Green Arrow is a character I’ve always been interested in but haven’t always found that interesting. Other than the show Arrow, the last time I found Oliver Queen truly engaging was during Identity Crisis. When the New 52 was announced and the new Green Arrow was revealed to be a younger Oliver Queen, I held back on picking up the series. And, after having seen the reviews, I think I made a decent decision. The series has changed creative teams a few times, but it now seems that the comic has finally found its foothold in the DCU.
Green Arrow #17 brings us the creative team of Jeff Lemire (Justice League Dark, Animal Man) and Andrea Sorrentino (I, Vampire). I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t picked up any Green Arrow comic until now; having said that, I can’t say how well this issue incorporates the past events, but I will say that not having ready any previous issues didn’t seem to make a difference as I was able to follow the story completely.
Jeff Lemire immediately starts dragging the emerald archer through the mud starting with page one. Oliver has lost his company, he’s been set up for murder and he’s now being hunted by The Komodo, a deadly archer with his sights set on Oliver. Lemire does a great job setting up this story without making it feel like a set up. I half expected this issue to be a reintroduction to the character and his past, but Lemire skips that and throws us straight into the action. The issue is fast paced, but paced so perfectly that once you get to the last page you find yourself surprised that you read it so quickly.
While there is a ton of action in this issue there is also some great characterization. Lemire has managed to make Green Arrow feel like a natural character rather than forced. As a matter of fact, the difference between Lemire’s take and Geoff John’s take in Justice League #8 makes the character seem like two different people. I prefer Lemire’s rendition.
Andrea Sorrentino is an amazing artist; however, I fear his style doesn’t seem to fit the noir-style Lemire is aiming for. (Ha, Green Arrow… aiming for… ha.) Sorrentino’s style is more honed in on horror and there are many panels that don’t seem to fit very well, especially an argument in an office building Oliver has with the president of his corporation. While the art may not fit in some places, it fits in many others. Of course, these are all the darker sections where Oliver is being hunted by Komodo.
Intermittently throughout, the art consists of panels done in black and white with one object colored in green. These images are very powerful and I actually wish the whole book was done in this style – it’s reminiscent of Sin City and the series Cowboy/Ninja/Viking.
This is a great start for the new creative team and I am looking forward to the rest of the series with giddy excitement.