Four nights later, Hawkman was working monitor duty in the JLA Satellite. He sat in the communications room, his helmet off and on the console beside him, watching televised news broadcasts. The warning light alerted him that the teleporter tube was in use, but it quickly identified the user as Green Arrow.
“What’s up, Katar?” the archer asked as he walked into the communications room.
“Ollie, hello,” Katar said. He added, with more concern, “Are you all right? You’re still walking stiffly.”
“My ribs are still a bit sore from that beating Black Mass gave me,” Green Arrow said, “but I’m OK. So what’s new in the world?”
“I was just watching a CNN report on the Dr. Ling matter,” Hawkman said. “They’re having trouble holding Qamar ibn Kerab and some of the other non-Americans; their countries are making diplomatic noises. All the Americans, however, are being held without bail, pending federal trial on kidnapping charges. Several of the automotive companies have made public statements that their CEOs acted without the knowledge of the boards of directors, and they have been summarily terminated.”
“Nice,” Green Arrow said, slowly settling into a chair next to Hawkman. “I bet they wouldn’t have raised a fuss if any of ’em had brought Dr. Ling home gift-wrapped.”
“You’re too cynical, Ollie,” Hawkman said. “Always ready to believe the worst of anyone, especially businessmen and politicians.”
“And you’re too ready to believe the best of ’em,” Green Arrow countered. “Maybe Thanagar was a Utopian society, but here on the big blue mud-ball, things aren’t so black and white!”
“OK, OK, truce,” Hawkman said amiably, holding up a hand. “So, what brings you here so early? You’re not due to relieve me for another hour.”
“Well, I wanted to talk to you,” Green Arrow said. “I’ve been giving my best man problem a lot of thought.”
“Oh?” Hawkman asked. “Come to a decision?”
“I think so,” Green Arrow said. “I feel pretty much the same about both Hal and Roy. I mean, I feel different ways about them; Hal is my best friend, and Roy’s like a son to me. But I don’t favor one over the other. You know what I mean?”
“I do,” Hawkman nodded.
“And, despite what they said, I know one of ’em will get hurt if I pick the other one. Seems my best way out of it is to ask someone other than the two of them.”
“Logical,” Hawkman said. “Anyone on the team will gladly stand up for you. Perhaps Bruce, or Clark; Ralph, even.”
“Well, I kinda had someone else in mind,” Green Arrow said. “Someone who challenges me, keeps my wits razor-sharp. Keeps me focused, by showing myself to myself, you know? Someone I maybe fight with a lot, but who I know would put his life on the line for me, ’cause I’d do the same for him.” Green Arrow paused. “A real friend. Any idea who I mean?”
Hawkman grinned broadly. “I think so, Ollie. I think I know exactly who you mean.”
Green Arrow grinned, too. “So, you think he’ll do it?”
“I think he’d be honored,” Hawkman said.
“Swell!” Green Arrow said. “Now, you realize, one of the duties of the best man is throwing the bachelor party.”
“A barbaric Terran custom,” Hawkman said, wrinkling his nose.
“Barbaric?! Why, you aviary elitist!”
“Elitist? Coming from the Abbie Hoffman of the Robin Hood set, that’s very amusing!”
“Oh, now you’ve gone too far!”
“Oh, have I?”
“And another thing–”