Green Arrow and Black Canary Wedding Special #1 by Judd Winick and Amanda Conner, Green Arrow and Black Canary #1–5 by Judd Winick and Cliff Chiang
Although I think The Adventures Of Barry Ween, Boy Genius is one of the greatest comic books ever, I’ve not been a particular fan of Winick’s mainstream superhero work (and I’ve tried). Fortunately, he wasn’t the reason for trying this – the draw was to see the interior art of the two artists, Conner and Chiang.
Conner draws a very sexy comic book, but not in that pervy manner that certain male artists draw (with their butt shots and large breasts); her art is very light and there is a wonderful sense of fun – the look of optimism on Superman’s face, the great facial expressions on Green Arrow and Black Canary’s faces when they argue, and then make up, the girls having fun on the hen night. It’s a delight to read this book solely because of the art, with Conner excelling in both the comedy and the action. And the heartache of the end – quite a shock ending to the wedding special, to set up the ongoing series.
Chiang is an artist whose covers I’ve admired for many years but haven’t seen any of his interior art before. He is a different artist to Conner, not being as cartoony and light, but he still draws beautiful comic books, and a great Black Arrow, without being a cheesecake merchant. He has a simple, elegant line – he doesn’t have a lot of excess lines on his faces or bodies to differentiate aspects; just a strong line to the outline and very minimal lines to the anatomy. It’s very good, and he draws heroes that look noble and heroic and pure, with a sort of modern art nouveaux influence (I think – I’m still not good at describing my appreciation of artists in comic books), and it’s good to see that his interior art is as good as his covers, which have always been excellent.
Regarding the story – I was mostly pleasantly surprised by Winick’s form on this. The Wedding Album is actually very enjoyable, playing along with the usual form of a superhero wedding going wrong, but having fun along the way, with nice banter between Black Canary and Green Arrow and some good jokes (even if it’s perhaps a little on the mature side of things for a family-friendly superhero comic). The ongoing series has a strong opening – as Canary refuses to believe the obvious, and a trip to Themyscria (where the villains turn out to be somebody else entirely) and a daring rescue; however, I didn’t like the out-of-nowhere turn and the resulting mawkishness. I know it’s going somewhere with the storyline in the rest of the series, but it slightly irritated me the way it turned purely for the shock value.
Still, the pictures were pretty …