Posts tagged ‘Oliver Queen’

Action 612 – Green Lantern vs Mind Games, the Secret Six and Deadman end, Catwoman on the run, and Black Canary takes a shower

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The Secret Six get the cover of Action 612, as their series pauses for a break.

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David and Smith send Green Lantern round the bend in this story, as Mind Games takes control of him, and has him try to kill a policeman.

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The woman from the modelling agency shows Arisia a spread of Kory Anders, a successful model, whom no one seems to realize is Starfire.  It does make sense that, in the DC universe, the alien look is hot.

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Mind Games uses a machine to send his beams of madness throughout the city. Hal and Arisia both have to fight for their lives.  Lanterns destroys the machine and confronts Mind Games, who is a midget.  Hal is quite arrogant and casual in this encounter.  Not wise.  Mind Games powers are innate, simply boosted and aimed by the machine.

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Pasko and Spiegle sort of wind up the Secret Six storyline in this issue.  It stops, at any rate, coming back down the road.  Yet another person breaks into the groups base, the old waiter who worked for Carlo and raised Rafael.  He tells the new group more about the old group, and their deaths.

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Washington takes an interest in the deaths of the original Secret Six, primarily August Dumont, who was a government agent.

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Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga bring the Deadman serial to an ending that actually resolves everything, astoundingly.

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Talaoc returns, with the spirits of the other ancient aliens.  The devil is also back, and in Major Kasaba’s body.

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But this supposed devil is really just another of the ancient aliens.  Deadman uses the sci-fi gun to get it out of Kasaba’s body, and into another glass tube.  Talaoc loads him onto the spaceship, to take him back to ehir home planet.

Deadman returns in a little while.

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The Showcase run of Catwoman, by Newell, Kitson and Patterson continues.

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Selina is aided by a cop who has known her since her prostitute days, but she will not allow him to take her in “for her own protection.”

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Selina heads to New Jersey, and finds that Holly opened the gift, against Selina’s instructions. Her husband also saw the present, and went out.

The place explodes.

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Wright, DuBurke and Marcos seem to take delight in making this Black Canary story confusing.

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Canary gets some help and some information from Doug Vallines.

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But the story closes on a completely different Doug Vallines.  Hah!  Gotcha!  Thought you had some idea what was going on, didn’t you, silly reader!

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Between the Dougs there is an effective passage with Dinah taking a shower, as a mysterious man enters the room.  It’s Oliver, and the suspense scene turns into a make-out one.  But it works well.

 

 

Action 609 – Black Canary begins, Deadman takes over Reagan, Rafael gets caught, Wild Dog ends, and Oprah puts Hal on the hot seat

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Black Canary gets the cover of Action 609, as her series launches.

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Dinah Lance had been a regular supporting character in Green Arrow for the last couple of years, but had not been seen in costume since she left the Justice League.  She does burn her old costume during this story, by Sharon Wright, Randy DuBurke and Pablo Marcos, but does not put on her old one.

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Sadly, neither the story nor the art on this serial are really good.  This first chapter is ok, as it largely just introduces Dinah and Oliver, and brings back Rita, a recovering addict who appeared in an issue of Green Arrow.

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Another fun Deadman chapter, by Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga, as he attends an embassy ball in the body of the director of the CIA.

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The Devil has followed Deadman out of the jar, and they wind up in the bodies of Reagan and Gorbachev, as Deadman tries to find out what the devil is up to.

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Things get even crazier as they jump to Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev, who begin a cat fight in front of the crowd and media.

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We get to see some of the personal life of one of the new Secret Six members in this Pasko and Spiegle chapter.  There is some drama with the guy and his ex-wife, as the rest of the team try to figure out what happened to Rafael.

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Mockingbird has the answers, as he sends more of his people to capture Rafael.

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Wild Dog’s first storyline comes to an end in this chapter, by Collins, Beatty and Nyberg.

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Despite all of Layman’s actions, his people will not turn on him, and the only possible witness to his crimes in Wild Dog, who has no legal standing. So even though the villain gets defeated by the hero, he remains free and in power.

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Well, at least until the woman he has seduced finds out that her son was one of the victims of his terrorists.

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A madman wielding a sword is introduced at the top of the Green Lantern installment this month, by David, Smith and Bulanadi.

