Sunday, April 10, 2005

What Happened to Connor Hawke?



My first post and it is fanboy rant, go figure. First of all I’d like to say that Judd Winick is one of my favorite comic writers and I don’t have any kind of a grudge against him at all. He brings me some of my favorite monthly reads: Outsiders, Batman, and previously Green Arrow. I say previously because a few factors motivated my choice to drop the book. And I know what you’re thinking; the HIV storyline is one of them. I admit at first I thought of it as a publicity stunt on Winick’s part, but after actually reading it I was dead wrong. I had heard that he had a friend who was HIV positive that he had met on the Real World, which explains why he handled this issue with a lot of class. The primary reason I chose to drop the title is because I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. The storyline called City Walls was too similar to No Man’s Land for me. The Brick arc was too similar to Nightwing storylines involving Blockbuster. Those were the main reasons, plus the fact that this mechanical cowboy that robs banks is not nearly enough to hold my interest.

One of the secondary factors involved in this decision was the treatment of Connor Hawke. Now I know I am picking on Judd here, but Kevin Smith is guilty as well because he set the stage for the total lack of Connor respect. As soon as Oliver Queen, the original Green Arrow was brought back to life Connor instantly became second string. He was no longer the ethnically diverse Zen Buddhist, martial arts master he was during the Kelly Puckett and Chuck Dixon days. Replacing him was a white guy who shot a bow and got his butt kicked by demons, Automatopeia, and a thug named Drakon. Smith gets the blame for the demons and Automatopeia, but the blame for Drakon goes straight to Winick.

The situation was very weird, in a way he did give Connor respect, but it is hard for me to believe that a new character beat Connor so easily. For one thing Connor fought toe to toe with Lady Shiva and lived. He actually did a decent amount of damage to her and before Batgirl came along he was ranked #2 in the DCU. That’s really saying something when the martial arts world is populated by guys like Ben Turner, Judo Master, Black Canary, Batman, Nightwing, etc. As a long time fan of Connor Hawk you can imagine how much of a surprise it was that Drakon completely mopped the floor with him.

Previously in the comic while Kevin Smith was still on board. Smith had a new character named Automatopeia shoot Connor in the head. Now this Automatopeia was a psycho who went around the country killing costumed vigilantes so I could see how someone like that would best Connor. Another martial artist though who we never heard of until that happened, sorry.

Now I am kind of picking on Winick here a bit, but I have acknowledged Smith’s fault as well. I won’t mention Brad Meltzer since his Archer’s Quest arc didn’t feature Connor. My focusing on Judd Winick is due to the fact that he is currently writing Green Arrow so he has the ability to make a difference. Especially when Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel recently had Connor appear in Richard Dragon #11. Connor got a lot of respect from Dragon who he fought to a standstill, while Shiva admired from a far.

I realize that this is situation that happens often in comics, when the main characters come back and their replacement is pushed off to the side. I would be ok with that if the main character was better than his “replacement”. I think overall Connor is a more interesting character who deserves more page time and better moments. If he gets beat by Drakon, ok that’s fine. A goal is then made for him to beat him the next time he shows up. We haven’t heard Connor mention this, seen him training for a possible rematch, nothing.

Well that is a lot of writing to do over one character, but I’m sure we all have our favorites and just want them to be prominent in their respected titles. Yes, you can label me a huge Connor Hawk fan to say the least. I am just hoping that Judd Winick can help Connor's popularity grow so that a mini or maxi-series could be published in the future. It was great that he had him guest star in Outsiders, but then he really didn't do anything.

Like I said, I have no ill will for Judd Winick, this is just a small complaint about a title I used to enjoy. I continue to read every other book he puts out because I enjoy the hell out of them.

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