As I’ve stated and will try not to state again, this story hasn’t been anything terribly amazing. The villain is a bit bleh, but the effort in his Hellish nature and appearance is appreciated. To be honest, this story isn’t bad. I like it, and I think a lot of older Green Arrow fans are loving it as well. Benajmin Percy opens this story up in a very visceral and gritty way, that isn’t all that edgy. Picking up from where we left off, the cops have Green Arrow surrounded, forcing our hero to fight his way through the police force—people he would regularly call his allies. Through it all, Olivers’ dialogue really strikes you as the voice of a man who really has lost everything and is truly conflicted about his options and actions.
It’s moments like this that make me look forward to reading more Green Arrow from Benjamin in the future. We’ve seen little flashes of how Oliver operates in Seattle. A way that really makes it feel like it is in fact Green Arrow's/Oliver Queen's city, in the same way other heroes leave their mark on their respective homes.
Superman flies high overhead, patrolling Metropolis with a smile on his face. Batman owns the night, striking fear into the superstitious and cowardly lot that make up the criminal element of Gotham City. Green Arrow employs the men and women of Seattle as his eyes and ears around the city, greasing the wheels along the way and living up to his “green” moniker, and I love it.
After a daring escape, Oliver finally comes face to face with John Diggle, who confronts Oliver Queen about the reason he left. And here comes the downer. Much like other reveals in this arc, the reasoning behind the split between these brothers-in-arms is underwhelming.
Percy is adamant about keeping his Green Arrow and the television series Arrow apart, but there was real drama when Diggle and Oliver fought there, that wasn’t resolved for quite a while and after Oliver truly gave of himself to apologize to John. Here, a quick dip in a shallow pond and all is forgiven? Doesn’t quite compare to kidnapping your best friends’ family and lying to him about it, but what can ya do?
Meanwhile, in the middle of the ocean, Black Canary continues to make me not like her. I don’t know what it is. Her attitude and character come off as grating when she’s in action. Otherwise, she’s not bad. Her penchant for threatening people though, makes me think she’d fit better in Gotham City than Seattle, but I guess that’s what Birds of Prey is for, right?
And of course, addressing the elephant in the room here is only fitting because, The Inferno looks amazing drawn by Juan Ferreyra (who also destroyed with an amazing cover). Juan kills this book to death with his art, in a good way, all throughout. However, the opening scenes with Oliver and the police and the Black Canary-Inferno scenes are the best parts in a book filled with amazing art. Seriously, DC needs to lock down the Juan and Otto to exclusive contracts. I’d read an Arm-Fall-Off-Boy book with either of these guys on art!
Anywho, Canary looks awesome mid-air under Juans’ pen, and after some sick ninja moves comes face to face with Emi. The former rock star takes a tranq-arrow to the knee, as Dante the Evil Banker praises the young archer.
At this point, they wasted a perfect opportunity to reintroduce Felicity Smoak and go all “Original Team Arrow” but I digress.
Oliver and Diggle make their way to Henry, and after a bit of bullying from John, the guy agrees to help out, only for Dante to do his best Anonymous impression and hack the feed, proposing to trade Black Canary for and the stolen laptop at The Inferno. The issue is wrapped up very nicely, by Percys’ writing as Oliver and Diggle (Spartan?) prepare to assault The Ninth Circle.
The key takeaway from this book is really the writing and the artwork. Benjamin Percy has had a lot of people talking about this story, and for good reason. It’s playing with the environment and character of Oliver Queen in both familiar and new ways and a lot of the ideas are working. It’s the supporting cast that needs work, but I have faith in Percy in this regard and I look forward to seeing where Team Arrow goes through this arc and beyond.
[su_box title="Score: 4/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]