[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Deron Bennett
Seattle’s in for a serious shake-up when Green Arrow crosses quivers with a new vigilante “hero” dubbed the Citizen, who’s hell-bent on exposing the corrupt and criminal one-percenters operating in the Emerald City. Green Arrow initially applauds these efforts, until the Citizen turns judge, jury and executioner—can you guess what bloviating billionaire is next on his hit list? Also, a little birdie told us that help for Oliver is on the way—but we’re not singing who it is just yet.
Alex Maleev’s cover is cool. I like the texture of the piece. It gives the cover a cool tone and helps it be more unique.
It’s been a long time since Oliver’s relationship with Roy has been positive even before the New 52. It’s nice to see them in a good place trying to work together again. I still wish Roy wasn’t wearing that damn hat but I like how much Ollie is trying to repair that relationship.
The Citizen is a great villain so far. The Benson sisters use Benjamin Percy’s take on Oliver as a self-proclaimed social justice warrior, which I still love, to create a wonderful parallel in a character that is the worst possible extreme of that attitude. The Citizen’s main weapon is social media and the mob mentality people tend to have on Twitter when they don’t like something rightly or wrongly. This issue premiering less than a week after the James Gunn incident makes it all the more relevant. Social media controversy is non-stop with a never forgive/never forget attitude. The Benson sisters effortlessly tackle this idea and play it in a compelling manner.
I’m not a big fan of the art. It’s a stylistic preference; the art isn’t as detailed as I tend to like it. There are some legitimately great moments in which Fernandez gets a little more stylistic. The final page is the best example of this. But generally, the art doesn’t work. There often isn’t enough detail in the faces or, in some panels, hardly any.
This is minor because it doesn’t really matter but I am bummed that Emiko, Diggle and Fyff seemingly aren’t part of the team anymore. As someone who started reading comics because of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow, it’s a little sad to see the last remnants of their take gone. I can still read Emiko in Teen Titans and obviously I can watch Dig in the TV show. Again, it’s not a big deal but it’s something I thought about while reading.
This is a solid issue. The script is great; I think the Benson sisters knock it out of the park. The first part of the story immediately allows us to sympathize with Ollie due to how he’s handling his renewed relationship with Roy and that’s combined with powerful social commentary and a scary new villain. I’m genuinely excited about where this book is going. The art takes some of my personal enjoyment down because, stylistically, it doesn’t do anything for me. But it’s still a really good issue and worth checking out.