There’s an Eighth clan here: the spoilers clan — you have been warned
The review format for Green Arrow #30 is going to be different in that one, it is done in bullets to make the flow of the reading easier, and two, to not just review the comic, but to also fill out some observations, kind of like The A.V. Club but not as good. Anyways, on to the review:
- Oliver Queen still feels like he has experienced minimal growth as a character, and this could be attributed to the decompression of comics, but it can also be attributed to the belief that Ollie’s character in the New 52 was never very well defined to begin with, even when Lemire took over. Sure, Lemire’s writing and actual handling of the character is about a million times better than it was before, but he still feels like a brash, angry man who makes some increasingly poor decisions due to arrogance. A lot of what makes Green Arrow great is his relationships to other characters, like a rivalry with Hawkman or a romance with Black Canary, and it feels like that’s something that’s only just starting to take place in Green Arrow with Robert Queen (it’s no secret at this point that he’s alive) and Shado, and Green Arrow #30 does give the character some progression towards this, but it’s still minimal.
- After some muddy, very static art last issue, Sorrentino and Maiolo kill it here, giving the action scenes the touch of stylization they need to fill out the gaps. The black and white (and partially green) hit boxes when Arrows are fired, the mood-setting coloring, the illuminated atmospherics, and the simply well done character movements are all elements of this stylization. I’ve seen Sorrentino get called a poor man’s Jae Lee, but the only similarity is that they have a shadowy, wispy style. Sorrentino is definitely more free form, and the creative choices made with the art in Green Arrow every month definitely showcase that. It seems he’s always looking for a way to make a fight scene we might’ve seen elsewhere many times over feel entirely brand new, and it works.
- It’s hard to talk about art that’s so consistent on a month-to-month basis because eventually you run out of things to talk about. I will say, I love the first spread on pages four-five where they shatter the glass of the cathedral and the red-yellow-orange color scheme indicates that this is going to be a battle driven by anger and disorientation. Oh and the scene with Richard Dragon and Count Vertigo was illustrated really well in that “follow-the-panels” technique comics like Hawkeye use.
- I was predicting a long time ago the reveal of the seventh clan would come around this issue and that Magus would be its leader, what with the solicitation and all, but I guessed that the clan weapon would be magic. It turns out I was wrong, and while it’s implied to have mystical properties, it is not magic it is The Mask Clan. Apparently it allows for shape-shifting and blowing red smoke at people. I thought it was a pretty good reveal, and Komodo’s comment about Magus Means there’s more to him than meets the eye. Always love long-term plot expansion.
- Story wise, Lemire really ramped things up and amped up the tension. Looking back at the previous four issues, I have noticed that they kind of stall for time by drawing things out longer than they needed to be. I’m usually a very “journey, not the end” kind of guy, but the ending third seems to be way more satisfying already than the previous four issues.
- It was very cool to see an actual outsider’s war, and Katana showing up with Butcher to kick some serious ass is great. Hope Katana becomes a regular cast member. Same with Butcher too.
- Finally, I’m excited about the next story arc already, “Green Arrow Broken”, and an aforementioned certain scene shows how Dragon is already setting up the rogues gallery for Ollie. Here’s hoping Killer Moth returns.
Green Arrow #30 is a definite step-up for the series, with long-term plot implications, killer artwork, and a decent script to boot.
My Rating: 4/5