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Hal is getting just toasted on the Oprah show.  Called crazy for not having fear, his courage is also then challenged, because of the ring that protects him from injury.  Arisia probably regrets coaxing him to go on the show.

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And the show clearly has quite the effect on Hal, as he tosses his ring away at the end, to face the crazed killer with his bare hands.

 

Action 606 – Hal has no friends, Rafael listens to Mockingbird, Deadman in hell, Superman worshipped, newspapers are evil, and Blackhawk in a cockfight

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Superman gets the cover of Action 606, so that means I will update what is going on in his 2-page series this issue.

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Owsley is joined by Tod Smith on the art as he searches for someone to share his troubles with.

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Hal goes to visit John Stewart, in prison for the murder of Carol Ferris. Hal can do nothing to clear him, and John is still pissed about Katma Tui’s death.

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Hal forces his way past Alfred and goes to see Bruce Wayne, but Batman, having recently lost Jason Todd, is not in a sociable mood.

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Hal doesn’t even manage to see Clark Kent in person, as he is swamped with work.

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Finally he turns to Green Arrow, who one would have expected Hal would have turned to first. But even Oliver Queen gives Hal the brush off.

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Pasko and Spiegle show the Secret Six what happens when they try to learn anything about Mockingbird, or even more about their mission than they are meant to know, as Mockingbird turns off their devices again.

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Meanwhile, Rafael has opened his father’s safe, and found a wristwatch.  It broadcasts Mockingbird’s messages, and Rafael learns that a new team was formed, and old team told they were going to train their successors.

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Baron, Jurgens and DeZuniga have a lot of fun in this chapter, as Deadman arrives in hell in a jar, pulled there by a creature who claims to be the devil.

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I think that the man Deadman spots, who is stated as being still alive, is meant to be Nixon, but it’s not a great rendering.  On the other hand, the hell supermarket is really fun.

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Deadman runs into D.B. Cooper, the infamous and never captured hijacker from the 70s.  He leads Deadman to a mountain, the only way out of hell.

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So what’s been going on in all the Stern, Swan and Beatty Superman chapters that I have skipped?  Not a lot, frankly.  Superman has come to the aid of a man in danger, and rescues him.  The man worships Superman, thinking he is a god.  Lots more to come with these, but I’ll probably just update the story every time Superman makes the cover.

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Collins, Beatty and Nyberg put one of Wild Dog’s best friends in danger, as he writes an article for his paper against Lyman and his moral crusaders.

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The fact that the newspaper wrote against him is proof of their evil, immoral way, and Lyman sends his goon squad out to blow up the paper, but Wild Dog shows up.

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Grell, Burchett and Marcos stage a fight for the alpha male status in Blackhawk, between Massie, the Red Dragon’s former lover, and Blackhawk.  Janos wins, and gets taken to the Dragon’s bedchamber as a reward.

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We also discover that Cynthia Hastings is not who she claims to be, and that she and Massie have a past.

 

Action 455 – Superman, Green Arrow and the Atom battle junk

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Action 455 (Jan. 76) has never been an issue I cared for.  Maggin, Swan and Blaisdel seem to be begging for laughs, with a central character based loosely on Mel Brooks.

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Morty Rivers is a film producer, and one of Oliver Queen’s client’s.  While watching a game show (meant to be Let’s Make a Deal, by the reference to costumes) he gets the idea to build the main character for his next film,and contacts Oliver to promote it.

Superman leaves the Atom in Kandor, where he is helping them work a new viewer.  Oliver contacts him, and gets him to interview Rivers as Clark Kent.  A chain reaction of accidents result in Kryptonian energy passing through the viewer, trashing Rivers’ creation, but also bringing it to life.

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The Junkman rebuilds himself, and heads towards any Kryptonian source of energy – like Superman, or, later Kandor.

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Green Arrow helps Superman as they follow the robot to the Fortress of Solitude.

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The Atom gets very little to do in the story, spending all but the very end in Kandor.  It’s doubly unfortunate, as his back-up series has also ended.

 

Action 445 – the return of Gregory Reed, and the hunt for Black Canary

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Gregory Reed, the actor who plays Superman, returns in Action 445 (March 1975).

