Green Arrow #17



Might as well be Green Arrow #1

I used to like Green Arrow. Now I love him. And I think you will too. In my opinion, Jeff Lemire can do no wrong at this point. Whether he’s creating post apocalyptic universes with heart, crafting stories of magic in the same vein as Neil Gaiman, or writing stories of crippling emotion about Canadian family trees, Lemire has put himself on the map in a huge way.

Lemire has proved that he can write superheroes since the launch of the New 52, but Frankenstein, JLD and Animal Man operate very differently than how members of the Justice League operate. I was never skeptical of how this comic would turn out, I was merely interested in the approach Lemire would take. I had heard that the title’s new direction would involve a break down and rebirth of the hero, which is good news for the readers AND for DC PR because it will help viewers of the new CW show have an amazing comic that may enlighten them on some of the history of their new TV hero. I’ve seen a few episodes of the show and it has definitely got my attention, and I’ve been hoping that Lemire’s arrow will give me a more encompassing view of the neo-classic Oliver Queen.

The beginning of the issue shows a beaten down Green Arrow in the Mesa Desert, admitting to his defeat, his flaws and to the fact that he has been living a lie by donning the cowl of Green Arrow. Lemire has set some lofty initial goals with this story arc. Showing this sort of progression right out of the gate of his first issue of the title definitely takes some nerve, and I am definitely looking forward to learning how Queen has come to these conclusions.

After the opening scene, we flashback three weeks to Seattle, where explosive action immediately starts to pull Queen’s life down around him. Lemire kills off pretty much every one of Green Arrow’s allies within the first 10 pages of the book, which I find extremely interesting and entertaining. But this is coming from someone who hasn’t read the past 16 issues. I’m sure that Jax and Naomi had built some great report in the previous issues, but I think what Lemire is doing is key to the progression that is necessary to earn GA a spot in the DC catalog next to Batman, Swamp Thing and Animal Man. Killing off the current lineup of supporting characters makes way for a new cast, which Lemire wastes no time in introducing. So far we’ve got Komodo, a deadly assassin who matches Queen’s skill with the bow, and Magus, a seemingly compassionate individual with X’s scarred onto his eye sockets. These new characters are somehow linked to Arrow’s past, with his father and the company that he built. The last thing we hear is that Queen was never meant to leave the island….. Reminds me of a certain doctor, “Kate, we have to go back!”  I wonder if Lemire likes Lost?

Anyway, this arc is called The Kill Machine, and I imagine that it will last for six issues at the least, so I have figuratively buckled in for the ride that the next few months will bring in the world of Green Arrow.

Also, look for Trillium, a new sci-fi love story written and drawn by Lemire and published by Vertigo. Lemire’s artistic style is very interesting, but I can understand if it takes some getting used to if you’re new to it. But it will definitely be one of the high points of 2013.