Green Arrow is back in Seattle after seven or so issues set on a supervillain war ship in the ocean, Japan, and a mysterious island. He didn’t leave Seattle on the best of terms with most folks believing he’s dead. Time to prove them wrong, but is it good?
Green Arrow #12 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
“EMERALD OUTLAW” part one! A major new storyline begins as Green Arrow returns to Seattle for a brand-new mission: reclaim the life he’s lost. But with Oliver Queen presumed dead, his fortune obliterated, his sister Emiko missing and Seattle’s police turning against him, death proves a bigger challenge than life for Green Arrow!
Why does this book matter?
Benjamin Percy has weaved quite an international espionage type tale since his first Rebirth issue and the story only seems to be ramping up further with the latest plot twists. Otto Schmidt is back on art and color duties, which is means we’re in store for well textured and colorful pages.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a good first issue of the “Emerald Outlaw” storyline, reminding us of the past events of Ollie and company while setting up new characters and new directions for everyone. Ollie has been enjoying his new lease on life and admittedly doesn’t miss the rich life. As a sort of Outlaw, it’s clear Percy is making Green Arrow more akin to Robin Hood than ever, but it works for a variety of reasons. One of which is the true enemy of Green Arrow, the corporate bastards who want to screw everything up for the little guy.
This issue has strong bookends using a news anchor in the opening and closing to reveal where we’re at to start and eventually where we’re going. Percy writes plenty of good dialogue in this issue, especially in these opening pages–complete with fanboys who disagree (don’t they always)–which pay off later in the issue. Every scene in this issue is well written and drawn achieving its goals of introducing new elements, reintroducing characters, or delivering action. Even though we’ve seen plenty Donald Trump-like characters in the last few months in comic books, there’s one in this issue that’s interesting and entertaining. I’ll say no more on him, but here’s to hoping we see more of this character later.
Schmidt draws a great issue with a great use of color and texture throughout. A scene revealing a treehouse is quite nice with the flora and fauna looking downright real. The climactic scenes in this issue work wonderfully to build up the captions and showcase a Godfather-like ending as a master plan is enacted. This leads to a cliffhanger that will leave you pondering what on earth could happen next when Ollie’s chips were already down.
It can’t be perfect can it?
A short scene later in the issue reveals a homeless man that’s somewhat strange. He’s almost like a supernatural entity in how he’s drawn and what he knows and it screams deus ex machina for the purpose of pushing the plot forward in an unnatural sort of way. A rather minor element, but it had me scratching my head.
Now that’s a pretty panel!
Is It Good?
Green Arrow is smartly written, well paced and exciting every punch, kick, and arrow of the way. This issue sets up the story arc, has plenty of action, and enough good dialogue to enrich the characters and progress the plot nicely.