Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Comics: Green Arrow #17

Green Arrow is a character that DC has been promoting heavily.  Not only does he have a hit show on the CW, but he is now a founding member of the new Justice League of America.  The New 52 reboot had Oliver Queen portrayed like Steve Jobs: the Superhero.  And while I liked the concept and some of the stories, it did not grab me and I lost interest.

But now, a new creative team has jumped on board with issue #17.  Writer Jeff Lemire, best known for his work on books like Essex County, Sweet Tooth, and Animal Man is taking a crack at the Emerald Archer.  His concept seems to be a much grittier version than the light an colorful one previous.

In the story, Oliver Queen has lost all of his money.  Off the bat, this is a good development in that it takes away a lot of the character's safety net.  But then when confronting one of his oldest friends at his company, it is revealed that there was more to Oliver getting stranded on the island that made him the archer that he is.  This was also a fascinating and smart move on Lemire's part.  Not only does he start his story off with a mystery, but he hearkens it back to the mythology of Green Arrow's origin.  Returning to the source of his transformation could bring the character back to the core of who he is.

And Oliver's life gets no easier in this issue.  He loses more property.  He loses friends.  And at the end he looks close to losing his life.  The situation is desperate and that makes me want to find out what happens next.

Artist Andrea Sorrentino adds just the right dark mood for this tale.  And the most striking is the collaboration between the two to give us an insight into Green Arrow's mind.  Throughout the book, there are small cut out squares with odd tints and magnifications.  Ollie later explains that no matter where he is, he is always looking for where a target is softest.  Even when he's among friends, he can see how best to take them down.  And he can't seem to turn it off.  I found this very intriguing and it shows how Lemire and Sorrentino take full advantage of the medium to do a unique form of storytelling.

I do not know if the payoff will match the opening, but for now, I am going to follow Green Arrow.

4 out of 5 stars

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