Spoilers for (ending of) Green Arrow #29
In my non-stop coverage of the “Outsiders War” story arc in Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, I’ve realized a consistent element tracking its way across my reviews: that each issue has been dropping huge revelations or “bombshells” as I like to call them. This can be labeled as a double-edged sword because it effectively makes the reader expect a huge reveal at the end of each issue, that if it didn’t drop one, readers would be thoroughly disappointed. At the same time it works in a positive manner because it gives the book something to latch onto as a focal point and adds story beats so the issues don’t feel redundant. I can’t decide whether or not the use of bombshells as a storytelling device is smart or incredibly stupid but what it does show is that Lemire and Sorrentino are never out of ideas on how to make each issue more exciting than the next.
Green Arrow #29 is the logical jumping point here as far as reveals go. Hell, even the first five pages have startling revelations and this is an indicator that Lemire and Sorrentino are unafraid as storytellers to boldly go where some writers have gone before. It’s amazing how much Lemire is juggling here that it’ll be impossible to tell whether he can tie it all in cohesively or if a multitude of questions will remain unanswered. Future solicits indicate that things are only going to get bigger from here. Lemire may need a double-sized issue if he wants to make the most out of this “Outsiders War.” I wasn’t the biggest fan of the reveal here at the end, if only because it felt a little contrived and not as jaw-dropping as the past three issues, if only because it has no long-term consequences. We know Oliver’s not really dead and that he’s going to come back, so what’s the point?
Sorrentino’s artwork as usual, is beautiful to just stare at, but when it is stared at some glaring flaws become present. Some of the artwork looks very visibly traced/sketched from character models and it’s apparent that bits and pieces of the pages are getting rushed out to meet deadlines. Elsewhere Sorrentino delivers brilliantly on creating atmospheric scenery and the elegant from of movement and combat. Please DC, if it means the book is delayed then so be it, but let Sorrentino take his time to work out the quirks and deliver a top-notch product. This is the only issue where I can say the art has faltered even slightly. One of the better things about the art is the framing device of the cathedrals/church as panels and how it kind of demonstrates that the Outsiders are bordering on being a near religious organization of warriors.
The biggest hindrance on the story so far is that we’re four issues in and the war of the Outsiders is only just starting. Lemire is making me afraid that the big war itself in the next two issues is going to be really rushed out and that the arc will suffer for it. Still, the best thing about this arc is that it introduces a series of long-term storylines that will come into play for years to come. The story falters a little, but it keeps pushing forward to interesting points. Of course the middle section is going to be the weak part. That’s usually the way comics tend to work (at least in my opinion). The next two issues better deliver, or this is going to be a bust. Green Arrow #29 is the weakest part of the “Outsiders War” so far, but it isn’t necessarily bad. It just falters a little and seems a tad rushed.
My rating: 3.5/5