The Green team is back together for the first time in the Rebirth era. Can it live up to expectations?
It’s the team-up we’ve all been waiting for! That’s what the solicit says, so it must be true! In Green Arrow #30, Hal Jordan returns to give Ollie a helping hand. Can they get along? Is it good?
That’s right, the mean, green team is back together (though one wears it better), as the Arrow’s street level adventure needs a space-sized boost. The evil Ninth Circle “black bank” has torn down and rebuilt Oliver Queen’s home of Seattle, and are using a geosynchronous satellite to keep tabs on it all. Sounds like a job for a space cop!
While Black Canary holds things down back on terra firma, and after the requisite reunion banter, the emerald allies jet up to the Clarke belt (a real thing!) to take care of business, only to get separated just as the bromance blossoms. Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Goes for friends and, ya know, oxygen.
Green Arrow #30 opens with a nice, artful and fair depiction of a lot of the concerns held by varied Americans right now. It kind of goes downhill from there, though, into a standard “evil corporation, greed and environmental destruction” parable — which is fine, I guess, considering the political leanings of the majority of comic readers, but it’s not as nuanced as the old days of Green Arrow (which are, naturally, referenced in the dialogue).
Writer Benjamin Percy also interjects a strange, informational interlude as the pair blasts off, while trying to avoid space debris. As a scientist, that’s cool for me, but it doesn’t seem to pertain much to the actual story progression, and the facts get muddled into silliness as Arrow and Lantern find what they’re looking for just by looking up. The predictable tripping of defenses at the end typifies the kind of “averageness” that permeates the whole book.
Black Canary only gets a couple pages to advance her mission, though it’s done capably and with arguably (and surprisingly?) more effective colors than in the rest of Green Arrow #30. The darker shades hammer home the despair of the underground, and the red eyes of the boss’ underlings are piercing enough to be creepy. Despite coloring his own work, the greens of Lantern’s constructs seem to wash out Otto Schmidt’s lines that distinguish what he’s crafting, making the objects blobbier than they should be.
Schmidt tries for some nice perspective shots here and there, with middling results, but his facial features leave something to be desired. Everyone’s head seems to be the exact same shape, leaving only beards and masks to tell who’s who. There’s also a hurried feeling to his figures that could evoke the worst tendencies of ’90s artists to readers with long memories.
If DC’s Rebirth is really about getting back to basics, Green Arrow #30 is a great example. Both the art and the dialogue can feel kind of dated and ordinary, with not much to set it apart from a million other comics that have come before. There’s something to be said for returning to what the fans are familiar with and hungry for, but treading the same old ground without the unique kinds of tweaks that made the best of those old stories stand out can just lead to boredom, which is assuredly not the desired outcome.