Comics Review: GREEN ARROW #1

It’s not the trick arrows. It’s not the reverence for Robin Hood. Green Arrow has always been – and here, firmly remains – all about the attitude....

Book: Green Arrow #1 Writer: JT Krul Art by: Dan Jurgens Price: $2.99 Pages: 32 In Comics Stores Now! It€™s not the trick arrows. It€™s not the reverence for Robin Hood. Green Arrow has always been €“ and here, firmly remains €“ all about the attitude. The opening page firmly makes clear what separates Oliver Queen from being a mere B-list Batman or a lower-tech Tony Stark as he attempts to attend a business meeting via conference call whilst free-running across the rooftops of Paris. DC€™s re-launched Green Arrow is a tale of idealistic over-reaching. In pursuit of three super-powered criminals, tracing them to a Parisian night spot with the help of two Queen Industries employees, writer JT Krul neatly establishes that its Green Arrow who has to bide his time in the shadows while the bad guys are given the red carpet treatment. Oliver Queen has always been one of the few superheroes whose voiceover narrations really add to a story. He€™s not just tracking these villains because of the crimes they€™ve committed; he€™s following these villains in particular because he€™s sickened they€™ve broadcast their evil deeds on youtube. Its good writing here that pushes Green Arrow€™s opinions beyond easy polemic or social commentary. Green Arrow has always had a more specific set of ethics and political and ideological beliefs that make him distinct from the broadness of Batman€™s vengeance or Superman€™s righteousness. The de-aging of many superheroes for DC€™s New 52 is perhaps more noticeable here (for starters, Oliver doesn€™t have a beard) and the writing plays this as a strength. In the old DC continuity, Green Arrow had moments of mellowness and wisdom that came from being a seasoned superhero. Here, Oliver Queen €“ perhaps one year older than the popular Smallville take on the character €“ is still a young, angry man ready to take on the world. And that€™s the fun in this issue. Green Arrow€™s struggle to keep Queen Industries separate from €˜Q-Core€™ (developers of the popular Q-Phones and Q-Pads) is enjoyably reminiscent of the final season of Angel where Angel and co try and keep their identity/integrity working within evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. And, when not avoiding meetings with CEOs, Green Arrow€™s back-flipping onto a luxury yacht to take down three far-more powerful adversaries doesn€™t seem to make a dent in what€™s driving Ollie to keep fighting. There is reference to €˜People I could have saved. People I should have saved€™ from the past that spurs Ollie€™s determination. But you get the sense he€™d be doing this anyway. Dan Jurgens€™ art provides excellent layouts and variety of scenes that read fantastically on paper and digitally. We are introduced to a large number of characters in this first issue but, if they don€™t get much panel-time in the story, Jurgens€™ use of body language, expressions and dress-sense ensure that the reader quickly grasps what each character is about. Green Arrow€™s character re-design did not really grab me from the promotional art released but here works much better, seeing it in action, resembling an extreme sports level of protection rather than just looking like high visibility body armour. One complaint is that the visual storytelling is seemingly too good at times €“ rendering some lines of dialogue redundant when the action says everything. However, for a first issue, this writer/artist combination looks extremely promising, setting a lively and distinct tone. Despite Oliver€™s own assertion that €˜Multitasking is my specialty€™, this issue perhaps struggles to introduce too many characters and story strands in its pages with a few moments feeling under-developed. However, the most admirable and likeable things about Green Arrow as a first issue and Green Arrow as a character is how much they both try to take on and now make the reader want to see them succeed. Plus the trick arrows are kinda cool!

rating: 4

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