Green Arrow has been one of the biggest success stories for DC Comics. After a largely uninspired 52 issues, long-time fan of the Emerald Archer have been attracted to the back-to-basics take on the character by writer Benjamin Percy and stunning artwork by Juan Ferreyra & Otto Schmidt. So maybe that’s why this current run hasn’t really clicked for me. I wasn’t reading comics until about 2012.
Green Arrow #3 starts with our favorite Archer, reflecting on his most recent “death” and his current predicament which has him feeling pretty lonely at the moment. Lonely, and hungry for revenge. This manifests itself in the kind of break-in James Bond would raise a glass to.
Making his way through the Queen Industries Skyscraper, the Hell-themed symbolism that’s been played up is played really well as Green Arrow descends into the dark heart of his former home, looking for revenge.
With that said, I will say I agree with most people when they say the art on Green Arrow has looked great so far. Juan Ferreyra is on interior and cover this time around and he does not disappoint, (though I’m more a fan of Schmidt, I’ll be honest) but I feel that at times characters aren’t as defined as they could be. Green Arrow is unmistakable, but it took me until his actual introduction to realize John Diggle was John Diggle.
Black Canary makes a couple of quick appearances, but I’m honestly not seeing much to her involvement in this story other than to appease the fans of Arrow that were upset Black Canary was killed off last season and the long-time fans of the character pre-Flashpoint. Throw in me, not much caring for her way of doing things or characterization, and I find her a bit of a drain to the main story, but I’m sure she’ll play a bigger roll moving forward. For better or worse.
Throughout this book, we get a lot of questions answered involving Shado, Emiko, and the Ninth Circle, and the truth is, it kind of falls flat. I have enjoyed Benjamin Percy on Green Arrow. I have since his first arc. Where I’ve noticed he falls short though, is making villains memorable.
From the Big Bad Wolf to The Skeleton Cartel, we’ve seen interesting concepts fall flat and the Ninth Circle looks to be heading down that path. Percy does well with previously established characters though, which gives me hope for his take on past villains like Count Vertigo and Richard Dragon.
Overall, fabulous art can’t make up for somewhat dated characterization and uninspired villains. The questions that we asked have been answered and they didn’t really live up to Percy's hope that this would be Green Arrows’ “Court of Owls.” This arc will likely be remembered for bringing Oliver Queens' characterization back to the days of pre-Flashpoint, amazing art, and little else.
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