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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Green Arrow #2 Review

After a few panels of a shadowy figure walking through Star City's forest, issue two of Green Arrow picks up with Ollie and Hal trying to figure out what caused GL's recent power ring outage. The two decide it must have something to do with the glowing White Lantern symbol on the tree next to them as the White Lantern has already been responsible for some "strange anomalies" worldwide.

When questioned about the forest Green Arrow tells Hal he knows the layout of the ever-changing landscape (?) And Hal finds out Ollie has been living in the trees and playing Robin Hood.

Not only that but Oliver found some way to excavate his own "arrowcave" lair complete with furniture, dishes, and a small library??? Must have fired his rarely used Extreme Home Makeover arrow.

Hal insists Oliver is making yet another mistake in a long line of mistakes but Oliver assures GL he knows what he's doing. And he reiterates the forest is his home...

What follows is an extended action sequence with Green Arrow and Green Lantern fighting the Queen's guard mano-a-mano, Hal without his ring and Ollie without his...oh wait, he still has his arrows. Now, this might be nitpicking but I was bothered by the opening panels of this deep woods brew-ha-ha. GL and Oliver are flanked by 6 heavily armed and armored guards.

Hal elbows one guard in the neck who apparently decided against firing his hi-tech rifle and instead jumped head first at one of earth's most powerful heroes...in order to headbutt him I suppose. Simultaneously Oliver incapacitates one guard with and arrow through the lats. Ouch! This leaves two guards in front and two behind.

Green Arrow is johnny-on-the-spot with the double arrow launch into the shoulder maneuver.

However, that leaves the two guards behind who are both aiming their rifles right at the two heroes, but do they shoot? Nope.

One of them disappears and the other waits long enough for Green Arrow to turn around, knock another arrow, fire that arrow, and disarm him. So either Oliver is that good or the artist is that sloppy....YOU decide.

COVER ART







This is a perfect cover piece! The washed out background draws your attention to our emerald clad heroes and makes the red, laser sights pointed at them really pop. The broken, smoking ring at GL's feet conveys an important story element and Oliver holding his bow at his side (rather than taking aim) with a multitude of barrels bearing down on him plays to his defiant and over confidant nature. It would be difficult to one-up this outstanding Green Arrow cover!


STORY





Once again the small details add up to a lacking finished product. As noted above there are enough badly handled moments to bring you out of the story. The back and forth with Hal and Oliver was nice but it offered nothing new. We've seen Hal act as the League's mouthpiece to Green Arrow before. I like how Krul establishes the forest as a no-fly zone; that could be used to great effect down the road.

We see another glimpse of the new "queen" of Queen Industries but it amounts to a few panels of interior dialogue recounting how anyone can go to the top with hard work and determination. But it's coming from a freaky, trench coat sportin' chick in a mask; the sentiments lose their optimistic flavor. We also get a good look at new character Galahad but that's nothing to get excited about, as we will see in the upcoming issues.

You'll notice I made note of Oliver saying repeatedly the forest is his home. And yet he's as determined to convey to Hal that his life is dedicated to the protection of Star City's people. How does he accomplish this by hiding in the woods? Does he wait for the odd passerby being accosted by street gangs, as we saw last issue? I can't imagine your basic Star City resident enters this bizarre and clearly supernatural jungle. How many people does Green Arrow expect to save there?

This issue was a lot of fight panels with Green Arrow whipping the Queen's Guard "ewok-style," but here again we're left with nagging questions; "How did he get that giant tree rigged up?" When a writer takes on a character the intent should be do bring something new and fresh to the table. But Krul is content with relying solely on Green Arrow's new environment and offers little else unique. Take out the magic kingdom he's living in and you have a routine Green Arrow storyline here.

STORY ART



Same as last issue, not bad overall, but there are odd looking figures and confusing action sequences that detract. Much like the story it could be worse, could be better.

BOTTOM LINE


I'm not hating the new Green Arrow, but I'm not loving it either. The narrowed focus of the book is welcome but I can't help thinking we could, and should, be getting more for our buck. This is J.T. Krul's opportunity to introduce readers to his Green Arrow, he needs to give us a reason to meet him. The rank and file Green Arrow fans are buying this book but I doubt this is garnering new readership. By the way, the last panels winds up this issue with a somewhat startling cliff hanger. I'll be going into that in detail for next issue's review, and honestly you've had since last fall to read up on this.

Fair warning!

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