A new team has come on to Green Arrow. As of now, it appears the previous arc by the TV writers can be completely ignored. Ben Percy starts on a note many fans will appreciate by starting to reinstate some of the old cast, particularly Emiko and Henry. The New 52 run of Green Arrow saw its biggest (critical) success when it started playing in other genres. The high adventure followed by the mysticism of Jeff Lemire’s run won many people over to following the Emerald Archer. Here, Percy attempts to hit some of the classic Grell-era Green Arrow feel while mixing in real world challenges of racism. Meanwhile, there is a strong horror vibe to the book. It’s actually a fair amount to take in all at once.
The core premise here is that someone is attacking people in Seattle using some sort of supernatural birds. The pale faced man villain is attacking predominantly African American males (one victim was not). Meanwhile, someone is hatching something evil over at Queen Industries (no longer the Queen Foundation of the previous arc) and it appears to have some connection to what is going on with Bat Bunny in Gotham. Oliver is at least on the trail of the villain, and he may also have gained an animal sidekick along the way.
The horror tone is set up quickly and feels solid here. It is great to see Henry back and amazing to have Emiko back. Her school woes add a nice humorous touch to the book that doesn’t detract from the horror vibe at all. Most of all, it is so great to see Oliver working as a man of the people. The talk with the woman on the street felt great and was just a small portion of the solid development for Oliver. This is a very different tone for a Green Arrow story, and it so far has me intrigued.
The art is top notch. Patrick Zircher puts out some excellent work here and Gabe Eltaeb does really cool work with the coloring on several pages. You may have mixed feelings about the writing of this start, but you can’t deny the book is at least really nice to look at.
This is a slow, overwritten, start. The slow is not a huge travesty. Time has to be spent on helping make sure we understand who is back to being important in the Green Arrow world, but it feels like not enough time is spent on the actual opening of this three part story. I worry this story will wind up quite rushed by the end.
The overwritten aspect is also not necessarily a tragedy. More than anything, it is just clearly a novelist turned writer. A few parts of the (long, ongoing) monologue by Oliver stray a bit toward cliché territory, but it still bodes promising for when Percy gets the format down more and lets the art speak more for itself.
Green Arrow #41 is a brand new day for Mr. Queen. A mystical foe on the loose seems to be sending him back to some of his roots in a good way.