Four Letter Nerd

4LN Review: Green Arrow #1

Series: Green Arrow
Writer:Benjamin Percy
Art & Colors: Otto Schmidt
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: 2.99

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Summary from Comixology: “THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN” Chapter One

As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.

THEY SAID IT: “My touchstones are [former GA writers] Dennis O’Neil and Mike Grell, while trying to make the series my own,” says writer Benjamin Percy. “Green Arrow will be a politically and culturally relevant series. Expect stories that aim a broadhead into the zeitgeist, that are ripped from the headlines.”

This has been one of the Rebirth titles I’ve been most excited about. Green Arrow has always been a character that I’ve found interesting, but never really dove into. I read the Jeff Lemire New 52 series and absolutely loved it. So, I was pumped when DC announced Rebirth and that it would be a good starting point for new readers. Of all of the Rebirth one-shots Green Arrow has been my favorite (but damn was Titans good), except for when Black Canary calls Oliver a Social Justice Warrior… Cause you know, SJW’s are really annoying (I.E. Tumblr). But, the more I thought about it, Green Arrow has always been a SJW, and that’s what makes him interesting. He’s always dealt with social commentaries such as drugs, race, and sexual harassment which were tackled by the character in the 60’s/70’s. This is just Benjamin Percy’s way of bringing the character back to his roots, and honestly, as much as it pains me to say, I’m excited to see the SJW version of Green Arrow.

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(From Green Arrow: Rebirth #1)

What I really liked about this issue is that it reminds me a lot of Batman: Court of Owls, and I mean that in the most positive way. Green Arrow and Black Canary have stumbled upon a secret Seattle society (say that 10 times fast) which buys and sells homeless people on the black market. It’s a really cool concept and has the potential to be a very memorable story. What’s unique about this version of Ollie is we see how much he struggles, how he doesn’t have friends, and how he’s almost a lost soul. Ollie has lost a lot of things over the years, but one of the most painful things was his iconic relationship with Black Canary, but with this issue and the Rebirth special, that relationship is slowly rebuilding.

Benjamin Percy does a fantastic job at capturing the sarcastic and smart ass tone that Oliver has, but he also does a wonderful job of writing a story that’s dark and gritty (reminiscent of the Kevin Smith era for the character). Besides that, Percy does a fantastic job of pacing this issue and making sure the twist and turns surprise you like a roller coaster you’ve never been on. Like most #1 comics, this leaves off with a big cliffhanger, and it’s one of those that you just don’t want to believe (like how in the f**k is Captain America in Hydra?!?!?!?!?!).

I want to take a minute and talk about Otto Schmidt’s art. How have I never heard of this guy? He’s a perfect blend between Jock and Andrea Sorrentino and that’s a combo you don’t want to mess with. I absolutely loved his uses of orange, purple and red to blend it all into a beautiful 24 page book of art. This is truly one of the most beautiful books from Rebirth that I’ve read so far. Percy and Schmidt make a truly fantastic creative team, and I can’t wait to see the rest of this story unfold.

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Be sure to pick this comic up next time you head to your LCS, because this is not a book you are going to want to sleep on. If you hate the direction that Arrow has gone, then this needs to be your new Green Arrow fix. You wont regret it. And be sure to keep coming back this week for our Seven for Seven comic book review, seven new reviews in seven days.

Music Pairing:
This is a pretty heavy and intense read. So you are going to want to jam some heavy tunes to this read. And I can’t think of anyone better than the great Every Time I Die.

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Bill Clark

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