Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Green Arrow

4LN Comic Review: Green Arrow #16

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Series: Green Arrow
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist and Colorist: Otto Schmidt
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Summary from comixology: “EMERALD OUTLAW” part five! Implicated in the killing of several high profile Seattleites, besieged by a murderous cabal of crooked cops and demonized by a mayoral candidate willing to tear the city apart to get what he wants, all seems lost for Green Arrow. That is, until help arrives in the form of a long-lost ally. It’s the return of Emiko Queen!

Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt has easily been the most consistently great series to come out of Rebirth. Batman, Trinity, and Wonder Woman have all been awesome (in my opinion), but Green Arrow is the only one that hasn’t had a low point or an issue that I thought to myself, “This isn’t necessary…” Percey is just one of those writers that instantly captures that tone and nature of the character. Like Scott Snyder with Batman, Jason Aaron with Thor, or James Robinson with ANY Golden Age character. I honestly think Percy will easily go down as one of the best Green Arrow writers.

Since the very first issue of this series, Oliver Queen has been a Social Justice Warrior, and that had some controversy around it because even the term itself tends to be viewed, for some bizarre reason, negatively, and is often used sarcastically. But, as I said in my Green Arrow #1 review, Ollie has always, and should always, be a Social Justice Warrior. It just fits his nature. The great thing about this issue (and series) is that it tackles political issues head on and without remorse. Hell, the alternative villain, the mayor-to-be of Seattle who ran his campaign based on fear and hate, is the spitting image of Donald J. Trump. I have to give respect to Percy for guiding the story to a place so relevant to today’s topics.

When it comes to art, Otto Schmidt is one of my favorite artist working with DC Comics. The more that these guys put out, the better the work gets and it’s already fantastic work. Schmidt does a incredible job with the colors and line work on every page. In the intense fight scenes, everything is clearly defined and easy to locate. I personally love the uses of dark colors such as blues, oranges, and greens. Schmidt does a great job using the color scheme to capture the tone of the book. Along with colors, Schmidt also does a great job with the facial characteristics and body language of everyone in the book.

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As I said above, Percy and  Schmidt have done amazing things with Green Arrow, and are only 16 issues into what I hope is a very long run on the character. They have re-imagined Oliver Queen as an modern-day SJW (and it works) and they are tackling real issues in a fantasy world. If you haven’t read any of their run, you are truly missing out. The first trade just came out, and this is only the 5th issue of the Emerald Outlaw story arc. So, do yourself a favor and head down to your LCS and pick up issues 12-16 and enjoy this great series as much as I do.

 

Music Pairing:

You’ll want something fairly political and fairly heavy. And for that I recommend the great Stick To Your Guns. Check out the song No Tolerance of the EP Better Dust Than Ash. And, if you dig them, check out our interview with their drummer, George Schmitz.

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.

Comic Review: Green Arrow #33

 

Book: Green Arrow #33
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Marcelo Maiolo: Colorist
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Summary from comixology: “As Richard Dragon systematically takes apart Oliver Queen’s world in Seattle, we introduce a new person under Green Arrow’s hood. “Green Arrow: Broken” part 2.”

Overview:
The main reason that I picked up this new Green Arrow story line was because the covers reminded me so much of the Batman story Broken City by Brain Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, and that story is one of my favorite Batman tales. I am also a really big fan of Jeff Lemire so I have been looking for an excuse to jump on this book. It’s the second issue of a new story arc and it’s pretty enjoyable.

The Good:
As I have said many times before, I’m a major Jeff Lemire fan and I think this book is just another reason why he’s one of the best writers at DC right now. It’s fun seeing characters struggle with real life problems, and that’s exactly what we see in this issue of Green Arrow. We see flashbacks of Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) from four years ago struggling with the death of his mother, who passed away from caner. Her death takes a major toll on Oliver and causes him to lose friendships and push people away. The fight scenes are beautifully done, similar to Justice League United, with black, white, and red being the only colors used. The story is great, the fight scenes are beautiful, and the art is interesting.
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The Bad:
As I said above, the art is interesting. At times I found this art to be beautiful, and then the next panel I was distracted by the shapes of some of the faces. The faces seem to be different variations of ovals and some of the shading around them makes it difficult to tell where the jaw stop and the next starts. But, besides the confusion of some of the art, the majority of the art is really well done and makes the book very unique compared to the rest of the DC books that are out right now.

The Final Say:
As someone who normally likes Hawkeye more than Green Arrow, I really enjoyed this book and I think you will too. If you are looking for a new book, Green Arrow should be that book. It’s a great story, It’s got a powerhouse team telling it, and it’s not your typical comic book. I’m interested in seeing what happens to Oliver in the coming issues. You should go pick up issue 32 along with this one for a better understanding of what’s going on. But over all this book is a solid 3 out of 4. If you are reading this book or interested in it, let us know what you think in the comments.

