Green Arrow & Black Canary: Road to the Altar
by Tony Bedard, J. Torres, various artists (DC Comics, 2008)

The relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary (Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance in their civvies) is one of the great comic-book romances. Far surpassing Clark Kent and Lois Lane in interest and rivaling the untapped potential of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, it is possibly exceeded only by the dynamic Marvel duo of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson -- a match made in Heaven but recently sundered here on Earth, making it all rather moot.

Many of the best Oliver-Dinah stories fell during the Mike Grell years, an excellent series that followed hard on the heels of his landmark miniseries, The Longbow Hunters. (It is one of the great shames of DC Comics that nothing from Grell's excellent run has been collected into an essential trade library.)

Road to the Altar begins with Oliver's unexpected proposal to Dinah, followed by a heart-to-heart dialogue between Dinah and best pal Barbara Gordon over the rights and wrongs of this particular union. Then, leaving Oliver's big question hanging, the pair embark on a big adventure to save Dinah's adopted daughter, Sin, from the League of Assassins, which hopes to make use of her fledgling skills in the future. One or two shocking endings later, the groom-to-be finally gets his answer -- and I don't think I'm giving anything away, given the book's title, by saying it's "yes."

The final chapter -- a madcap trip through the happy couple's wedding preparations -- is a bonus treat that's not to be missed!

All in all, Road to the Altar is a satisfying collection, filled with humor and grit, pathos and, of course, superhero love. Green Arrow and Black Canary fans should not, of course, miss it.

review by
Tom Knapp

20 September 2008

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