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Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Joker 4 - Green Arrow vs the Joker

Elliot S Maggin, Jose Luis Garcai-Lopes and Vince Colletta turn in the Joker 4 (Nov/Dec 75), the first issue of this series that I bought as a kid. I just loved it, and bought all the rest of the series. I still enjoy this story to this day.

The story opens with the Joker kind of in disguise, driving a stolen bus. He enters Star City, where he sees Dinah Lance opening her flower shop for the day. The Joker falls instantly in love with her, buys her a dozen roses and proclaims his affections, then takes off. Dinah is amused, and tells Oliver Queen about this. Oliver is jealous, but Dinah writes the whole thing off. The Joker has been watching, and somehow knows Oliver is Green Arrow. There are some definite logic flaws in the story. He sends out a fake police band call to get Oliver out of the shop, and then kidnaps Dinah.

Green Arrow completely loses his cool in the story, which helps make it fun. Poor Dinah spends most of it a hostage. Back at this time she still had not mastered her canary cry, but it's odd nevertheless that she doesn't even try to use it. The Joker also steals the Star City's big star on the bridge, replacing it with a duplicate that has death beams coming from the lower points.

The story culminates in a battle on the top of the one of the bridge's towers, and the art makes the most of the locale. Dinah does get gassed by the Joker, right after she removes her gag, so this does give, I guess, a justification for why she doesn't use her cry. Perhaps the gas continued to affect her for the remainder of the tale.

However you want to cut it, the climax sees Dinah tight rope walking from one tower to the other, when the Joker cuts the rope. Green Arrow fires a second rope, piercing the first and saving her life.

The Joker tumbles off the bridge and into the river. All the previous issues had ended with him being carted off by the police. Obviously, with another issues announced, the Joker was not dead. But it still made a great ending.

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