Celebrity Comic Book Writers

I recently picked up a comic called “The Illegitimates”, written by Taran Killam. Killam is an actor/comedian and , as you may know, is a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Coincidentally, the dude writes one hell of a funny comic. The premise for the book is a James Bond-type super-spy is murdered by his arch-nemesis and now the U.S. and British military’s must enlist his bastard children, who each possess certain valuable qualities that he had, to help track down the man responsible. It’s published by IDW Publishing and it’s an amazing comic. Issue 2 just came out this week so you should run out to your local comic shop and pick them both up.

 

After I read it, I got to thinking, “How many other celebrity-written comics do I have?” I started looking through my boxes, trades and graphic novels and realized that I have more than I thought. Then I did some research and found out about lots more. I figured I’d share my discoveries with you fine people in the event that you might be interested in knowing just who in Hollywood has written comics…

 

Brian Poshen – Comedian/Actor

Where you know him from: Just Shoot Me, The Sarah Silverman Program, The 5 Year Engagement.

What he’s written: He currently writes with Gerry Duggan on the MarvelNOW run of Deadpool (which is f—ing HILARIOUS), The Last Christmas (again with Duggan and also with Rick Reminder).

What you need to check out: The dude’s stand-up is great. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him live and he’s always ridiculously funny. He’s newest comedy special, The Fartist, is on Netflex. Find it, and watch it.

 

Kevin Smth – Film Maker

Where you know him from: Among many other great films, he made Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Red State (all available to stream on Netflix). He’s Silent Bob. You know, from all those movies and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. He also owns the Secret Stash comic book store and produces Comic Book Men (which is also on the great Flix of Net).

What he’s written: A lot actually. The best example of his comic writing (in my opinion) is Batman: Cacophony and the follow-up Batman: The Widening Gyre. He also wrote a great Daredevil run, as well as Green Arrow, The Bionic Man, Spider-Man & The Black Cat, and the Green Hornet.

What you need to check out: If you’ve never seen any of his Q&A/One-man show videos, you should check out “Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell” and “Jay and Silent Bob Go Down Under” (both available on… you guessed it! Netflix!).

 

Patton Oswalt – Comedian/Actor

Where you know him from: The King of Queens, he voiced Remy (the rat) in Ratatouille, Justified, and he is currently the “Narrator” for ABC’s new comedy “The Goldbergs (which is actually REALLY funny).

What he’s written: The Goon: Noir, JLA: Welcome to the Working Week, and Serenity (which is a comic series of the too-short-lived Joss Whedon created TV show of the same name).

What you need to check out: The Comedians of Comedy, Nature Calls, and Young Adult. All on Netflix. All guaranteed to show different sides of Patton’s acting and comedic performance greatness. Also, this…

 

Bill Hader and Seth Meyers – Actors/Writers/Comedians

Where you know them from: Both are cast members and writers on Saturday Night Live. Seth, along with Cecily Strong, is an anchor of Weekend Update. Bill was the voice of Flint, the main character in both Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs films. He also currently stars in the indie flick The Skeleton Twins, alongside Kristen Wiig.

What they wrote: SPIDER-MAN! The dudes wrote a great Spidey story called “The Short Halloween”. Coming from someone who isn’t a big fan of the wall-crawler, this is a great story.

What you need to check out: Bill is absolutely hilarious in Hot Rod and Adventureland (both on Netflix, of course) and Seth will be taking over hosting duties on Late Night when Jimmy Fallon exits to take over the Tonight Show.

 

Well there ya have it folks. Some great celebrity-written comic books. If you’ve never read any of these, why not head down to your local comic shop and see if they have any of them for you. I bet they’ll be glad to see you!

From The Nerdery – Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye, Alphas vs. Supernatural, and You vs. The Comic Book Industry

Welcome to another week in our Nerdery fan-girls and gentle-nerds!

For our nerd(s) of the week we chose Rhett & Link, who are the hilarious comedy duo that made this awesome video…

 

Now, onto the mailbag!

 

Nathan asks, “Is there anywhere I can go to submit an idea for a comic character if I have the idea but don’t know where to start nor the talent to flesh it out?”

Robbie: After looking into it, I could not find a legitimate way to submit a comic character. You can always submit your idea to a publisher, but who knows if they would steal it or not. If you’re just submitting ideas for fun and not worried about your idea getting stolen, I would email various publishers.

