Forever Evil Event: Green Arrow 23.1 (Count Vertigo)
Green Arrow 23.1
Special “Villains Month” Title: Count Vertigo 1
Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The Green Arrow tie-in was not my favorite of the Villains Month issues this week, but it certainly gains the award for most important. Let me elaborate: This is actually not only the first issue of the series that I’ve enjoyed since the reboot, but actually the first comic written by Jeff Lemire that I didn’t want a refund after purchasing. And even though I’ve been drawn to the artwork of Andrea Sorrentino since the new creative team, I always thought it was like a poor man’s version of the artwork of Alex Maleev. But this issue changed all of that. Perhaps removing Oliver Queen from the equation was just the perfect amount of a push that the creative team needed to completely win me over. And win me over they certainly did.
The issue is relatively simple, but the complexity presented between the frames and the words not spoken are what really drew me in. Count Vertigo has always been one of those guilty pleasure villains for me. Yes, he’s ridiculous, but yes, he’s also got loads of potential. And by getting his origin finally, I can say that he’s truly a force to be reckoned with. I do not envy Green Arrow when he has to face him next. The fact that he comes from royalty is nothing new, but the fact that he also comes from a shameful drug-addicted whore who sold him to a special school that trained (and tortured) him into becoming what he is today was a nice new twist. But this school didn’t just train a soldier. They created a weapon. And the fact that he so callously killed her and burnt down his own home at the end of the issue was just icing on the already villainous cake. So now we have a character who is not only creepy and powerful, but also somewhat sympathetic and motive-driven.
Art like this is definitely worth the extra dollar for the awesome cover. And this issue actually made me excited for next month’s continuing adventures, which is an extremely welcome (if not long overdue) surprise as far as I’m concerned. I’m glad that Count Vertigo was given a chance. I’m glad that I didn’t drop this book. But mostly I’m happy to finally see the Lemire that everyone has been ranting and raving about all this time.
My Rating: 4/5