wedding in the DCU

Justice League of America Wedding Special (DC) - $3.99
Dwayne McDuffie - Writer; Mike McKone - Pencils; Andy Lanning - Inks
The ‘wedding’ referred to in Wedding Special is that of Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen (Black Canary and Green Arrow for the DC-impaired among you). However, to call this particular issue a ‘wedding special’ is really a joke. Frankly, it has almost nothing to do with the wedding in question. It is essentially a typical Justice League of America story that includes a few pages covering Oliver’s bachelor party and Dinah’s bachelorette party. The rest of the issue focuses on Lex Luthor and his new Legion of Doom. So let’s count the ‘wedding’ pages, shall we? I count seven pages that occur at the bachelor party (though one of those pages is a discussion between Hal Jordan and John Stewart regarding sharing League duties and also a division of GL work - it really has nothing at all to do with the wedding and/or the bachelor party aside from the fact that their conversation occurs at Oliver’s party) and one page for Dinah’s bachelorette party. So that gives a total of seven, possibly eight, pages altogether. This out of a 38 page story. So essentially somewhere around 18 to 21 percent of the story can be considered to be related to the wedding. Everything else revolves around Luthor and his new organization. And the story itself isn’t self-contained. On the last page we find – To be continued in Justice League of America no. 13. Yes, that’s right. It doesn’t continue in the Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special. It continues directly into a regular issue of Justice League of America. Why? Because it isn’t actually a Wedding Special as advertised. It is just another issue of Justice League of America falsely represented as something else. To say I feel ripped off is an understatement. This comic should have been the 13th issue of Justice League of America and not a so-called ‘special’.
2 zombies (out of 5)

Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special (DC) - $3.99
Judd Winick - Writer; Amanda Conner - Artist
On the heels of the not-so-special Justice League of America Wedding Special comes the Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special. And surprise, it is actually about the wedding. Who would have thought? Whereas we had a number of pages allotted for Oliver’s bachelor party in the Justice League of America Wedding Special (7 total) and only a single page for Dinah’s bachelorette party, this particular issue gives us two and 1/3 (new) pages inside Dinah’s party and one and 2/3 (rehash) pages leading into Oliver’s party. So essentially, if you read the Justice League of America Wedding Special, you already saw the sequence involving Oliver and the rest of the guys (just from a slightly different POV). Otherwise, we have in this issue a pre-wedding fight between Oliver and Dinah where –
a) Oliver doesn’t like being upstaged by Dinah in a battle
b) Oliver essentially calls Dinah a slut
c) Dinah slaps Oliver
d) They start to rip each others clothes off in a moment of heated passion
e) Dinah decides they shouldn’t have sex until after the marriage (Ollie ends up taking a cold shower)
Then there is a big grid page displaying various reactions of friends and teammates when they receive their wedding invitation. Apparently Judd Winick didn’t read the recent Birds of Prey no. 109 where Barbara was attempting to talk Dinah out of marrying Oliver (and neither did the editor) since Barbara’s reaction in these pages is “Oh, good for you baby …” -- EXCEPT -- Mike Carlin is also the editor of Birds of Prey, so he should have KNOWN what Barbara’s reaction to the wedding actually was.
As we all know, you can’t have a comic book wedding without party crashers. Deathstroke and a small army of super villains pop in (courtesy of the Warp) after an ‘emergency’ (in the form of a nuclear missile launch) conveniently pulls Superman, Wonder Woman, and the four Green Lanterns in attendance out of the locale. The heroes manage to hold off the villains until the force field that is keeping Superman, Wonder Woman, and the four Green Lanterns from re-entering is disabled, at which point Deathstroke makes a hasty exit while the rest of the villains end up captured. Then there is the obligatory wedding night, complete with Dinah in lingerie, where blood and tears are shed (and while Dinah wore white at her wedding, that last statement doesn’t mean what you might think it means – freaks). [I’ll point out, before someone takes me to task, that the wearing of white has nothing to do with a bride’s virginal state – the color white has been a symbol of celebration since ancient Roman times.]
Overall, I thought the story was a bit of a train wreck (though admittedly I am biased since I think the marriage is a mistake). I have to deduct a couple of zombies for the opening argument sequence and Barbara’s reaction to the wedding invitation. However, I have to credit it a couple of zombies for Amanda Conner’s artwork. I wish she did more regular comic work.

3 zombies (out of 5)

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