Hello loyal readers! With over a dozen of DC’s New 52 titles this week, I decided to pick up Green Arrow #1. As one of my favorite superheroes, and possibly the whole reason I got back into comics in the first place, there was no way I’d miss the chance to follow Oliver Queen on his new adventures. But, do the Emerald Archer’s most recent exploits score a bullseye or do they miss the mark?
Green Arrow #1 once again follows Oliver Queen, a bored billionaire who decides to use his wealth and in-born archery talent to protect the innocent. The issue focuses on Green Arrow’s hunt for three criminals: Dynamix, Doppleganger, and Supercharge, villains who purchased their powers in an as-of-yet unexplained way. Ollie’s annoyance at their antics is exemplified as he tracks them through Paris, assaulting them before they can wreak havoc on a party boat. Aided by his crack team at Q-Core, more or less a “mission control” for GA, and lots of highly advanced tech, Queen is able to go toe to toe with these foes despite his lack of superpowers.
Author J.T. Krul (who you may remember from my reviews of Deadman and the Flying Graysons) weaves an interesting narrative in Green Arrow #1. I like the fact that the villains are just jerks out to screw around and post videos of their deeds online rather than big-time baddies with plans to control the world; I’ve never seen this concept used in comics before, and to my knowledge it never has been, so I’m intrigued to see exactly where it will go. Krul is a master of dialogue, giving Green Arrow the great one-liners he uses to taunt the villains. On the creative front, some of Green Arrow’s new technology is pretty cool, such as his mask having infrared sensors installed inside of it, and having his bow built in such a way that it can fold out from a tiny block of metal. Overall, the writing is pretty good throughout, with a few shining moments such as when Ollie tells one of the villains flat out “You’re a loser”; this doesn’t seem like intelligent or catchy dialogue, but give the comic a read and you’ll see just how perfectly it fits. The comic also does not touch at all on Green Arrow’s origin story, though I’m assuming it will stay the same and perhaps be the subject of a flashback arc sometime later in the series run; this was no problem for me as Green Arrow’s origin is set in my mind, and I liked the ability to dive right in. Though one may think such a jumping off point would alienate potential new fans, I think it was a good choice on Krul’s part as it allows the reader to get right to the action without weighty descriptions: once new readers grow to love GA, they’ll be willing to wait through an origin story. I’ll have to see how the plot unfolds throughout, but so far it looks very promising!
Penciller Dan Jurgens and inker George Pérez form an excellent team for the revamp of Green Arrow. The protagonist’s new design makes him look very sleek and modern: gone are his classic hood, feathered hat, and tunic. Now he sports a suit of tight greenish armor and a mask that’s more like a pair of electronic goggles. Overall, I think the new look is creative, but I’m not sure how well it fits Green Arrow’s frontier-born origin story and Robin Hood-esque mythos; either way, I must admit it looks cool, so maybe it will grow on me in the coming months. The design of the enemies is also original, especially Doppleganger (though I won’t spoil it for potential readers). The art itself is not groundbreaking, but certainly is above average. All in all, I’m looking forward to more of what this artistic team has to offer!
Green Arrow #1 is an interesting new take on a classic hero. GA’s witty dialogue and trick arrows remain, though he’s definitely not the same one I knew before. I’m not sure I like the fact that he’s younger now, as the older Green Arrow who has seen the world and made his share of adult mistakes initially drew me to his story. Also, this new Q-Core team has me wondering, as though they are a creative addition to his story I feel they may just be an unnecessary addition (epic hacking, weapon making, and information gathering skills aside). I must say, however, that this series packs a lot of potential and I’m really looking forward to where it’s going. I’d say that anyone could pick up this comic and enjoy it, so I encourage you to check it out! Keep checking out this column as I’ll be reviewing other New 52 titles this month and checking out Green Arrow #2 next month!
Brett Simon is a twenty-one year old recent reconvert to the world of comics. He is now and always will be a straight shooter.
Also, if you haven’t already, please vote in my poll for what other New 52 title I’ll read and review! Voting ends next Thursday, so vote now!
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