Silverwolf’s Den: Green Arrow #4

Hello all! This week on Silverwolf’s Den we’re continuing the chronicles of my favorite brave bowman, Green Arrow! With the letdown that was Issue #3, and a shift in writers, this is the issue that could alter the common opinion of the series for better or worse. Did the new writing and art team hit a bullseye with this chapter in Oliver Queen’s new story?

Green Arrow #3 starts as Oliver Queen takes down a group of small time thugs. Upon defeating them, however, he finds circuitry embedded in their bodies and escapes just as the fuses blow. Green Arrow decides to investigate the matter, first returning to touch base with his team at Q-Core. Upon his return to his office, however, Ollie is greeted with a mound of corporate work and has to resort to catching up on his day job. Meanwhile, a shady assassin and her massive, monstrous accomplice discuss a plan to eliminate Oliver Queen for the “evils” he has committed. This femme fatale, calling herself Blood Rose, also gathers information on Green Arrow, noting the Emerald Archer may indeed have a connection to Q-Core and thus Queen Enterprises at large. Blood Rose infiltrates Q-Core headquarters, running into Queen and sparking a conflict; Ollie manages to escape, don his costume, and return to the fray, but not before Blood Rose hacks into his computer system and gets a lock on his secret Q-Core accomplices! Who is Blood Rose? Why does she want to see Queen Industries destroyed and Oliver Queen dead? And can Green Arrow stop her?

Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens co-authored this next phase of Green Arrow’s lore and I must say they do an excellent job. The story opens in such a way that I’d almost call it a “mini-reboot” as a new reader can jump right in without having read issues #1-3; such a move is great, since it will bring in new readers and give hope to those who may have doubted the series after the last issue. The dialogue is excellent, full of witty cracks and jokes as well as some cool one-liners and pop culture references. Blood Rose took center stage as the new issue’s focus and she did not disappoint: she combines the right amounts of skill and sensuality, furtiveness and fatality. Her character is mysterious and strong, and she does not come off as fan-service or a throw-away villain. I could see her potentially becoming a key player in the coming issues, and perhaps even an ally (or romantic interest) for Green Arrow down the line. I’m also interested in this “Midas” character Blood Rose references, and I’m guessing he’s her accomplice with the odd voice. Looking at some spoiler covers from upcoming issues seems to imply he’s going to be a big villain for awhile as well. Thus, the writing of this issue of Green Arrow was nothing if not superb.

For issue #4’s art team we have Dan Jurgens (doing double duty on layouts) and the acclaimed George Perez on finishes. The initial few pages of artwork are average, nothing amazing but nothing too terrible. As the issue progresses, however, the artwork begins to improve, rising above average. The fight choreography is expertly handled and the sense of movement is palpable. The use of a greater variety of trick arrows and their ensuing designs pleased me as well. As with her characterization, Blood Rose’s character design appealed to me. Her outfit looks awesome but at the same time is efficient, looking like something that could function effectively in a real combat situation, similar to Green Arrow’s New 52 design. I’d also like to commend to artists on their panel placement as this comic’s flow felt very natural. Finally, I want to commend Dave Wilkins for drawing the coolest Green Arrow cover in recent memory; it really captures Blood Rose’s mystery and power as well as Green Arrow’s fear and confusion.

Green Arrow #4 is a great issue and really revitalizes the series. It sets up the coming arc well and introduces us to some interesting new characters. The new Green Arrow team has a lot of promise, and though I already know a new writer is arriving come Issue #7 I still look forward to the current run. I think almost anyone should take a chance to check this issue out, especially since, as I said, you don’t need to know much if anything about Green Arrow to understand it. The only downside is the I felt the art could have been a little better, but you can’t always have perfection. It’s no shot in the dark, so go ahead and read this stellar comic!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He wonders why no pistol-wielding villains can ever be content with just one weapon.

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