Saturday, May 24, 2008

Justice League of America #181 - Aug. 1980

sgGreen Arrow leaves the Justice League!

The Story: "The Stellar Crimes of the Star-Tasr!" by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin, and Frank McLaughlin. The story opens with Green Arrow, alone, relating this case into a tape recorder.

The story opens with Black Canary and Green Arrow transporting down to Star City, and they are discussing his increasingly uncomfortable presence in the JLA. He feels out of place and not doing the kind of work he really wants to do.

Suddenly they hear an explosion a few miles away, so Arrow fires a rocket arrow which carries them both to the scene of the melee.

Meanwhile, Arrow's presence in the team is also the subject of discussion at the JLA satellite. They all mention they've noticed a change in his demeanor, and it's Aquaman who seems to have the least sympathy for the Emerald Archer:

Anyway, this talk is interrupted by a distress signal, and the JLA heads own to Star City, just in time to see Arrow caring for a nearly-dead Black Canary, having been attacked by...the Star-Tsar!

At the hospital, Snapper Carr shows up, but Green Arrow nearly belts him before he can explain. Turns out Snapper's old costume was stolen from the Metropolis Police Department (way to go, MPD), so obviously someone else has assumed the role.

The JLA splits up, and both Superman and Green Arrow find the Star-Tsar simultaneously, at a concert at the Star City Stadium. But Arrow's stealth plan is ruined when the entire JLA busts in, in the middle of the Tsar's attempted kidnapping of the singer.

While the concert crowd nearly riots from panic, Arrow shoots some sort of smog arrow over him, blocking the light from the stars that gives him his powers.

Arrow then wraps up his report, finally realizing what all this had led to, his resignation from the Justice League of America:
Roll Call: Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Hawkgirl

Notable Moments: A big, momentus issue--the League's oldest "new" member leaves. As a kid, I was blown away by this turn of events.

Looking back on it now, you can see that the Green Arrow had become a bit of a jerk over these past dozen issues or so--something he ramps up to "11" next issue--so Gerry Conway was definitely stacking the deck.



Anonymous said...

The panel that needed to be reprinted here contained the best scene in the issue: Atom stopping Ollie charging at Snapper, with the classic line '180 pounds of concentrated mass on his quiver should slow him down!'

Commander Benson said...

"I've always found Green Arrow highly . . . irresponsible! He's so quick to criticize authority, but he rarely offers alternatives!"

IF YOU ASK me, Aquaman was being too polite.

Ever since Gardner Fox left the series, the Emerald Archer--regardless of whom else was writing the title--was a Grade A, bona fide, dyed-in-the-wool, pain-in-the-neck jerk! At least, that's the way I saw him.

The nonsense about the other members tolerating the Green Arrow because he kept them "grounded" (whatever the heck that means) was a weak excuse for why Green Lantern didn't power-ring him into the misty borderland between worlds after the JLA had had all it could stand of the archer's temper tantrums, antagonism, contentiousness, insults, and paranoid liberalism.

Seeing G.A. quit the JLA was one of the rare times I really enjoyed a post-Fox/Sekowsky issue. I knew it wouldn't last--such things never do, and I knew shortly would come some sappy scene where the League and G.A. realise that "they need each other" and have a group hug--but I had dearly hoped it would be permanent.

Seeing him leave the Justice League was like finally being able to swat that fly that's been buzzing around your desk all day.

rob! said...

>>Green Lantern didn't power-ring him into the misty borderland between worlds after the JLA had had all it could stand of the archer's temper tantrums, antagonism, contentiousness, insults, and paranoid liberalism<<

whew! that's gonna leave a mark!

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Two Points that, on their face may seem contradictory:

1) On the one hand, Green Arrow's one-note characterization was really getting on my nerves. "You want to leave? Go ahead! If we need a trick arrow we'll just have Superman throw something from Batman's utility belt!"

Personally, I'll take Red Tornado's "I will never be worthy" act over GA's "You've lost touch with the common man, man!" nonsense any day of the week!

2) On the other hand, one of the major differences between DC's Justice League of America and Marvel's Avengers was the idea that the JLA slowly grew in number while the Avengers dramatically changed line-ups every couple of years.

Sure, an individual member of the JLA might leave for a short period (Hawkman) or a long (Martian Manhunter) but, for the most part, the JLA rolled along (very occasionally) adding a new member. Likewise, an old Avenger might return to the fold after splitting in disgust but before long we'd have another cover trumpeting "The Old Order Changeth!" There was something comforting in that and Ollie's departure (and Bruce's later) bothered me. It was another sign of the Marvelization of DC and I didn't care for it.

The DC and Marvel comics of my youth each seemed to have their own personality, for want of a better word, and I wasn't interested in reading an "Avengers-ish" JLA or a "JLA-ish" Avengers.

russell said...

My main criticism of this issue, besides the obviously heavy-handed characterization of Green Arrow, was the members chosen for this story. How could THESE characters be critical of Green Arrow, when NONE of them besides Superman had participated in ANY adventures with him over the last year!? The Flash argued with him in #173, and Ralph sort of saw him in #174 but other than that, NOTHING. Conway really was stacking the deck.
That being said, I liked this roll call. I really missed seeing these characters. (sigh) Next issue we were back to "normal."

Tick-Tock Tyler said...

By coincidence Atom, Aquaman, and Hawkgirl arrived at the satellite at the same time. There were some tense moments as the computer reacted to the presence of "unfamiliar persons". Thankfully, Superman and the Flash were able to override the computer before the automated systems incapacitated the "intruders". The incident left many of the members a bit edgy, which spilled over into the after-meeting coffee talk. Unfortunately, GA became a focus of the heroes frustrations. Yes, even the World's Greatest Super-heroes fall victim to the foibles of humanity. ;)

rob! said...


that took place in JLA #180.5. i must have missed that one when it came out.

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