Silverwolf’s Den: Green Arrow #3

Hello all and welcome to your weekly dose of convivial comic conversation!  This week I’m reviewing Green Arrow #3, the final issue of this New 52 series written by J.T. Krul. At NYCC, which now seems like it happened a lifetime ago, I heard Krul speak on a panel where he announced that this is the final issue of Green Arrow he would be writing for the foreseeable future. I managed to meet him after the panel and offered my condolences since I enjoy his writing but he assured me, “The series is in good hands.” But how did this final chapter in Krul’s Green Arrow pan out? Did he manage to leave on a high note or instead let things fall stagnant?

Green Arrow #3 begins with Oliver Queen right in the middle of combat with the villain Rush and his gang. The fight is streaming on the internet, while spectators post on message boards about their desire to see Queen laid low. It’s not long before Ollie’s arrows start flying as he attempts to use every trick in his arsenal to survive. Surrounded by a dozen superpowered scoundrels, can Green Arrow hope to win or will this truly be his last hurrah?

To be perfectly honest, I felt this comic fell flat. The build up in issues #1 and #2 was great, but this story seemed rushed and the ending somewhat cliche. Though there are hints at the story moving in a better direction, it still does not excuse just how bland the story was. The dialogue was also off, without the normal wit I find in Krul’s writing. I was also displeased since the end of the last issue promised we’d see Black Canary…but the only indication of her anywhere was a sonic arrow that Queen fired at Rush’s gang to temporarily distort their sense of hearing.  It also seemed a bit ridiculous to me that during the fight they showed a sidebar of people posting messages about how they wanted to see Rush and his lackeys kill Green Arrow; it felt very awkward and out of place, detracting from the emotion that could’ve accompanied the scene. All in all, the story was a let down.

The artwork, too, started to drag a bit, perhaps only supported in the past by better writing. It was not bad, but it was not amazing either. The character designs remain creative, but some of the fight scenes seemed too hectic as if Jurgens wanted to cram as much as he could onto a page. Some say less is more, and in this case a smaller, more focused fight would’ve looked a lot better in my opinion. I must say, however, that the two new villains introduced on the final page look fairly cool, so I’m going to wait and see how the artwork evolves as the story progresses (I hope).

Overall, Green Arrow #3 did not meet my expectations. After a stellar first two issues for the New 52 it’s sad to see the series stagnate a bit as this may alienate newer readers who had just latched onto Green Arrow. It’s a shame to see a story level off a bit, though I suppose I can’t expect every issue to be top notch. In the end, I’d say this issue is only worth the read if the series picks up in the next chapter onward.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He’s hoping the future writers of Green Arrow aim for higher standards in every issue.

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