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Bates, Swan and Schaffenberger open the story be re-introduing Reed, who has undergone physical and psychological therapy.  He now has a face that genuinely mirrors that of Superman, but he is fine with that, and with his new life.

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The Superman Revenge Squad are the villains in this story, and more openly incompetent than normal.  The Revenge Squad had become much more rare in their appearances, and in fact this story marks the only time they appear between 1969 and 1979.

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Their plot involves building a charge up in Superman’s body, which would eventually kill him, over ten consecutive super-feats.  But five were really done by Gregory Reed.

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Maggin and Grell continue Green Arrow’s hunt for Black Canary.  Arrow corners Cherry Noller, and tells her about the criminals she is working for, hoping that she will want to free another woman in danger.

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And Cherry does contact Green Arrow, letting him know where Dinah is being held.

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But the goons are waiting for Green Arrow.  Because Cherry is the fourth horsemen they were hunting out.  Of course, he does find Canary.  That’s a plus.

Action 444 – Superman kills Green Lantern, and someone else kills Black Canary

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Bates, Swan and Blaisdel pull off a much better team-up story for Superman, largely because the cover does not reveal everything.

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There is a mystery villain behind this story, recruiting two very alien beings to attack Superman.

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It’s a curious attack, that could expose his identity, but occurs in private.  Though shot, he is not wounded.  But he does start to emit sparks whenever he speaks.

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Not sure what is going on, he asks Green Lantern to scan him with his ring.  As the Lantern does so, the energy that caused the sparks emerges and kills Green Lantern.

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And that had been Sinestro’s plan all along.  Although his gloating over Green Lantern was none too wise. His cheme had been suspected, and the scan of Superman had been faked.

Aside from not showing him on the cover, Sinestro’s appearance is also unexpected, as he was just in the last issue.  Sinestro returns the following year in the debut issue of Secret Society of Super-Villains.

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Excellent art by Mike Grell on Maggin’s Green Arrow story in this issue.

He gets news that Black Canary has been killed, but the rest of this story is a flashback, leading up to this point, so the opening and closing are really the same.

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Oliver and Dinah had been investigating a crime cartel with a mysterious boss.  Black Canary decided to go undercover to infiltrate it.  But the message announcing her death makes it clear that something has gone wrong.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 441 – Superman vs Weather Wizard, and Green Arrow and Black Canary and a little white dog

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Action 441 (Nov. 74) had a cover that annoyed many readers, who took to the letter column about it.

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WGBS weatherman Oscar Asherman, introduced a while earlier in the pages of Superman, gets a major role in this Bates, Swan and Oskner story.  He predicts a blue tornado the following day, in the centre of the business district.  Morgan Edge is furious with Asherman, but that changes when the blue tornado manifests.

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Asherman’s bizarre predictions continue to come true, and Superman puts a lot of effort into diminishing their effects.

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Clark talks to Asherman, and some hints he gives leads Superman to the Flash, and together they go to see Mark Mardon, the Weather Wizard, in prison. It’s all told really well, and would have been an interesting twist, had not the cover revealed not only the Flash, but also the Weather Wizard.  With that information, the reader is so far ahead of the story it just drags.

Anyway, Mardon attacks Superman, but he and the Flash had traded costumes, and the “black lightning” has no effect.

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Maggin and Grell conclude the story of the lost dog in this issue.

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Green Arrow and Black Canary go on the trail of the hoods with the high tech weaponry.  The dog comes along, despite their efforts to make him stay.  It’s a good thing, too, because when the big bad guy uses an aging ray on Oliver and Dinah, a ray so powerful that it even ages the wig Canary wears, the dog uses super strength to burst in and break the machine.

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It’s the villain who solves the mystery, when he comments on the “super dog.”  Arrow and Canary realize that the dog has suffered some memory loss.  The dog has taken off, but Oliver calls Clark to let him know what has happened to Krypto.

 

 

Action 440 – Superman haunted by his parents, and Green Arrow finds a lost dog

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Great cover for Action 440 (Oct. 74), but the story, by Maggin, Swan and Oskner, is not really up to par, and if it weren’t for the back-up story, I probably would have skipped over this issue.

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Coram is the villain in this issue, the leader of a think-tank of criminals.  More disturbingly, he lures the two kids above, presumably into a life of crime, but who knows?  We never see them again.

