Green Arrow #37. Andrew Kreisberg & Ben Sokolowski- Story, Ben Sololowski- Script, Daniel Sampere- Penciller, Jonathan Glapion- Inker, Gabe Eltaeb- Colorist.
Three issues into the new creative team’s run on this title, one thing is clear- they are trying for serious synergy with the “Arrow” TV show. This is either a great thing or a horrible thing, but we’ll get to that later.
The issue pick’s up from last issue’s cliffhanger as Ollie and Mia (yes, Mia Dearden) are attacked by Merlyn. They get no help from the Police as it appears some of them are on Merlyn’s payroll. An exciting escape on a train later and team Arrow is out to find out what’s going on with Mia. She recounts a disturbing childhood in which she watched her father kill her mother. But it’s not all tears as she hands over a flash drive to Felicity that she spirited away from her father’s computer before she ran. With that team “Arrow” have a list off of which to work.
Oliver’s business connections get him an invite to a party that John King is throwing. King is not only Mia’s father, but also apparently Merlyn. As one might imagine, it goes less than swimmingly and the entire team, Oliver, Felicity and Diggle are falling to their deaths on the penultimate page.
The positives and negatives could be flip-flopped depending on your point of view on the new direction of Green Arrow. It’s safe to say that if you like the “Arrow” TV show you will probably like this book. The introduction of Felicity Smoak in this run is a major step to getting the book closer to the show. Her speech patterns are familiar as are her skills. Her back story may be different, but to open the comic and see Team Arrow operating on the page as they do on the small screen is a positive for fans of the show. The cameo of Katana set up a sub-plot which will undoubtedly lead to something bigger, and Hal Jordan’s appearance in Ollie’s book harkenes back to a different era.
If you don’t like your comics borrowing from the filmed versions of your characters then you are probably still annoyed that Ollie’s pre-Flashpoint beard is still not appearing in the book. There’s no doubt that Green Arrow got a whole new look and approach with the New 52 re-launch, but the book continues to morph with each creative team. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino had a much lauded run and seemed to define GA in the New 52 much more so than the first 16 issues. With this run the book takes a turn decidedly somewhere between the TV realism of the TV show and standard super-hero fare. It’s not fare to compare Daniel Sampere to Sorrentino because their styles are vastly different. Unfortunately, there are a number of panels in which Sampere’s work looks rushed and somewhat awkward. His layouts are not bad, but overall it’s a distraction being used to the excellent work that Sorrentio turned in on the book.
I make no apologies- I am a fan of the “Arrow” TV show. This new direction appeals to me. I was never a huge fan of Ollie pre- New 52. The show reinvented the character for me and the ensemble cast is a huge success. Even though I thought the Lemire/Sorretino run was a high watermark for GA, for DC to move the book closer to the show makes sense to me. I like this direction for the comic. It is a gamble, though. If you are liking the show then you will probably like the comic.