Monday, December 22, 2014
Hanging The Green #11 - Dopes!
The eighty-sixth issue of Green Lantern and Green Arrow is the second of two issues which deal with the very real problem of drugs among the youth of America. The issue by the now-regular team of Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano is gorgeous to look at
When Green Arrow discovers his ward Speedy is a junkie, his reaction is anger, as he realizes a lot of it misplaced, but a fury which is rained down on Speedy himself. Disgusted he abandons his ward.
Meanwhile the junkies who first accosted Green Arrow in the first part of the story are enjoying their reward to having turned over the heroes to the dealers and one of the them overdoses on the exceedingly pure drug.
Green Lantern discovers the body of the dead junkie and finds Speedy in throes of his addiciton. Speedy is taken to the apartment of Dinah Drake who takes the boy in while he tries to go cold turkey. Green Arrow meanwhile is hunting the dealers, despite his injured arm, and is soon enough captured and sent to the bottom of the ocean with an anchor for company on the orders of the top boss a successful socialite businessman named Salomon Hooper. Green Lantern saves GL and while Speedy painfully recovers tended to by Canary, the duo locate the drug lab and bring down the operation.
At the funeral of Speedy's junkie comrade he confronts his mentor Oliver Queen and lets him know that drugs are a complicated response to a painful world and that Ollie needs to own his contributions to the problem. Walking away defiantly Speedy rebuffs his mentor, and Green Arrow sheds of regret for his role, and pride for the way his ward has grown up.
This one was a dang pretty good story. The battle against drugs is ongoing and sometimes gets swamped by the moralism which attempts to treat the issue more as sin than disease. In a society which is as medicated as our own, its difficult to understand why people don't understand how the young learn quickly enough that substances are a way to deal with pain and suffering. They see it all around them all the time.
I'm not sure I agree with all the speeches in these Green Lantern issues but certainly the attitude that drugs are a taboo subject does no one any good.
More to come.