WARNING: The Following Article Contains SPOILERS For Green Arrow #44
The latest issue of the Green Arrow monthly comic book reveals that Oliver Queen may have accidentally killed an innocent woman during his misspent youth. While the idea of Oliver Queen having killed someone before he became a superhero might not be that shocking to those who were introduced to the character through the television series Arrow (where Oliver Queen walked a longer and less-idealized path towards becoming a vigilante) the idea of a pre-Green Arrow Ollie being responsible for someone dying in the comics still packs a punch.
The previous issue of Green Arrow introduced a new vigilante called The Citizen to Green Arrow's home town of Seattle. At first, The Citizen's efforts to fighting crime were limited to airing the dirty laundry of Seattle's rich and powerful through regular streaming video broadcasts. That changed when The Citizen kidnapped Jubal Slade - a slum-lord who had tried blowing up his own property while his tenants were still inside of it - and put it to a vote of his followers as to whether or not Slade deserved to live or die in the guillotine. The audience, not knowing this was more than a mere YouTube skit, voted for death and Green Arrow and Black Canary arrived too late to stop the execution, as The Citizen announced his next broadcast would involve billionaire playboy Oliver Queen.
When The Citizen starts his next broadcast in Green Arrow #44, he has dirt to dish on several of Seattle's elite but he saves the biggest blast for last. The Citizen's special guest is Kevin Carlson - a friend of Oliver Queen's from before Ollie found new purpose defending the innocent and living a selfless life as Green Arrow. A clearly-beaten Carlson confesses that he was in the car when a drunken Oliver Queen hit an innocent woman, killing her instantly, before crashing his car into a tree. Oliver's father then paid off the police to have Oliver's accident recorded separately from the woman's death, which was officially recorded as a hit-and-run with no evidence as to who was responsible.
The revelation shakes Green Arrow to his core. While Black Canary is quick to point out that a confession given after being tortured is hardly admissible evidence in a court of law, Ollie is less concerned about what this might mean for him legally and more concerned about the fact that his irresponsibility might have gotten an innocent young woman killed. It doesn't help matters that his lawyer, who had just cleared Ollie of murder charges in a different trial several months ago, calls a few minutes later and confirms that Oliver Queen was reported as being involved in a minor fender-bender on the same night the woman in question was killed by an unidentified driver.
Still, when The Citizen announces that one of his three targets will be the next rich criminal to be put on trial in his next broadcast, Green Arrow is quick to snap out of his funk and move into action with Black Canary to get to them before The Citizen does. Because whoever he was in the past, Oliver Queen is a hero now. And he's not about to let another person die as The Citizen plays judge, jury and executioner.
Green Arrow #44 is now available from DC Comics.