Continuing with my series of Flashpoint reviews, today I’ll discuss Green Arrow Industries. Like Grodd of War, this comic is a one-shot, detailing the exploits of Oliver Queen and his company, the titular Green Arrow Industries. As a big fan of Green Arrow, I’d been looking forward to this comic since the start of Flashpoint, and I must say that it was not what I expected.
Green Arrow Industries is the story of Oliver Queen, a businessman who makes money by selling weapons of war. More specifically, he takes technology created by captured super villains and turns it into usable military equipment for the highest bidder. He even unveils a series of missiles, dubbed “Green Arrows,” that are set to be anti-superhuman weapons; I get the feeling these weapons will show up sometime later in Flashpoint, given the hype surrounding them in this comic.
The Oliver Queen of Industries is, like much of Flashpoint, at once familiar and alien. He is still a wealthy businessman with womanizing tendencies, yet at the same time he is a conservative member of the military-industrial complex, something that the normal Green Arrow would never stand for. He is also not a superhero, and in fact tries to avoid dirtying his hands, something that changes in a flash…
The plot of Industries is interesting, as it develops the idea that a corporation could become a champion of the common man, an organization stepping up to protect those in need. This idea, while creative, does not feel fully developed. Overall, I felt the plot was rushed; it was a one-shot, but even an additional one to two pages could’ve developed or described the comic’s concepts more fully. Like Grodd I get the feeling we haven’t seen the last of Oliver Queen or his company in Flashpoint, but I still worry that a great idea will still fall flat and become underutilized. Perhaps Industries would’ve worked better as a series, giving it time to flesh out Queen’s transformation from a bourgeois wimp into the leader of a heroic organization. There were also a few clever jokes thrown in here and there, mostly to show that this Oliver Queen doesn’t possess the skills of the Green Arrow we know and love. Roy Harper (aka Speedy) also made a nice cameo, which while rushed did add key ideas to the plot. Perhaps my problems with the plot came about because of length restrictions, as I feel Pornsak Pichetshote’s story has a lot of potential. Thus, while the ideas in the plot were good, there just wasn’t enough time to utilize these concepts to their full potential, and as a result the entire story felt rushed and lacking.
The artwork in Green Arrow Industries was enough to have me overlook many of the shortfalls in the storyline. The characters all had a rugged, military edge to them perfectly befitting this comic. The icons and symbols also stood out, appearing like true corporate insignias while still retaining a “comic book hero” flair. And, of course, the weapons were the star of the show. Even the more esoteric armaments really stood out: everything from bows to explosive tops (yes, you read that right, and yes, they’re totally awesome). Overall, I must say that Ig Guara’s art was outstanding, though Marco Castiello’s early pages are nothing to scoff at. The coloring was also superb, especially the contrasting colors of the bright weaponry and the drab earth tones of nature during the second half of the comic. Thus, the artwork was a winner.
Overall, Green Arrow Industries is a mixed bag. The plot was filled with unique ideas, but sadly they were poorly developed and really needed either better explanations or a longer comic to flesh them out. I can’t complain about the artwork, however, and must give credit to the hard work of the artists involved. Thus, my suggestion is that Green Arrow Industries is worth a look, if not a buy, unless you are either a Flashpoint completionist or a big fan of the Emerald Archer.
Brett Simon is a twenty-one year old recent reconvert to the world of comics. Now, he’s in the mood to take an archery class.
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