Thoughts and observations on Green Arrow, classical liberalism, freedom, comic books and matters of social justice.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Green Arrow begins again

Green Arrow has been given yet another chance to stand on his own quiver. The Green Arrow/Black Canary title clearly fell below expectations. It's cancellation allows for Oliver's solo adventures in the (once again) ruined streets of Star City. The last few issues dealt with the "Fall of Green Arrow;" a villain named Prometheus blew up most of downtown Star City, Arsenal (Roy Harper, a.k.a. Speedy) lost his right arm, and Black Canary left Oliver after he turned himself in for the murder of Prometheus. Not only that (if that weren't enough!), a mysterious and possibly magical forest has grown in the star-shaped wreckage that was downtown Star City. At the close of issue one we're shown even Green Lantern's ring isn't imune to the forest's effect.

A more in-depth review of The Fall of Green Arrow 31-32, and Green Arrow 1 will follow, for now I will say I like what DC is doing. Ultimately "how" Green Arrow gets to where he is will be somewhat irrelevant, as is Oliver Queen's resurrection from the dead. What's important is that writer JT Krul now has a clean slate to tell streamlined Green Arrow stories. The marriage is gone, the sidekicks are gone having either been maimed or estranged, and the majority of the DCU heroes are at odds with Queen for the murder; for which Oliver was acquitted.

Every so often comics purge the baggage gathered by a previous writer's attempts at exploring new areas of a character. Anything that undoes Judd Winnick's work on Green Arrow is a good thing. Hopefully the extravagance of previous stories will be abandoned (giant catapults!). This first issue feels closer to Mike Grell's Longbow Hunter vision of Green Arrow, just a man and his arrows. The opening scene is a rather bloody encounter between Oliver and a street gang after a young woman. While other "reviewers" complained about a comic camp quality, I actually found it well paced and surprising. Green Arrow doesn't shoot to kill, but he leaves a message along with several arrow-impaled bodies, "Don't mess with the people of Star City."

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