Panel by Panel: Deciphering the Winick Code in GA/BC #6

Usually, I make "panel by panel" posts on comics that I really like, or that I really just despise.

Today's is kind of strange; it's kind of an exception.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #6
by Judd Winick and Cliff Chiang

And that exception is due to The Winick. I can never get my hand precisely on his writing. It is absolutely an enigma; sometimes he can just hit it, really get these characters, but sometimes he is just awful, awful, awful.

And this issue was a great example of that. Case in point, Winick really doesn't understand how people talk at times -at times. Does this guy need some kind of coach or something, because sometimes - sometimes - his lack of realism in the dialogue is truly terrifying.

GABC6_BADwinickwhy, Winick?

"Heavy duty, mondo, butt-kicking SURVEILLANCE. . ."
How can you be kicking butt when you're surveying the area???? "Mondo?" "Mondo"???? Are we ten years in the past now???
"OLIVER. . . MY LOVE. . . You are going to HAVE to push back that OCEAN OF RAGE -- that MONSOON OF EMOTION that kicks around in your body like a RABID BEAR on STEROIDS."
HUH?? Wha. . . wha. . . HUH??? Where are we? Is this still Dinah? Ocean of rage???? Monsoon of emotion?!?! RABID BEAR ON STEROIDS?!?! Is this the same woman who said (and I don't agree with either quote),
"Huh, so THAT'S why he couldn't JUMP MY BONES? Not even ME?" (or something like that.)
Winick, why do you do this? Why do you make such inappropriate dialogue? Is it because you've never heard any real person talk before? Is it because you want to get back at Ollie and Dinah? What have they done to you? Is it because you've never spoken to a real person before? Is that it? Do you just need a friend, Mr. Winick?

So there: Winick seriously needs to work on his dialogue. That's what I find extremely flawed in his writing.

Yet he has so much fun with the dynamic between Ollie and Dinah! It made me endlessly happy to try to figure out the opening scene, in which a Russian arms dealer (and his "accountant") are talking to vendors of the "cloud" (it's really a ship) that shot Connor:

russian arms dealings, tovarisch

Guess who they are.

Go ahead, guess!

The two turn out to be (Ollie and Dinah!) fishing for clues of the ship! They eventually get discovered, but not before causing a ruckus, kicking some mobster tail and then jetting it! It's fantastic; this is the kind of stuff I expect from a GA/BC team-up!

And then back to the bad.

Angry, angry Ollie<-- Is Oliver bipolar or something? This really worries me. Is this the real Oliver? Why does he get so angry about this? He makes a similar outburst in issue #4, when he is a complete jerk to Hal about extracting the bullet from Connor, so it appears that Winick is trying something.

I seriously don't think this is a healthy sign of Oliver's character, or a real part of Oliver's character. It doesn't fit with all of his past portrayals, and this is severely disturbing me.

This outburst leads Dinah to try to comfort Ollie, and that utterly heartwarming scene that just tore my heartstrings.

I mean, it just provoked a monsoon of emotion from me, and I couldn't control my ocean of sympathy for the two.

All mockery aside though, it was nice to see them feeling warm for each other.

Which brings us to Dinah's role in the comic as a whole. Ever since Ollie came back, it's been the All-Ollie Hour with Dinah occasionally coming to support him and tell him that he's a good man - so she's basically a side character.

I can see why so many people have no faith in Winick's writing, but then we see this delightful three-panel sequence of Ollie and Dinah being chased by a ship:


Arrowcar, arrowplane, dumpy van, whatever it is, you can drive it, Ollie, but motorcycles? I think you better leave that to Dinah.

So they eventually beat the ship that's chasing them, and they find out: ALIENS! ALIENS shot Connor!

Oracle: uh. . . WHAT?

Okay, first get the initial "Uh. . . What?" out of your system. These aliens aren't established aliens in the DCU, so why could they be here?

McNiven's spidey-mark

My theory is that the aliens are somehow tied into Final Crisis, which'd be a damn shame, because I hate when mega-events interfere with my books. There is, though, the big, big chance that I'm wrong and Winick has something else in that dialogue-murdering (I kid, I kid) mind of his.

But I can't get a handle on your writing, Mr. Winick. You write some great moments and some great action, yet you need serious help with crafting dialogue. You drive your plots with catastrophe after catastrophe yet you make sure to emphasize the humanity of these heroes. You are so confusing.

You're spinning me around and around in circles, Mr. Winick.


A little note about the art:

Cliff Chiang is back! Fantastic!

I'm really sad that next ish will be his last, and I wish this would have been one of the books that he helped shape a la Hester and Smith on Green Arrow or Simone and Benes on Birds of Prey, but at least we'll get covers from him, right?

There were two changes I noticed over the months: Cliff is drawing eyes more realistic and less over-cartoonishly, and he's working on his cheeks more to make them seem less baby-esque. It's great. There's also a distinct age difference between his Dinah and his Mia, evidenced in their different cheek sharpness, which was great to notice, and. . .

. . . and is it just me, or did Dinah become a lot prettier (if that's possible)?


Aw Dinah, there's no need to be shy. It's part of the blog, after all!

If you guys want me to give this comic a numerical value: speak up!

I'm not sure if a number will do Winick's strange writing, but I'll sure as hell try!

Or maybe you have something to add, it's the same: don't be afraid to speak up!

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