Unlike our last two heroes, we’ve now come across someone whom the general public has become very familiar with thanks to a successful show on the CW. Before that, he was well-represented in the animated world. Now, we’ve come across a tale highlighting the famed archer himself. We’ve reached the short known as…
Originally released on September 28, 2010, the film came packaged with “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse”. For my thoughts on that flick, click the link to check it out. In the meantime, let’s dive into a yarn involving the Emerald Archer.
We open at the Star City International Airport where a massive amount of traffic is pouring in. It turns out to be the result of bolstered security due to the royal princess flying in from the fictional eastern European country of Vlatava. Caught within the vehicular backup is Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow (voiced by the eventual Deadshot himself, Neal McDonough) en route to picking up his girlfriend who’s also flying in. During this, he regrets not asking for her hand in marriage prior to her initially leaving.
After parking his car, he looks over the terminal entrance and is relieved to see that she hasn’t arrived yet. However, he notices a familiar figure disembarking from a cab alongside a henchman. Using his cell phone, he takes his picture and then accesses it onto the Justice League’s villain files. His suspicion was right as it turns out to be Merlyn The Magnificent (voiced by Mad Mod himself, Malcolm McDowell).
With security in position, Princess Perdita (voiced by the eventual Carrie Kelly herself, Ariel Winter) is escorted down the escalator alongside her personal bodyguards. However, hiding within the paparazzi and the onlookers are Merlyn’s own henchmen. Using specialized guns disguised as cameras, they shoot her special protectors. With the crowd in a panic, the goons quickly corner the young princess.
Just then, an arrow strikes the ground and releases a smokescreen as Green Arrow swings in and takes care of the goon squad. After introducing himself to Perdita, more of Merlyn’s men show up and start firing their guns, prompting them to make a run for it.
After going further into the terminal, they’re suddenly cornered by more henchmen. Pinned by enemy gunfire, Green Arrow manages to use a series of arrows to help them make their escape outside.
Not long afterwards, Merlyn sends a barrage of arrows their way as they run along the outskirts for cover. Ultimately, one arrow manages to hit Oliver in his right leg just as he manages to hide the princess behind a baggage cart. As Perdita makes a make-shift bandage for his wound, she tells Green Arrow why she’s become an assassination target. It turns out that her father passed away the day before. Since she’s the heir to the throne, she has officially become the Queen of Vlatava.
After Oliver uses an arrow to have the baggage cart move, Perdita says that she only has a lone relative named Count Werner Vertigo. Since she’s ahead of him in the royal progression, her death would mean that he becomes king. Shortly afterwards, Merlyn shoots a fire arrow onto a nearby gas tanker. Just as our heroes pass by it, the volatile vehicle blows up.
Fortunately, Green Arrow and Perdita dive away in time as they land on a conveyor belt. Unfortunately, they’re confronted by the remaining thug as Oliver is forced into fighting. He manages to disarm the henchman of his wrench before they continue their brawl.
However, the thug is more than capable of fighting Green Arrow as he manages to rough up the Emerald Archer. In the end, Oliver prevails by recovering his bow staff and smacks the henchman down to a lower conveyor belt which knocks him out in the process.
Afterwards, out heroes end up falling down the service chute and end up in the baggage claim area. Just as they arrive, they’re confronted by Merlyn as both sides prep their bows for one last showdown. At the same time, they fire their arrows at each other. Ollie’s shot proves to be superior as it splits Merlyn’s arrow, cuts his bow string & cheek and disperses knockout gas after hitting the wall causing him to fall unconscious.
However, the fight isn’t over as Perdita’s wicked relative arrives. Count Vertigo (voiced by Steven Blum) proceeds to use his Vertigo Effect, which disorients our heroes and brings them to their knees.
Just as he takes one of Ollie’s arrows and prepares to kill both him & Perdita, help arrives in the form of Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary (voiced by Grey Griffin [credited as Grey DeLisle]) who uses her Canary Cry to send him smacking into the wall and knocks him out.
Afterwards, she goes to check up on Oliver. With him conveniently on his knees, he presents the engagement ring and asks for her hand in marriage. As such, she accepts the proposal.
And so, the film ends with Oliver and Dinah sharing a passionate kiss as Queen Perdita looks on as their witness.
The narrative is very straightforward, since the majority of the flick is Green Arrow keeping Princess Perdita safe while fending off her attackers. The chase itself is very thrilling, since it showcases some of Oliver’s various arrows and the action set pieces it provides are basic enough for shootouts and fistfights. Green Arrow and Perdita has a decent enough relationship when it comes to helping each other out and their respective voice actors seem to have a solid session of dialogue delivery between each other. I’ll get to Neal McDonough when I talk about the Emerald Archer himself, but Ariel Winter does a great job with her role. She’s caring, compassionate, and brings a confidence that ultimately got her the role of Carrie Kelly in “The Dark Knight Returns“.
Out of everyone here, Green Arrow is the closest one who goes through a character arc. At the beginning, it’s established that he’s been dating Dinah Lance for a long enough time. He’s come close to asking her to marry him, but hasn’t built up the confidence he needed yet. As he protects a young princess who has technically become a queen to her home country, the harrowing experience gives him enough time to be confident as a protective figure. Sure, Black Canary is more than capable of taking care of herself in a furious fight, but I feel that this helps Oliver as a hero as it does a human being. After all, when he finally proposes to her, Perdita says “After all, every queen needs a consort.”, the young royalty figure helps him prove that Dinah’s a very important person to him and needs to be alongside her in order to have a commanding presence. Plus, it’s nice that Green Arrow gets rewarded for his airport adventure.
Overall, this is a thrilling short. The action is well-handled as the main centerpiece, the animation is very fluent with the story, and the dual friendship of Oliver and Perdita works well enough to complement each other. It’s in no way like War where the action goes on for too long and becomes tiring by the end, which gives this short the advantage as it has a short amount of time to tell its story. The slick pace, the fun characters, and the solid pieces come together to form a tale worthy of showing off the Emerald Archer’s skills. If you ever get the chance to see this, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Next Time: Two superheroes for the price of one! The Man of Steel and Captain Billy team-up as they deal with a Marvel family menace. We’re going longer than normal as we dig into “Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam”.
Green Arrow (created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp) belongs to DC Comics.