Hey there Silverwolf’s Den afficianados! Welcome to the first installment of Justice League of America Month! Every Thursday for the next 4 weeks, I’ll review a DC comic tied to the new series Justice League of America premiering later this month.
With the long-anticipated Green Arrow #17 finally in hand, it’s no surprise that I chose to review it first! New writer Jeff Lemire and new artist Andrea Sorrentino promised to revitalize Green Arrow, a series which has sadly received little love during the New 52. Did this new issue impress a hardcore Green Arrow fanboy like me?
Green Arrow #17 is a story chronicling Oliver Queen’s fall from power. In short order, his company is sold to a rival corporation, his mentor is attacked, and his special division of Q-Corps is destroyed. Behind it all is villainous archer Komodo, a mysterious individual who knows that Oliver is indeed the face of Green Arrow. What does Komodo want? And can Green Arrow hope to stand up to this vastly superior marksman?
I’m a big fan of Jeff Lemire, and his writing here does not disappoint. Since we’re only one issue in, it’s a bit too early for me to say for certain whether he “understands” Green Arrow as a character, but at the very least he does a better job than any of the other GA writers from the New 52 so far. This Ollie is more likable and acts more like an individual with thoughts and feelings instead of a cocky rich boy. That’s not to say Lemire ignores some of Queen’s obvious flaws and reliance on his wealth; in fact, he addresses this idea head on, noting that it can be dangerous for someone to become too complacent and take things for granted. The villain Komodo and the reveal on the final page have me interested, and I’m intrigued to see how they will play out in upcoming issues.
Before this issue, the only time I’d seen art from Andrea Sorrentino was Issue #1 of I, Vampire which I snagged at a discounted price long ago. Judging from the cover alone, I had high expectations for Sorrentino’s work. Ultimately, I’ll say that the art failed to meet my expectations, but it’s still very good. Sorrentino use creative panel layouts that I really enjoy. The fight scenes he draws are dark and frenetic, which I enjoy. His use of smaller panels to highlight key happenings is interesting is well, though this has been used in other comics so it’s by no means a new idea. His choice of colors is great, and the muted palette and moments of black and white only images deliver emotion to the panels. There are two gripes I have about Sorrentino’s art: the first is the faces he draws look odd to me, and the second is that his characters often change hands. There are several scenes of a character grabbing something with his right hand, only for him to be holding it in his left hand in the following panel (which, based on plot, is probably only one or two seconds later). Despite all this, Sorrentino is still the best artist we’ve seen on Green Arrow since the New 52 began.
Green Arrow #17 is not the best issue of a Green Arrow comic I’ve ever read, but it’s better than any of the other ones in the New 52. I think Lemire and Sorrentino are a great duo to revitalize the character, and I hope they can live up to my (and the rest of the Green Arrow fans’) expectations. This issue is a great jumping on point for new readers, and I urge everyone to pick it up, since this title deserves a sales spike given that it’s finally got some competent creators at the helm. I’m eagerly awaiting the next issue.
-best portrayal of Green Arrow in the New 52 thus far
-interesting, stylized art
-set-up for interesting mythos to arise in upcoming issues
-characters’ faces look odd and there are moments of unbelievable ambidextrousness
Brett Simon is a twenty-three year old comic enthusiast. He really hopes Lemire brings back Mia Dearden in some form or other.