Review: In 'Green Arrow' #1, Oliver Queen Faces A New Threat That Feels Too Familiar
The goatee-sporting Green Arrow returned in DC Comics' Rebirth event, along with Black Canary, who has arrived in Seattle just in time to help Oliver uncover a black market slave trade.
However, Dinah's presence in the city brings Oliver to terms with the fact that it's hard to fight "the man," when he actually is "the man," using his wealth to influence people to help him.
Thanks to Black Canary, Oliver begins to question this in Green Arrow #1, and finds that his luck is about to run out soon: people he trusts are out to betray him, including those who run his company.
It's not necessarily a new story, and it's definitely reminiscent of many Batman stories where Bruce Wayne realizes he's really not in control of his company. It's almost too much like those stories, though, in spite of some good writing by Benjamin Percy. It's familiar territory, and although the idea of Rebirth is to bring characters back to where they were pre-New 52, it feels a little repetitive. Even the villains sitting in masks around a table inside the Queen Industries building is a little too much like Gotham's Court of Owls. Considering how well Green Arrow: Rebirth set up events, this issue is sort of a disappointment.
Unfortunately, that means that, by the time issue #1 ends, the big twist isn't really all that big of a surprise. The book almost gives it away, right from the beginning.
Black Canary is the real star here, the one person who tells Oliver exactly what's what. It's sad that she's relegated to Green Arrow's sidekick and love interest by the end of the issue, though, with only a hint of who she was in her previous solo comic book series.
One of the best things about this issue, though, is the art by Otto Schmidt. Oliver looks like himself again (or perhaps that's due to the return of the goatee), and Black Canary has some great action scenes that showcase her skills beyond the Canary Cry.
The artwork, though, doesn't save this issue from a "been there, done that" story. Readers can only hope that this comic moves beyond that, though, and becomes as politically and culturally relevant as its writers want.
"Green Arrow will be a politically and culturally relevant series," Percy said. "Expect stories that aim a broadhead into the zeitgeist, that are ripped from the headlines."
Here's hoping that those stories aren't headlines stolen from Gotham's newspaper. So far, this is starting to feel a little too much like Batman. It's also important to note that this story arc is called "The End." That, along with the "next" tease at the end of this issue will leave readers intrigued.
Green Arrow is now available everywhere comic books are sold.