This review contains spoilers.
Truth is, I’ve never felt better.
Green Arrow #48 is written by Benjamin Percy with art by Patrick Zircher. In this issue, Oliver has to deal with the issues of being infected by the Lukos disease.
This continues where Green Arrow Annual #1 left out. Oliver has been infected by the Lukos disease which will slowly turn him into a werewolf.
This is my first problem. I did enjoy the annual but I’m not sure why the current story was started there since the plot with the Skeleton Gang was still going on. It’s just weird placement.
First impressions are important and this issue has a great one. The cover by Szymon Kudranski is fantastic. It depicts Oliver as a beast with the full moon behind him and it just looks great.
The issue begins with Oliver waking from a nightmare. Ever since he was infected, he has been staying in a cabin in the woods with a friend of the family. He narrates about what happened to him and states that his nightmares are about the night he was infected. He also reveals that he hasn’t been speaking to Emiko.
My biggest take away from these first couple of pages is how much I like the art. The creative team has gotten to a place in which they have defined themselves outside of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s work. The first couple of story lines did very much want to evoke Sorrentino’s art but here, it’s evolved to be more of it’s own thing. It looks really good. Additionally, Oliver is starting to look like he did before the New 52 which is great.
In his next bit of narration, Oliver reveals that he actually likes the Lukos disease. It makes him feel powerful.
This is my favorite part of the issue. Oliver is a man surrounded by gods. The closest thing to a man in the superhero community that Ollie can relate to is Batman and even Bats has a god-like level of intelligence and determination. I completely buy that a rich former playboy would feel inferior. He was on top of the world when he was in college and then Superman shows up. He naturally feels like he isn’t good enough so he immediately gets hooked on this power. That is really interesting.
Additionally, there is also the element of drug addiction that is present but not played up. Similarly to Peter Parker’s addiction to the black suit, I get that sense that Ollie is addicted to this power. I have a feeling that will play a huge part in future issues which is interesting considering his past with Roy if that is still canon. It’s hard to keep track.
Oliver and George hunt a deer for lunch. While they eat with Oliver’s friend, Norton, the latter reveals that his son died. However, they discover that the rest of the deer was stolen while they ate.
Oliver calls Broderick who is helping run Queen Industries. He insists that Ollie needs to return for the sale of a carbon nanotube battery. It’s also shown that Broderick is in the middle of a session with a dominatrix during this conversation.
While it is bizarre that he would call Oliver during this, I do like the scene. At first, I rolled my eyes and just figured it was just for the sake of drawing a sexy woman and making the comic seem “edgy.” However, Broderick has a line where he states, “We all have troubles…some of us just do a better job of managing them privately.” I like that. The major theme of this issue is that everyone has an animal-like nature inside that we have to fight. It’s a little on the nose considering Oliver is literally fighting an animal inside of himself but I still like it. Everyone has to deal with their demons in their own way whether it’s hunting in the woods or having a person completely dominate them.
The next morning, Oliver discovers that there is a secret room underground that was obviously holding someone hostage. This someone turns out to be Norton’s dead son who isn’t dead. He was infected by the Lukos disease and has completely transformed into a wolf. He attacks two lost skiers before Green Arrow jumps in to save them. Ollie ultimately becomes more animal like during the fight before Norton shoots and kills his son. Arrow tries to console the victims but all he can do is growl. Naturally, this scares them which is enough to allow Oliver to fight the animal back down. Oliver leaves with George understanding that the Lukos disease is not a gift.
I like how much of a stand-alone issue this is. While there is obviously more to the story, a person can easily read this by itself and enjoy it. If you are looking to jump in on Green Arrow, this a great place to start. It’s well written with great art. The winter setting really does set a mood. Additionally, I think there a couple of really interesting thematic ideas and some good character development for Oliver. This is a great issue.