Green Arrow has managed to capture a different type of street-level crime fighting from Batman; that’s partly because of the werewolf business of the last story arc, but Ollie is back to being fully human and fully committed to fighting crime with arrows and his company’s cash. In his Rebirth issue Black Canary made an entrance and she continues to be involved in a big way in this issue which is exciting… but is it good?
Green Arrow #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.
Why does this book matter?
Otto Schmidt proved he can bring some artist muscle to the series with some truly creepy mole-man creepazoid baddies. Plus the action is easy to follow and quite interesting to look at. Meanwhile writer Benjamin Percy has thrown Black Canary into the mix further complicating Ollie’s life.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Fans of Emi, Green Arrow’s sister who also wields a bow of her own, should not miss this issue. She makes an appearance, but also reflects on Black Canary being more involved with Green Arrow and most importantly will have a huge part in the story moving forward. This issue gives us a fight sequence with Emi and Green Arrow quite literally back to back and it’s nice to see her back in the story after being absent from the Rebirth issue.
I bet she was saving that line for just this moment.
The strongest element of this issue is the developing relationship between Black Canary and Green Arrow. A certain scene in particular will get folks talking (read: they might be nude), but it’s how Black Canary challenges Ollie that’s most important. Ollie uses his money for good and tries to prove that to Black Canary. She makes a strong point though that money isn’t everything and that maybe Ollie needs to take a hard look at his life and who he deems his friends.
This is ultimately an issue of reveals with more than one to digest once you’ve finished reading. Percy effectively kicks things off with a bang with multiple threads to keep track of and watch develop over the next few issues. By the end of this issue you’ll be pressed to remember a time Ollie has had so much on the line.
Schmidt continues to do great things on art juggling some heavy-handed dialogue pages too. There’s one page with Ollie in the rain on his motorcycle that’s epic as hell and when the arrows fly it’s exciting as Schmidt keeps changing the angle.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s a lot of table setting in this issue which slows things down considerably. The issue opens and closes with action, but there’s a section that’s a slog to get through as characters go on and on with dialogue that’s easily unnecessary. Two characters – avoiding spoilers here – are putting on airs and it’s obvious something is up, but the page slows things down to a crawl knocking the pace on its butt.
The pace of this issue is a bit wonky from beginning to end too, with scenes cutting without much connecting them. Maybe this is a way to drop us into moments that are surprises, but as a whole the issue feels a bit disjointed.
Back 2 back.
Is It Good?
Green Arrow fans have a lot to talk about after this issue! If anything this was the Rebirth issue Green Arrow needed as there are major reveals, surprising twists and a cliffhanger that changes everything.