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The story jumps around a little.  Some interplay with Steve Lombard, as Clark gets humiliated, and subtly takes revenge.  Bruce Wayne has a cameo, as we discover that he is a part owner of Morgan Edge’s Galaxy Communications, which owns both WGBS and the Daily Planet.

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Coram creates the illusion seen on the cover, of Superman’s parents expressing disappointment with him.  But Superman sees through it right away, and only pretends to follow their wishes to create a new Krypton.  He takes Coram and his head scientist to “populate” this new planet, effectively scaring them into a confession.

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More entertaining is this first chapter of the Green Arrow story, by Maggin and Mike Grell.  Green Arrow is on the trail of some ordinary thugs, and attracts the attention of a lost, white dog.

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Oliver brings the dog home with him, to Dinah’s delight.  But also some of the unusual tech he found with the hoods, which seems way above their playing level.

The story continues in the next issue.

Action 437 – Superman and Green Arrow face the return of Effron the Sorceror

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Action 437 (July 1974) is a 100 page giant, consisting mostly of reprints.  The cover image is interesting, you can tell what they were going for, but it doesn’t quite work.

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Superman and Green Arrow team-up, to a degree, in the lead story, by Maggin, Swan and Schaffenberger, which re-unites the duo against Effron the Sorceror, who they faced together a couple of years earlier in World’s Finest Comics.

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Oliver Queen receives a message from Valhalla, a lost land of vikings, recently introduced in the pages of Superman, asking for help.  He heads to see Clark Kent, to pass the message on.  Being Oliver Queen, he takes the time out to flirt with Lois Lane first.

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Superman and Green Arrow head to the site of Valhalla, but only find Effron, who brags how he has stolen the city, and will destroy it and its inhabitants, unless Superman agrees to become his slave.

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Superman agrees, though he will not kill, and “imprisons” Green Arrow in the Fortress of Solitude, after leaving him a secret message.  At Effron’s command, Superman seeks out and defeats both the Flash and Green Lantern.

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Green Arrow shows up with Valhalla, to Effron’s amazement.  It’s not really Valhalla, just Kandor, rebuilt to look like it, but Effron takes the bait and reveals the city’s true location.  Superman then takes down Effron, and retrieves the viking city.

 

Action 436 – Perry White’s super-cigars, and the Great Frog debuts

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Action 436 (June 1974) was the first issue of this book that I read, a beat up copy in a barbershop, but it made a strong impression on me.

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It refers back to a story from Superman the previous year, about a mutant “army of tomorrow.”  Perry What has won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the story, and Morgan Edge sends him and Clark on a private jet to accept, to make an even bigger story out of it.  Perry also receives a gift from the two mutant children he had aided, although he does not realize the true nature of the present.

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The plane gets into trouble, and Superman ducks out to save it. Perry, smoking on the plane, which seems weird now, punches his way out of the aircraft, without intending to, and finds that he can fly.

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It takes Perry quite a while to make the connection between the cigars and his new found powers.  But he does make the most of them, both in fighting crime alongside Superman, and humiliating an obnoxious reporter bullying Clark Kent.

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Perry uses his powers to learn the secret behind them, and just in time.  He has only one cigar left, and puts that in his safe.

I waited for years for the return of this cigar.  It took quite a while, but it did happen.

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Elliot Maggin and Dick Dillin are joined by Tex Blaisdel as Green Arrow catches up with Speedy.

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It happens entirely by chance.  Oliver is walking by a park, at which a new band, the Great Frog, are performing.  He sees Roy playing the drums.

This is the first time the characters have been together since the “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” story from Green Lantern, in which Roy’s heroin addiction was revealed.  This story is also Speedy’s only appearance between the cancellation of Teen Titans, just over a year ago, and the revival of that book, a couple of years down the road.

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Green Arrow thinks Roy is undercover, and goes backstage, finding some indications of stolen goods and smuggling.  Roy shows up, and decks Green Arrow, but does leave him a clue as to where he is going.

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He was, indeed, undercover, and the manager was using bands for smuggling.  But he really is a drummer now, for the Great Frog.  There is tension and distance between Roy and his former partner, which is painful and unresolved at the end of the story, making it all the more real.

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