Green Arrow is under parole, but that doesn’t stop him from leaving his state border. Nope, he’s hitting the road with his motorcycle to gather evidence against the Ninth Circle. This is writer Benjamin Percy’s chance to open up this enemy on a scale that spans the United States. No pressure.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
‘HARD TRAVELING HERO’ part one! Unwilling to let another city suffer the same fate as Seattle, Green Arrow kicks off a new quest to hunt down the Ninth Circle across America! To stop disaster before it can happen, the (in)famously hot-headed Oliver Queen must mend fences with those he’s alienated in the past, starting with THE FLASH! The second epic year of GREEN ARROW REBIRTH begins here!
Why does this book matter?
Percy has been writing an epic in Green Arrow’s Rebirth, from delving into the shady past of his parents to turning Seattle into Star City. He’s basically brought back fan favorite elements (including the goatee) and made them feel slightly new while doing it. This new story arc allows readers to jump on and see what his ultimate enemy has been up to.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Electric beavers are the worst.
This is a good jumping on point for readers as Green Arrow’s captions detail what he’s doing and who the enemy is right up front. This exposition carries over a few pages of Oliver riding his motorcycle through the mountains and then–as is customary for a hero–things get weird. Percy integrates Flash well by tying whatever the Ninth Circle is doing into Flash’s energy source. It’s an interesting turn of events as it connects Green Arrow’s enemy to Flash and reminds us this enemy is not to be trifled with. This issue also offers a natural team-up setup and gives us plenty of Flash/Green Arrow banter.
The unnerving threat of whatever the Ninth Circle is up to is made more obvious by Stephen Byrne’s great art that showcases a blue/green energy that’s somehow supercharging animals. Green Arrow has always been closer to nature, and these supercharged animals have a look that seems to play off Green Arrow well. And speaking of supercharged, Flash looks great too, with a lot of neat yellow electricity flowing off of him. The effects used utilize a translucent look that gives the energy depth and makes him look even more supernatural than usual.
Now that’s what I call hunting.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s hard to get a bead on why Flash is so sour on Green Arrow. Oliver makes a reference to not being able to handle not being in the lead in the Justice League, though Green Arrow has been a pretty teamwork-driven character for much of his Rebirth time. Then you have Flash, who almost dislikes the guy for “being a jerk,” and yet there’s no evidence of him being a jerk in this issue. It makes Flash come off as petty and kind of a jerk himself. There’s clearly a history between them that’s not so great, but it’s difficult to see it on the page.
Is It Good?
A good team-up issue that reveals Green Arrow’s enemy is up to no good and it even involves other heroes. The villains in Green Arrow are showing they’re much bigger, and more dangerous, than readers could have thought.