Green Arrow #6-16: Ollie, We Have A Problem


I know I should have liked this but I didn’t.

This was Ann Nocenti’s return to the comics world. Nocenti was responsible, either as a writer or an editor for so much stuff in the 1980s and 1990s. She’s gone on to pursue outside interests and this was her first work in comics for a while.

I think what killed these issues for me had nothing to do with Nocenti’s writing or anyone on the art side. What bothers me is how hard of a time I have been having getting into this New 52 version of the Green Arrow. I mean there is plenty of adventure, ranging from him being seduced by a set of bio-weapon engineered triplets to a pair of Seattle archers exploiting the Occupy Wall Street mantra for their own personal gain. Arrow also gets a crossover with Hawkman and even goes to China for a while.

So why am I having such a hard time connecting with this? If you’ve read Green Arrow comics for any amount of time, you can’t say it’s because of his rogue’s gallery. The stories where Green Arrow is most interesting are the ones that involve his great extended supporting cast, whether it be a fixture like Black Canary or Arsenal, or more recent  characters like his son Connor or Mia. Unfortunately, none of them are part of this. Oliver does have his Q-Core employees who help him, but they really aren’t that interesting.

Anyone writing the New 52 Green Arrow also has another problem: they’re competing with the television show Arrow. Both have a similar theme, in that Oliver Queen is just starting out in his exploits as a debuting vigilante. But what Arrow did so well was put together a great supporting cast for him. The comics series has yet to show that. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a conscious decision to distance the two.

Jeff Lemire (most recently of Animal Man fame) took over with issue #17. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of moved on from the character. I’m really liking Arrow, and that has become my Green Arrow of choice these days. Maybe I’ll give it a try if my local public library has it. But for now I’m done with the exploits of the emerald archer.

Green Arrow #5

Green Arrow as a series confuses me. Oliver Quinn is one of the coolest characters in the DC pantheon. That said, this book could be better.

Arrow is still fighting the team of Midas and Blood Rose around his Q-Core office building. This issue its the gloopy gloppy Midas, who we really don’t know much more about. Apparently he is some sort of evil version of Swamp Thing. Ollie seemingly kills him, shoving an arrow through his head. They also introduced a new addition to Ollie’s professional life, as he now has to report to a fetching young woman named Adrien who has the power to override his corporate decisions. The book ends with Blood Rose having him in checkmate, with a gun drawn at his head.

I think what disappoints me about this book is that the story is not engaging. The reader doesn’t feel attached to Green Arrow, his villains aren’t very compelling, and the whole “hostile takeover of your business because your preoccupied with super hero stuff” has been done so many times.

Well let’s think about the positives. Dan Jurgens’ art is always great. And Ann Nocenti is taking over the writing on this book, which I’m excited for. Green Arrow has the potential to be a really good book; it just needs to get back on track. I would say this series is on the ropes.