Green Arrow #17
Writer- Jeff Lemire
Artist- Andrea Sorrentino
Of the phrases that comic book fans fear most few hold the status of reboot. However, the second most feared phrase is “creative team change”. However, with Green Arrow it is a welcome change. While the first six issues were good they did not sell well, then we got ten issues of Ann Nocenti, who did an abysmal job of expanding the story. Finally, we get a new staff on the book in order to do justice to this less popular hero. The story is told in two sections. The first features Oliver lost in the desert dying and regretting how he has lost everything. The majority of the book focuses on a flashback explaining how Oliver ended up in the desert. It ends with the introduction of Komodo and showing how over his head Oliver actually is.
The story takes cues from older runs of Green Arrow and a little inspiration from the Arrow TV series. We get a younger Oliver than in the previous issues and this series plays more like a prequel or reboot than a continuation of the previous run of the comic. The dialogue is great and it builds an aura of mystery in the book. There is some great pacing in this book and it really seems to be building toward a really interesting arc that will expand on the history of the Queen family. This shift in the quality of writing is a welcome change to this series and hopefully it will remain this way for this arc and all others forthcoming.
The artwork has a grittier feel than the usual Green Arrow faire and it suits this darker, more mysterious story. The design for Oliver looks younger than he did in the previous issues and Justice League of America. The costume design looks almost identical to the costume from Arrow which also ties into the younger design. This could be seen as a prequel, except that when the story continues they make reference to the JLA. Overall, the art is great and has a unique art style. The battles look brutal and they add to the hopeless situation Oliver is facing. The new artistic redesign will likely draw in new readers who are fans of the TV series.
I did enjoy the first arc of the New 52 version of Green Arrow, but when Ann Nocenti took over I dropped this series because of her intolerable writing. I recently learned that Jeff Lemire took over the series, which inspired this review. I came in with mixed expectations, but I really enjoyed this new take on the character. If you have been watching the TV series you can easily jump into this comic without reading the previous issues. Also, if you want a super hero book with more depth this will also fit that need as well. If you prefer more light hearted comics or if over the top archery is not your bag then you may want to skip this book. Let’s hope that more of the weaker DC series can get a redesign like Green Arrow, it might make DC fun to read again.
5 out of 5 – Way better than a Green Arrow book should be