This review contains spoilers.
A war is brewing. And neither side is worth fighting for.
Green Arrow #49 is written by Benjamin Percy with art by Szymon Kudranski and colors by Gabe Eltaeb. In this issue, Oliver continues to wrangle with his disease.
Previously in Green Arrow, several people were infected with the Lukos disease which turns people into werewolves known as Wargs. A lynch mob formed calling themselves the Patriots in order to take the Wargs out. Unfortunately, Oliver Queen was infected.
Kudranksi’s cover is pretty good. It is definitely a striking image with Green Arrow in chains while the bank robbers from Point Break torture him. However, it is misleading. Ollie is never in the suit this issue and never comes across the Patriots. That kind of thing irritates me a little but it’s still very well drawn.
The issue begins with the Patriots being set free because people believe that they are heroes and stopped a terrorist attack. This obviously angers Ollie who knows that these are just hateful men looking for an excuse to kill.
This is an obvious take on racism in our culture. While I like that Percy is attempting to deal with social issues, it doesn’t quite work here. While the Patriots are clearly monsters, the Wargs are too. The quote at the beginning of this review is from the end of the issue and it sums this up nicely. This really isn’t a war that one can be invested in. It is just monsters fighting other monsters.
Oliver is at the business meeting discussed last issue but sees a gangster and feels the need to confront him. Oliver goes full beast mode before Emiko shows up and uses a tranq-arrow on him. Oliver wakes up while Emiko injects him with Lukonex which should halt the effects of the disease but not cure them. Ollie protests this stating he likes the disease because it makes him powerful.
This is something that I talked about last issue and I found it to be interesting. However, he decided that he needed to go back to society and find a cure. Here, he has regressed and gone back to wanting the disease. I understand that it is supposed to be like a drug addiction but it’s a little tedious in a story.
The Patriots plan to break Marrock, the lead Warg, out of prison so that they can kill him.
And this is exactly where this comic loses me. The Patriots are just too evil. The Warg is behind bars and they feel the need to release him which results in Marrock killing a lot of people so the Patriots can rid the world of this disease. However, Marrock can now infect more people. I know Percy intends the Patriots to be villainous characters but do they have to be so dumb? This is just too extreme and makes the Patriots cartoons as opposed to interesting social commentary.
The issue ends with Oliver waking up his normal self and learning that Marrock has escaped.
This story has potential and interesting ideas but it is not working for me. The two sides of this conflict are too over the top and extreme to really take seriously but the book has a fairly serious tone so it ends up just feeling tedious. I like seeing Emiko again and she has a lot of good dialogue. The art is nice but this issue is something that I think you can skip.