Artist: Juan Ferreyra,
Publisher: DC Comics,
Release Date: Out Now,
Green Arrow has had a lot of ups and downs in its run through the New 52. It had an explosive start helmed by the great Dan Jurgens, but it hit a bumpy road until Jeff Lemire took over. He managed to make Count Vertigo a genuinely intimidating villain, and he introduced the deadly Komodo. His time on the comic wasn’t entirely sterling, but it was mostly quite good. Benjamin Percy brought the book back into glory as well as its liberal roots. It’s quite satisfying to see him staying on through Rebirth.
The politics of Percy’s book are not in question. This book leans quite heavily on the left side. While this is enjoyable for me personally, I would be remiss to say that this wouldn’t be a barrier to entry for a sizeable portion of the audience.
I give this as a caveat, but, as I’ve said before, it’s good that there are such outspoken voices among the comics writing scene. I can’t say that this book has the grace or subtly of say Black Panther and the Crew or much of Sam Wilson: Captain America, but the fact that it has something to say should not be counted as a negative.
Regardless, this book has been quite well-written since Percy’s arrival, and it definitely has more personality than much of DC’s offerings.
The current story for the book, called “The Rise of Star City,” has lain Seattle quite low and pushed Green Arrow and his team through hell. Plane crashes, insect infestation, and the destruction of the bleeding Space Needle have blighted Seattle. The mayor, who might as well be named Tronald Dump, has handed much of the city’s infrastructure to private corporations in the wake of the crises. The mayor is in the pocket of Oliver Queen’s former mentor, Cyrus Broderick, whom is currently running Queen Industries. Green Arrow, Red Arrow (Emiko), Black Canary, and Arsenal have to hold what’s left of Seattle together in the face of this onslaught.
I’m not exaggerating about the paper-thin Donald Trump analogue. The mayor blames everything on aliens and the previous administration, supported a Washington state version of the Keystone Pipeline, and calls capitalism an actual “meritocracy,” claiming that the rich are people who “wanted it more.”
The lack of subtlety is a bit laughable.
The action is quite good and fast-paced, brought to astonishing life by the immensely talented Juan Ferreyra. He is a fantastic artist who has helped seal the deal on this being a quality comic. He is great at drawing action sequences, and the color shifts he accomplishes are frankly breathtaking. He needs to be allowed to do more comics for DC if he ever decides to leave this book.
There is a bit of a “prophecy” narrative running in the background of this book which is really out of place in the relatively grounded identity of the Green Arrow mythos. It really doesn’t need to be there and adds nothing to the story.
To move into spoiler territory, Green Arrow does something that may make or break this comic for many. Oliver kills Broderick by burning him alive in this comic. This is definitely a callback to Green Arrow’s struggle with taking lives in the past, most notoriously in Justice League: Cry for Justice. It was fitting in this instance, with Broderick being a monstrous bastard who has killed hundreds and taken everything from Oliver Queen. It also promises some interesting repercussions in the stories to come.
This is not a comic that is particularly kind to its political opposition. If you can look past that, it is a quality book. This one comes recommended in spite of its caveats.
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