Marvel’s official statement regarding this is:

“Marvel does not accept or consider any ideas, creative suggestions, artwork, designs, game proposals, scripts, manuscripts, or similar material unless we have specifically requested it from you. Marvel is continuously developing and creating its own ideas and materials, and we don’t have the resources to review or respond to unsolicited material. Unfortunately, any unsolicited material you send will not be read or shared. It will be destroyed, and it will not be returned. While we can’t accept your unsolicited submissions, please know that Marvel is always looking for new comic book artists and writers. We constantly read and review indie, self-published, creator-owned, and web-comics, review popular online art communities, ask other artists for opinions and recommendations, and host portfolio reviews at conventions from time to time. If you are an aspiring comic book artist or writer, we suggest you publish or publicly post your material, continue to create, and if you have the right stuff…we’ll find you.”

DC has one along the same lines. So if you’re serious about creating a character, I would find talent locally and work on building that from the ground up. If your character gets a lot of appeal among indie readers you might just have some publishers looking to throw some money at you and your character.

 

 

Bill: I want Stephen to answer a mailbag question for me. Who would win in a fight, Green Arrow or Hawkeye?

Stephen: Well, that’s really a two part question dude… “Who would win in a fight?”, and “Who is the better marksman?”

Hand to hand combat – Green Arrow. No question. He’s mastered multiple martial arts and is known to be able to take on several people at once. He’d kick Hawkeye’s ass in a fist fight. Hawkeye has had martial arts and hand-to-hand combat training, but it was never a dedication for him like it has been for Green Arrow.

Marksmanship – Hawkeye would turn the tables and make Green Arrow look like a drunk monkey with a plastic suction-cup bow and arrow from the Chuck E. Cheese prize counter. Dude is a GRAND(F—ING)MASTER in archery. I get that people are like, “But he has trick arrows. That’s cheating.” Firstly, shut up because you sound like a 3rd grader. And if you ARE a 3rd grader, you shouldn’t be reading this blog anyway because I’ve cussed at least a few times in this one article. It’s the middle of the day; go to school.

Secondly, using a trick arrow requires a significant amount of skill and practice because rather than just firing arrows of the same length and weight every time, you’re firing arrows of varying weights and sizes so you have to train yourself to be able to fire those arrows accurately and quickly. This is not Oliver Queen’s specialty so I have a hard time seeing him being able to best Barton in an test of marksmanship.

Cam: I think Robin Hood would win. Mainly because he uses actual arrows and not boxing glove arrows.

 

 

Shane asks, “How can a show like Supernatural run for 9 seasons and a show like Alphas barely make it two?”

I have not kept up with Supernatural. I watched the first couple of seasons and then my interest just waned. I’ve seen a few episodes of Alphas and I get the general concept of the show. I can totally understand the confusion of how something that’s perceived as mindless, young-adult fodder could be more popular than something with more a substantial story and interesting characters. But, we have to take into consideration here that Supernatural pre-dates all the other “supernatural” and fantasy shows that are big right now (obviously excluding Doctor Who)… True Blood, Once Upon A Time, The Walking Dead, etc. The horror-drama genre was mostly non-existent at the time this show aired, and the urban-legend-investigation concept was at least somewhat of an original idea for television. Not that the show has ever necessarily been “groundbreaking” but it’s obvious that they set out to do something no one else was doing.

The other major factor in the success of Supernatural is the audience. All the 15-year-olds that started watching the show when it first aired after Smallville in ’05, area probably still casually following it. Also, think about how much adult-female-lust there is over Bill Compton, Eric Northman, and Alcide Herveaux. Back when this show first aired, there was an equal amount of teen-girl-lust over Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. These strapping, brooding 20-something guys were single-handedly responsible for the “carnal awakening” of many a young woman. And there’s just very little competition for that.

Now, not that Alphas cancellation can be measured by Supernatural’s success, but there are elements of it that just can’t compete with other shows like it. It’s not really in the same television genre as Supernatural since Alphas focuses more on the used-for-good supernatural abilities of a covert team rather than the scary supernatural mysteries of the unknown. Alphas has no horror element to it, like Supernatural does. I don’t know what show would be a better comparison to Alphas, honestly. You could maybe compare it to Agents of SHIELD, but that show is so new that comparisons wouldn’t be fair at this point. Heroes and No Ordinary Family have kind of done the same thing and both of those shows did not achieve lasting success either.

To best answer the question, I think Alphas was less successful than Supernatural because it just didn’t build an audience. To my knowledge the show didn’t have a strong lead-in like Supernatural did from Smallville, and that can make a HUGE difference. Also, I think their network just didn’t spend the right amount time promoting and publicizing the show. Word of mouth is great, but if a network isn’t supporting their programming the right way, it’s going to fail.

 

There you have it nerd friends! This concludes the Nerdery for this week! Send in your questions using the link on our homepage and we’ll answer your questions as we get them! Stay nerdy!