Title: Green Arrow.
Writer(s): Benjamin Percy.
Illustrator(s): Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra & Stephen Byrne.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
Release Date: October 23rd 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
As part of the DC Universe Rebirth, Benjamin Percy teams up with Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra and Stephen Byrne to deliver the first Green Arrow adventures. Collecting Green Arrow Rebirth #1 and Green Arrow #1-11, this hardcover contains both The Death and Life of Oliver Queen and the Island of Scars story arcs. In what might be one of the most entertaining beginnings for a hero within the Rebirth era, the Emerald Archer finds himself forced into abandoning one of his identities to save the other, but throughout this conflict, he is not alone. What he doesn’t however know is that betrayal is the flavour of the month and things aren’t looking too good for him when he finally runs into an underground organization whose up to no good.
The second story arc simply builds upon the plot initially introduced and continues to drive forward with the feet glued on the accelerator. Split in three different perspectives, each part takes the time to develop on key characters while always having the main plot in mind. What truly shines from this collection is the introduction of Green Arrow’s allies. Right from the start, Black Canary makes an appearance and clearly indicates Benjamin Percy’s intention to immortalize and build on her spicy relationship with Oliver Queen. A half-sister whose background couldn’t be more complex is also presented and offers fans the opportunity to indulge a stubborn brat whose just trying to find her place in this world. Diggle also makes an appearance and looks to remain for the long run in Green Lantern’s shenanigans.
While there is an overarching plot that is omnipresent throughout the collection, it remains that the story sometimes escapes its grip to dive into some events from the past in order to give readers an idea of the trials that some of the characters have had to face and survive. Even if it sometimes felt off-rail, it always kept an active and rapid pace to never lose the readers attention, and also succeeds in being relevant through the presentation of some lower-tier villains within Green Arrow’s realm. However, I’ll be honest and state that the story in itself and the villains aren’t the best things ever thought out out there. It’s the execution that made everything endurable and enjoyable, especially thanks to Benjamin Percy’s writing that helped convey each character’s main traits in a clear voice. With Green Arrow usually always being undermined and left aside in Justice League business, it’s simply nice to get a better idea of what he’s really about: a loudmouth who thinks with his heart and later with his brain.
The artwork also merits an applause, especially for Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra’s stylish designs. With what looks like a variant of watercolour, there’s a touch of sharpness that helps give life to the drawings, but also an attention to details that help identify the emotions flying around. The high-level of adrenaline that comes with the hand-to-hand combat, as well as the arrow-slinging action sequences is also clear and pretty thanks to their unique artistic take. Only Stephen Byrne’s artwork felt odd and that’s because it was a completely different style that was much thicker in colours, much more digital in essence and a bit more reminiscent of cartoons. While not bad at all, it didn’t help in the grander scheme, especially as his work is right in the middle of the collection and kicks off the second story arc.
Green Arrow knows a fantastic and fun debut in his Rebirth run and indicates a lot of promise for the upcoming story arcs.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!