I’m a huge fan of Green Arrow, something I feel I’ve made known. At the beginning of DC’s New 52 last year, I was very excited that the Emerald Archer received his own title and had high hopes after finishing the first issue. A lot of hiccups, and a big blunder, however, ultimately meant I abandoned this title. When I heard that Judd Winick, one of the better writers of Green Arrow, was writing this origin issue, I felt I should read it, especially since I’ve never actually read GA’s origin story (despite knowing it, of course). Did this comic renew my faith in the new Green Arrow series?
Green Arrow #0 is the story of a nineteen year old Oliver Queen. He’s young, rich, and reckless, living only to party. After failing at numerous jobs for Queen Industries, Ollie is given a job on an oil rig owned by his father’s company. Of course, he decides to throw a wild, alcohol fueled bash which results in the rig becoming a prime target for pirates looking to make a quick buck off the oil. Ollie decides to play hero, despite only having started practicing archery a few weeks prior. Can he save all his fair-weather friends and become the hero he wants to be?
Judd Winick wrote Green Arrow for quite a few years and it really shows here. The voice Winick gives Ollie is much better than anything I’ve seen in prior issues during the current run: he’s an eager, cocky kid who thinks he can take on the world, before becoming a more level-headed avenger looking to save people and atone for his prior failures. The introduction of Merlyn, one of Green Arrow’s longtime foes, was an interesting cameo, though I’m at least partially sure this was done since Merlyn and Ollie have the same former-friend-turned-arch-rival thing going on in the upcoming Arrow television series. The only downside of the writing is that its a little scatterbrained: there’s a very clear plot in the first half, but after that things jump around rapidly and it feels as if Winick’s just trying to cram in as much as he can. Still, this issue was an enjoyable read and held up better than anything I’ve read prior involving Green Arrow in The New 52.
The art is Green Arrow #0 is a little below average. Penciller Freddie Williams II gives a valiant effort, but the character models felt flat and awkward, while the action scenes weren’t overly exciting. I do give him credit for a great single page spread of the Emerald Archer towards the end, but other than that the pencils are nothing special. Rob Hunter’s inking work is pretty good, and given the material he has to work with his efforts are commendable. Colorists Richard and Tanya Horie do a good job, using some nice spot color of purple, green, and yellow throughout which draws the eye nicely. The cover, done by Ivan Reis, is great, but most of his work is; as always, its a shame that higher-grade talent is rarely seen on the interior of a book like this. The art, sadly, failed to impress me.
Though Green Arrow #0 is nowhere near the best Green Arrow story I’ve ever read its still pretty good and better than the treatment Green Arrow’s gotten in much the rest of the New 52. If things continue in this direction, I think the series could really pick up. Sadly, as far as I know, we’ve got Ann Nocenti on writing duty for the foreseeable future and, regrettably, I don’t like the way she writes Oliver Queen or structures her stories. Thus, I think Green Arrow fans should pick up this issue, if only to show DC a different writer will sell.
Brett Simon is a twenty-two year old comic enthusiast. He wonders if he’s the only person to notice the villain was called both Iron Eagle and Raven, and that the cover calls Ann Nocenti the writer despite the fact she isn’t.