It’s been eight months since the New 52 started and boy has it been a wild ride! My beloved Green Arrow saw his share of changes (which I’m still debating if they’re for better or worse or neither), including three different creative teams in just seven issues! With Issue #7, however, we saw some great things from Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao, and so I picked up Issue #8 with excitement to see just what else these two will cook up. Could this issue live up to my lofty expectations and help revive GA as the hero I love the most?
When we last left our hero he’d been led into a trap by the three dazzling but decidedly dastardly sisters of Skylark. One of the sisters, however, freed Green Arrow but left him to fend for himself in the wilderness where he’s set upon by mechanically enhanced wolves. Queen bests them (and is even kind enough to leave them alive) and is rescued by the same sister who set him free. He soon meets the girl’s father, Leer, a mad man obsessed with genetically and mechanically modifying animals in hopes of making them able to survive a spreading area of pollution known as the Dead Zone. One can guess what results when GA and Leer’s ideals begin to clash…
Ann Nocenti’s writing in this issue is fairly good, though it does not live up to the standards of the last issue. I really liked the dialogue, especially as she made Ollie come off as a slick jerk, which was fairly funny. There were some great quips and double entendres which added a nice layer of humor to an otherwise grim story. I have to say, however, that this issue’s progression was too hasty and jumped around too much: there were a lot of rapid scene changes that left me feeling confused at times and made it necessary to re-read a panel several times to understand exactly what had occurred. I think this may be an example of Nocenti still trying to find her footing with Green Arrow, and I have high hopes for the future of this tale.
Harvey Tolibao continues a great run as the artist of this series. The character designs are fresh and I love the level of detail he puts into scenes of the individual rooms in Leer’s manor. In my opinion, however, some of the action scenes seemed cluttered and confusing. Richard and Tanya Horie were an excellent choice for colorists: the two blend subtlety and excitement with their choice of hues, giving great contrast especially in the scenes of the brightly colored Green Arrow fighting against a drab landscape against neutral-hued wolves. Overall, the art is solid.
Green Arrow #8 is a fun read, though a bit disappointing given how much I liked the last issue. I feel Nocenti and Tolibao are probably still finding their niche since it is the first time both have worked on Green Arrow, let alone worked together. This creative team seems like a diamond in the rough, so I still have high hopes for the series and look forward to what they can accomplish in the coming months. I’d say this issue is a decent read, but unless you’ve got a big attachment to the New 52 Green Arrow it’s probably not worth picking up.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He’s glad to see an environmentalist message back in the pages of Green Arrow.