And she wasn’t afraid to create new villains when the old ones couldn‘t help advance her stories. Malefactors such as Typhoid Mary, Bullet and Blackheart still pop up across the Marvel universe.
It’s still her calling card with this new Green Arrow, says Mike Giacoia, owner of The October Country comic shop in New Paltz. He was impressed with the alluring Skylarks — three sisters/obsessed fans of Green Arrow that Nocenti introduced in Green Arrow No. 7 that gave her the opportunity to play with America’s fascination with celebrity culture.
“Green Arrow isn’t going to go against the top villains in the DC universe,” Giacoia said. “He has no hope going against cosmic-power villains like Brainiac or Zod. He’s got to operate in his own street-level sphere. [Nocenti] is good at creating those villains — thieves, burglars, spies, that type of thing.”
In issue 12, which hits comic book shop shelves in August, Nocenti will be sending Green Arrow off to China where he will face off with a new villainous martial arts master named Jin Sang.
It figures that Green Arrow will be heading to China— Nocenti visited the country over the winter.
“I’m playing with Queen’s tech skill in dealing with a country that is behind a firewall, the Internet heavily censored, and obsessed with surveillance,” Nocenti said.
Except for a few small comic book projects, Nocenti has spent most of the past 15 years or so hop-scotching across the globe.
Often working as her sort of alter ego, “Annie,” Nocenti shot two films about the Baloch people’s struggle for independence from Pakistan. She’s taught filmmaking to Cherokee children in Arizona and to at-risk teenagers inKingston. She taught filmmaking in Haiti for two years, and spent four months producing films with her students at the Cine Institute in Jacmel documenting the devastation and recovery after the earthquake in 2010.
As editor of Scenario magazine, she’s interviewed Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski and Mel Brooks, to name a few. Years ago, she even wrote about local issues for the now-defunct Olive Press and Mountain Eagle newspapers.
But there’s something magical about comics that draws her back.
“There is something very intimate about comics,” Nocenti said. “Working on documentaries, I’m out in the world, with crew, trying to carve stories out of life. Capturing life as it unfolds.
“Writing comics has always been more internal for me because you can kind of allow your unconscious to seep into them. You want to tell an exciting story, but also allow something more personal to seep in.”