Green Arrow #17 Review – ‘Bout Time, DC…

imagesGreen Arrow has had a pretty sordid creative history the last couple of years.  Following the characters return to prominence under Kevin Smith and then Judd Winick, DC decided to make Green Arrow the focus of of the ill-conceived “Cry for Justice” and the follow-up “Rise and Fall”.   Those series, I would argue, systematically stripped the character of the very qualities and supporting cast that fans had grown to love.

Then the New 52.  It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of the reboot as a whole, although I do read and enjoy some of the titles.  Oliver Queen is one of the titles that really seemed to suffer further under the New 52 banner, which was a big disappoint for me.  Sales have struggled and there hasn’t seemed to be a place for Ollie in the universe at large.  Thankfully, I can tentatively say that may be changing.

Green Arrow #17 introduces a new creative team – Jeff Lermire and Andrea Sorrentino.  I’ve been a fan of Lermire since his work on Superboy in the Pre-New 52 DC and his work on Animal Man has been impressive.  Lermire clearly has plans for the character and is pushing for an entirely new direction.

Lermire is, in essence, burning Green Arrow’s world to the ground.  The issue opens with well-orchestrated attacks on every facet of Green Arrow/Oliver Queen’s life – his inheritance, his friends, his reputation.  By the end of the issue Green Arrow is potentially wanted for murder, has lost his fortune, lost his support team, and has been utterly defeated by another archer.  Perhaps most intriguing, the issue is taking a cue from the excellent WB series, “Arrow”, and hinting at some deeper intrigue surrounding Ollie’s time stranded on an island.

I also have to give a nod to Andrea Sorrentino who I was not at all familiar with coming in.   Sorrentino handled both the art and colorist duties and the work is pretty striking.  He does a great job framing the action and using perspective and cues with the colors to draw the reader’s eye.  I particularly liked the way he’d fade out to black and white for certain parts of a panel using brighter colors (generally greens or reds) to a highlight a particular area of the panel.  It’s a well used technique.

Notice the first panel - black and white with the green accent on the building.

Notice the first panel – black and white with the green accent on the building.

So, final verdict?  Green Arrow #17 puts the right foot forward, stripping Green Arrow of all the trappings that have come to define the character in the New 52 universe.  I was actually pleasantly reminded of Mike Grell’s revamp of Oliver Queen in “The Longbow Hunters” which is one of my favorite mini-series, and one that I consider a must read for Green Arrow fans.  I’m intrigued.

(On a side note:  Bring back the Errol Flynn goatee, DC!)

9 out of 10

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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