Green Arrow #21 brings us part one of “The Rise of Star City” story arc, opens with Juan Ferreyra on art and includes some major reveals that might rock the character forever. Sounds pretty awesome, but is it good?
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Publisher: DC Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“THE RISE OF STAR CITY” part one! They killed Oliver Queen. They made an outlaw of Green Arrow. Now the Ninth Circle will gather its forces to destroy the hero’s very soul. Buildings will topple. Innocents will starve. Disease will spread. And Seattle will die. The biggest Green Arrow story ever begins here!
Why does this book matter?
The Ninth Circle has been one of the most interesting new elements writer Benjamin Percy has introduced as they are an evil organization that’s corrupted everything. How can a hero who shoots arrows stop a force that runs so deep? That’s compelling stuff.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
How many heroes pay respects to their parents in the pouring rain?
Plan ahead people!
Wow, does this issue punch the reader in the teeth and not say it’s sorry. The bad guys get a lot done in this issue and Percy plots a hell of an issue. Cutting between Ollie learning some truths about his parents and the villains enacting a major plan, the reader is left a bit breathless by the end. In a good way. There’s a major reveal that may just change Green Arrow’s character forever and while purists may be a tad annoyed, I found it rather exciting. It’s the New 52 version anyhow, and the reveal adds a new layer to the character that further mucks up his life. Percy has essentially taken a happy do-gooder hero and dragged him through the mud since issue #1. No longer rich, now a criminal, and due to the events revealed in this issue, things are going to get a lot worse. The hero has a lot more to fight for and it runs deep into the character’s very being.
Ferreyra draws an impeccable issue on top of that. I recommend buying this in paper version (you get a free digital code anyway) as there’s quite a few double page layouts that use every inch of the horizontal pages to tell the story. There’s a double page of a massive attack that, frankly, I’m surprised DC let the creative team get away with. It’s a horrible event that Ferreyra captures very well. The use of color is always a treat with Ferreyra’s work, with a splash of red in a key shocking moment later in the issue that sells the complete horror of a character in a moment. Red is used quite nicely throughout the issue, touching up a scene so we’re reminded how evil the actions are. The final full page cliffhanger helps convey how bad it is for Seattle and there’s a clever visual of the title of the story arc.
This sequence is frightening.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There’s little to no fighting in this issue. Given the great buildup and reveals I don’t think it’s all that necessary, but I was surprised to not see Green Arrow shoot off some arrows.
Is It Good?
An excellent first installment to an arc that sets up a major revelation at the same time the bad guys set a plan into motion. To say Green Arrow has never faced a threat as bad as this is an understatement!