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Green Arrow #9 Review

Green Arrow is in love on a deserted island with the girl of his dreams. Sounds like the perfect happy ending for the character but, like with all dramatic stories, nothing can be perfect. Ollie and Black Canary face off against the threat of the island, but is it good?

Green Arrow #9 (DC Comics)

So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:

“ISLAND OF SCARS” part two! Lost and alone on a remote island, John Diggle finds a secret facility manufacturing illegal narcotics, and an eccentric drug king who’ll stop at nothing to protect his empire. Where are Green Arrow and Black Canary, and will they reunite with Diggle before it’s too late?

Why does this book matter?

Last issue was very much a romantic tale with much of the focus on Ollie and Black Canary making love and forgetting there is an outside world. This issue delivers as far as ramping up the action and reminding them there is in fact an outside world.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Hunting can do a relationship good.

You gotta dig double page layouts–they’re not used too much in comics, and Stephen Byrne uses plenty here. Byrne brings a cartoony vibe to the book with less detail and more rounded looking characters than the norm which makes the book feel like an animated TV show. The fire and sound effects all look quite nice and the embers floating about enhance the action sequence. There are also a few panels that use a white border around characters, as if they’re cut outs laid over the page, which adds a nice 3D dimension to the book.

You can’t deny Black Canary and Green Arrow are good together. The romantic relationship mixed with the occasional disagreement give the series a bit more character oomph. Writer Benjamin Percy does a nice job connecting the island narrative to the Ninth Circle. The story flows well and ends with a well deserved cliffhanger that propels the story forward too.

It can’t be perfect can it?

We’re introduced to two new characters who have a complicated relationship, but I’m not sure they work as effectively as they should. Maybe they are some kind of symbolic message to Ollie and Black Canary about where they might end up together, but as it stands they’re not that interesting. Too much is explained quickly to have it matter, especially with how the book ends.

The art isn’t bad, but its simplicity is hard to get excited about at times. The action looks a bit stiff or plain and it’s hard to peg the cartoony vibe as anything more than a kids cartoon.


Is It Good?

It’s decent, but not a winner. It’ll be good to see this short arc end as it has felt like it’s just biding its time for a more important and bigger story later.


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