New 52 Review: Green Arrow #1

The Emerald Archer is a lot younger in the reboot, but did DC hit the bullseye?

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

The first thing you may notice about DC's new reinterpretation of Green Arrow is the influence of "Smallville" on this take, especially with the costume itself. Green Arrow has also lost his trademark goatee and his face weirdly looks as if the hair of Justin Hartley has been transplanted onto the fat face of Oliver Queen. It's a weird visual and the only equivalent image I can think of would be if Peter Parker suddenly had a Justin Bieber haircut.

But that's not the only thing that Green Arrow seems to have taken from "Smallville." This Ollie also has a very Chloe Sullivan-like sidekick named Naomi and some random dude named Jax, who just seems to be hanging around at Green Arrow's command center. Oliver is also still in charge of Queen Industries instead of the "man of the people" Robin Hood figure that he became in later years. Green Arrow's relative youth is also a little disconcerting, as he more closely resembles Arsenal and his son Connor Hawke than the Green Arrow that came before.

However, it's not Green Arrow's appearance that holds down this book. Actually, there are many problems, but we'll start with the art. Dan Jurgens and George Pérez are both talented artists and legends within the industry. With Pérez on inks in this book, there is a crisp quality to the figures on the pages. There's also a certain stiffness that holds back the action. An extended action sequence falls flat thanks to poses that seem static and without motion. Comic books are primarily a visual medium that are sometimes overly reliant on the artists to create the excitement for the readers. In this issue, it never really comes together.

Green Arrow's greatest weakness is the script by JT Krul, which suffers from trying to get too much across in too little time. It's also amazingly on the nose and it lacks any subtly. For example, we meet someone named Emerson on page one who will probably go on to be Green Arrow's chief nemesis. And how do we know that he's evil? Because he's got a cyborg hand! That and his rather obvious attempt to force Oliver Queen out of his own company.

The script never explains why Green Arrow is in Paris and the new villains, Dynamix, Doppelganger and Supercharge are too easily dispatched by the Emerald Archer. Doppelganger in particular doesn't do anything besides disgustingly give herself a second head and additional arms, so her powers came off as useless.

Which brings us to the dialog, Krul's biggest failing in the issue. The back and forth between Green Arrow and his villains is astonishingly banal. Here's a quick sampling to illustrate my point:

Green Arrow: "You're not villains. Hell, you're not even badasses. You're punks. And it's about time you got put in your place."

Every line in the book is pretty much like that. Maybe Krul is intentionally dumbing down the story to appeal to younger readers, but I can't see anyone being won over by this take on the character. Even the occasional cool moments in the book (for example, when the trick arrow takes over the yacht's computer) don't do enough to offset the deficiencies everywhere else.

To close out, I leave you with one last line from Green Arrow: "On second thought, you're right. You're not a punk. You're worse. You're a loser. And I got no time for losers."

How fitting. If you're looking for good comics, you shouldn't make any time for this book. It's just not worth it.


Crave Online Rating: 3.5/10