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52apolooza: Green Arrow

Written by Jerry Steinhelper, Dan Buckley and SaturnKnight on Sunday, September 25 2011 and posted in Reviews

Marvel Reviewer: Dan Buckley

What do you get when you combine predictable action sequences, describe-it-as-you-do- it-action and half-assed character development? You get, unfortunately, perhaps the most underwhelming issue of the New 52, Green Arrow.

The primary focus of the issue is a fight going on between Green Arrow and three super villains, namely Dynamix, Doppelganger and Supercharge, in Paris with the help of his Q-Core allies Naomi and Jax. Naomi is GA's computer whiz and hacker, very reminiscent of Oracle for Batman. Jax acts as his weapon maker and underlying conscience, much like Luscius Fox is for Batman. Green Arrow defends his city, stalking from the shadows, using his lucrative funds, resources and diligent training to take advantage of criminals in a city that has lost its way through moral trepidation and over-glorification of the very seedy underbelly of criminal infestation that has plagued it, much like – oh do I even need to say it?

Green Arrow's longest running criticism is that he is just a second rate Batman, minus the interesting family of villains. Through years of culminating stories, cultivating characters and developing his character, Green Arrow was able to strike out as his own, devastating the shadow of the Dark Knight. However, through this reboot, he must start all over again from square one, and this story speaks to that.

As for the story itself, it does have a certain level of vague intrigue that begs the reader to continue. However, with nearly half of the story being completely circled around the fight, the problem is that the fight is predictable and lackluster. At no point did I ever feel as though there is a genuine threat to the hero, particularly with his skill and technology. Instead of three hardened super-villains, it might as well have been three nameless thugs; despite him being in a situation where he was clearly outnumbered and could have easily been overwhelmed.

Something I did love about this comic, however, is the narration of the hero. Oliver Queen isn't merely talking about the great shot he is going to take seconds before doing so. He isn't blindly assaulting these criminals because they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The villains posted their heinous, "disgusting" acts on YouTube. He was clearly fighting for something, for "People I could have saved." It will be exciting to see the exposition of his character to see just where this is leading. Although the page is dating itself by making references like YouTube, but minute critique aside, this is by far the most intelligent, subtle and interesting writing that I've read in these books thus far.

The art is really quite superb. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the otherwise bland orange background really made his colors stand out. Oliver Queen looks very similar to his depiction in Smallville, only slightly younger. I personally feel as though that the dramatic de-aging of these characters; not only to make them appeal to a younger audience, but it truly does give the character a truly new feel. After all, would be hard to believe there was a new superhero in town looking in his or her mid to late 40s.

This is by far not the worst comic book I've ever read – I do believe the entire Cry for Justice story did more damage to Green Arrow than any single book could do – but the first installment of this new series left me disappointed and wanting. It wasn't bad enough to stay away from the series, but bad enough not to earn a recommendation.

Writing: 18/25
Art: 18/25
Accessibility: 15/25
Enjoyability: 15/25

Total Score: 66

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About the Author - Christian

Christian is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Christian is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.


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