How did Benjamin Percy finally find a way to make a readable Green Arrow comic book? Especially when he seemed so intent on making the worst Green Arrow comic book? Okay, so maybe that was a bit hyperbolic. It's hard to write the worst Green Arrow comic book when Ann Nocenti wrote it for awhile. It's not like this book doesn't have some issues. But why would I concentrate on the problems when everybody is constantly concentrating on the minute, insignificant problems of everything always? Would I do that because I know people are used to me doing that?! No way! This is Rebirth! I'm way more positive now because the DC PR Machine has told me to be! Things are turning around! Things are getting better! Legacy characters and love are back! I guess. I don't know. I'm not a big picture kind of person! Maybe that's why I usually concentrate on the minute, insignificant problems that tend to pop up in comic books I like. Anyway, DC Comics is finally delivering a Green Arrow comic book that fits the character and is being handled adeptly and has even introduced a villainous organization that makes fucking sense. Although I'm still weary about this book because Benjamin Percy is the writer who wrote a number of Green Arrow stories during The New 52 to help remind everybody that racism was bad and that no white people can understand that until they've become a werewolf for a week or two.
Recently, Green Arrow had lost all of his money and been declared dead¹. It seems like writers believe Oliver's money and standing are too much of a safety net so they find a way to remove them. Or maybe it's just too much of a hassle to have to deal with both halves of Ollie's life, although he normally just ignores the business half of his life so I don't think that's the problem. Maybe it's thematic but who has the time or intelligence to delve into themes?! I'm too busy trying to seem busy and too dumb to understand the different between theme and plot. I think it's the spelling!
Green Arrow is currently breaking into Queen Industries corporate headquarters because he knows the CFO² is somehow involved with the Moloid Slave Trade in Seattle. The best way to break into Queen Industries is to buy a ticket to ride up the Space Needle, evade all of the guards on the lookout for terrorists who would love to blow up the only recognizable landmark in Seattle, somehow get outside of the revolving restaurant to stand on top of the Space Needle, shoot an arrow with a rope to Queen Industries, and then laser through the glass! After that, it's just a matter of evading the guards until he finds whatever it is he's looking for! Or if he can't evade the guards, he can knock them out with the harshest, scariest sounding drug he could develop.
Queen Industries has the craziest technology to keep the building safe. Probably because they need to protect stuff from the Green Arrow who keeps breaking into their offices for some reason.
Green Arrow eventually gets to the office of his CFO³ where he runs into demon-faced demons with flame throwers and untied boots⁴. I hope Green Arrow has some Exorcism Arrows or else he's in trouble! I mean, he's already in trouble and will probably be in even bigger trouble even if he has Exorcism Arrows because how many can he shoot before ten flamethrowers turn him to ashes? Maybe he'll do a back flip over the flames or something!
Meanwhile in Italy, John Diggle is diggling things up! That's his new catchphrase, probably. "I'm here to Diggle you up!" He can use it when killing somebody and when fucking somebody! I'm giving that one to Benjamin Percy for free because he seems to be having trouble finding a good voice for Diggle. I think it's because Percy's White Guilt can't allow him to presume to speak for an African-American character. At least I think Diggle is African-American. He just looks like a bald white man looking for a disco in this comic book.
Diggle is searching for The Ninth Circle to avenge the death of his Fremesis, Green Arrow. He's followed some leads to find the guy who can lead him to The Ninth Circle, a guy named Virgil. Okay, Percy. I fucking get it. You read The Inferno and you decided you would cheapen the entire thing by using it as a motif in your lousy comic book! Why does everybody love to reference the Inferno part of The Divine Comedy but nobody ever bases their criminal organizations or names their superheroes after Purgatorio or Paradiso! Maybe that's Dante's fault for making those parts so boring. Perhaps if he'd put more people head down in burning shit in the latter two parts, more people would remember them.
Before Diggle can have a proper conversation with Virgil about The Ninth Circle, the scene shifts back to Green Arrow who is already battling the demons in the foyer of the office of his CFO⁵. Since he has yet to be burned to ashes, I'm going to assume he did a back flip to get out of the elevator. Grandmaster Comic Book Reader!
Oh wait! Apparently the conversation between Diggle and Virgil takes place in the text overlying the visuals of Green Arrow battling the demons. I probably should have read a bit of the page after turning to it instead of just jumping right back into my commentary so that I could call myself a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader. Not that any of this was any kind of a mistake! Just call it youthful enthusiasm! Or immature enthusiasm since the "youthful" is long fucking gone.
Diggle learns from Virgil that The Ninth Circle is a bank! Of course it is! Benjamin Percy, you sly devil! I knew you had a message hidden behind the demons, masks, and lousy Inferno references! I knew you were still fighting the social justice fight! Fuck the banks! Fuck them right in their ATMs!
But seriously! This is a good idea not just on a "The Man is the biggest bad guy of all!" level. Because Percy grows this idea out of that question that all good and loyal comic book readers ask on a near constant basis: if super villains have the kinds of funds available to them to build death stars and power draining ray guns, why the fuck do they need to rob banks?! Apparently to pay back the loans they took out from The Ninth Circle to fund their technology and research! And who better to run an evil bank than the CFO⁶ of Queen Industries!
Percy sets up this scenario to make it seem like The Ninth Circle is the most powerful behind-the-scenes organization in supervillaindom. But I know of a business that probably makes even more money than they or the Court of Owls make!
Broderick doesn't actually run The Ninth Circle. He's just a board member! That's good because Broderick would be a boring choice for leader of The Ninth Circle. The only superpower he has is knowing how to use a slide rule.
Before Green Arrow can kill Broderick, Shado arrives to rekill Green Arrow. Emiko is probably going to be in serious trouble after this battle. The battle is taken through the window and outside the office because Green Arrow blows up the office. Only he and Shado make it out before the explosion. Broderick may or may not have lived. It doesn't really matter since he wasn't the CEO⁷ of The Ninth Circle.
While reading this comic book, did you also find yourself wondering, "Where are Black Canary's gams?!" Well, they eventually show up roughing up the dock worker on Green Arrow's payroll so that she can stowaway with the Moloids' kidnapping victims. That means she'll soon be on the most ostentatious ship ever sailed into the Puget Sound! And that's pretty ostentatious because Bill Gates lives up there. I think.
While trying to escape from Shado, Green Arrow winds up arrested by the police for bombing Queen Industries. Can't he just reveal his identity and be all, "I own that place! I can bomb it if I want to!"?
The CEO⁸ of the Ninth Circle decides to declare Shado his enemy because he's an idiot. So now Shado can just go join up with Green Arrow and help destroy the Ninth Circle. She used to be honor-bound to serve them but now she has no loyalty to them at all. Even though Emiko is still honor-bound to them, I think that just gives Shado added incentive to destroy them. Emiko, trying to keep everybody calm so she can eventually help destroy the Ninth Circle from the inside, points out that they can trap Green Arrow because they have her and Black Canary as bait. They don't have Black Canary yet! But she's on the way to their crazy big ship that nobody seems to notice. I guess because fog or something?
²I don't know what that stands for! Crazy For Oral?
³I don't know what that stands for! Cozily Fondling Orphans?
⁴I guess flaming demon fingers make it hard to tie your shoes.
⁵I don't know what that stands for! Cockblocking Foreign Oligarchs?
⁶I don't know what that stands for! Cheap Fucking Organizer?
⁷I don't know what that stands for! Cookies Equal Oreos?
⁸Fine! I admit it! I actually know what this stands for! Chief Evil Officer!