Green Arrow #6 features a surprising lack of Green Arrow. Instead, this book and apparently arc, center on his partner/sister, Emiko Queen. After the explosive conclusion of Green Arrow #5, Emiko winds up in Japan with her Tiger Mom. Shado explains just who she is and why she does what she does, and by extension, why Emiko will do what she says. And like any teenager, Emiko lets Shado know she can’t be told what to do. Thus begins Emiko's adventure abroad, but as we learn, not her first solo adventure. Emiko Queen is an interesting character. Daughter of an Industrialist and Assassin, raised by a Super Villain—this girl has had it rough, and while she’s rough around the edges personality-wise, she has shown that the character development is real and that she’s here for the long haul. While we’ve seen her jump into the fray since her first few appearances, this will be the first time we really get a glimpse at what she’s capable of on her own, and after reading this, it’s clear: Emiko Queen is no sidekick.
DC has put out some beautiful looking art as of late, and Green Arrow has been the standard-bearer. With Stephen Byrne on this issues interior and W. Scott Forbes doing the cover, Green Arrow continues to be DC's best-looking book so far. Byrne comes off as a bit of a minimalist when it comes to his backgrounds, but it works. Facial expressions, though, particularly for Emiko and Shado, come out looking immaculate and as expressive as one would hope with this book’s reputation.
Benjamin Percy has made Emiko a character to watch for in the series, making her a focal point that most other characters in her position wouldn’t get. It’s been fun and given what we’ve witnessed so far from her, Benjamin clearly sees big things in her future. Her skill and character and character are going to likely go through some trials that will likely challenge fans of her on their feeling about the character. By the end of those trials, though, I expect Emiko to become a fan favorite in the Green Arrow mythos.
With that said, I do feel as though leaving Oliver largely out of his book does a bit of a disservice to him. Team Arrow growing and expanding is never a bad thing, but the last issue did leave some questions that could have at least been touched upon. Hopefully, Percy isn’t taking cues from Greg Rucka, who is writing two Wonder Woman stories in one book. Having tried the series, it feels rather disjointed, but I’ll also admit I’m not a huge Wonder Woman fan and that the format might have merit elsewhere.
Regardless, while Percy has done a good job of keeping Oliver around in his books, he’s walking a fine line. I don’t particularly think Green Arrow needs to become “Green Arrow & Black Canary” or “Green Arrow & (Insert ideas for Emikos’ codename)” as much as I like the character or feel their presence in the books. Now, if we were to get another book all together, that’d be different. Although, I still don’t want a Green Arrow & Black Canary book.
All things considered, Green Arrow #6 does a fantastic job of moving things forward for the most part. The lack of Oliver and continuation of his story hurt the book a bit, but made up for it by telling me a story I am eagerly looking forward to seeing through.
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Green Arrow #6 Writer: Benjamin Percy Artist: Stephen Byrne Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital