Benjamin Percy (W), Otto Schmidt (Art and Color)
Cover By: Juan Ferreyra
Publisher: DC Comics
Green Arrow is one of my all-time favorite super heroes of either universe. He’s cocky, charming, determined, and very vocal with his opinion. He’s also one of those super heroes who is very familiar with getting beaten down, like Hawkeye and Ant-Man. That’s another charming quality for me. I like the heroes who know what losing feels like because they are the ones who try harder to pick themselves back up.
The New 52 has been a complicated time to be a Green Arrow fan. Dan Jurgens gave the title a very strong starting point, but it struggled with some less-than-stellar story arcs after that. Jeff Lemire gave the book some life when he took over (he also made Count Vertigo a really cool villain), but the book fell out of grace again after that.
Benjamin Percy has definitely had an interesting tenure on this comic so far. He brought Oliver Queen back to his vocally liberal roots, and I honestly appreciated that a lot. I like the old-lefty Ollie. His stories were not subtle in message or tone, which is kind of charming to me too. However, Oliver Queen as a character ended up taking back seat to the politics of the story. This, in addition to finances, are why I ended up dropping the book from my personal pull list.
However, Rebirth may change this. This new issue was phenomenal.
This story picks up with Green Arrow investigating a string of disappearances of homeless people. He runs into Black Canary, whom is in Seattle to investigate the same thing. The two of them help a homeless child to track down his mother and, hopefully, discover the reason behind these kidnappings.
I’m going to go ahead and say this book is not for everyone. I dug it, but it’s not afraid to show its colors. I do understand why some people may not want politics in their comics. Comic books are generally a means of escaping from reality, and, for some people, that includes ignoring politics and topical issues. I, on the other hand, can get behind comic books with real-world relevance. It’s one of the reasons I love Nick Spencer’s work too.
As I said before, the reason I stopped reading Green Arrow was because he wasn’t really present as a character in recent comics. His personality fell flat, and he was beginning to resemble a green Batman. This problem is not present in this comic. Oliver Queen is oozing with personality, and the chemistry between he and Black Canary is very strong. She is constantly calling him out on his hypocrisies (being a champion of the downtrodden while simultaneously being the richest man in Seattle). He goes through the comic being a self-aware loudmouth, but he still knows when to get serious. Ollie and Laurel have a bit of a combative relationship. This honestly makes sense with these two, as they both have big, extroverted personalities.
The art is very stylistic, kinetic, and expressive. I have not seen Schmidt’s art before this comic, but I hope he stays on this title. He fits Green Arrow very well.
The comic’s political leanings are apparent throughout. Without giving anything away, the reason for the kidnappings is definitely a very overt metaphor for the rich (literally) preying upon the poor.
It definitely has more talking than action, but it’s understandable since it’s establishing the relationship between Arrow and Canary. Plus, when the dialogue is good, a comic can be forgiven for having a lot of it.
This comic really worked for me. It has personality, it’s proud of what it is, and it’s got teeth. It may not be for everyone, but it succeeds in being what it is trying to be. If you’re a longtime Green Arrow fan, you’re probably used to the politics. If you’re coming in from Arrow on CW, you’re definitely going to find a very different character, but I still say it’s worth your time.
Also, the goatee is back.
Final Score: 9/10