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Green Arrow #1

Review by Paul Bowler

The standout title from DC’s Rebirth event continues with Green Arrow #1, written by Benjamin Percy, featuring art and colors by Otto Schmidt, an exciting new era for the Emerald Archer begins. Together again following the events of the impressive Rebirth issue, Green Arrow and Black Canary have teamed-up once more to face a sinister new threat in Seattle that will challenge Oliver Queen like never before!

Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt have certainly pulled out all the stops for Green Arrow #1, continuing directly from the events of Green Arrow Rebirth #1, where Green Arrow and Black Canary uncovered a secret cabal that had been preying on Seattle’s homeless and selling women and children on the black market to the highest bidder. Green Arrow #1 opens on the fog strewn Seattle Docks where the mysterious Undergound Men are about to transport a consignment of victims in a shipping container. Green Arrow is ready to confront them, and determined to find out who is behind the human trafficking organization.

The Underground Men have brought backup, but Green Arrow has reinforcements of his own, with Henry providing vital intel, while Black Canary and Oliver’s sister, Emi, fight alongside Green Arrow to deal with the Underground Men. This exciting, fast-paced opening is peppered with wisecracking banter and tautly orchestrated action. It actually sets the tone for the rest of the issue, exposition drives the plot at a break neck speed, characters and back stories are quickly introduced and mapped out, romance blossoms, and an unexpected connection to Queen Industries leads Oliver to make some surprising discoveries of his own…

Green Arrow #1 COVER

While some might balk at the rapid pace with which Benjamin Percy builds up the house of cards in Oliver’s life, were, no matter how good Ollie’s intentions, Black Canary is quick to point out that chucking money at problems isn’t always quite the solution that he believes it to be, while also moving Oliver’s and Dinah’s relationship on significantly from the Rebirth issue, I actually found it refreshing to read a comic book that hit’s the ground running and just gets on with it for a change. Sure, there are huge narrative leaps, and some of the dialogue seems a little clunky in paces, but it’s done with such style and finesse that the positives more than outweigh any of the negatives.

The art and colors by Otto Schmidt dazzle with the slick, cartoony style that makes this book so dynamic. The fogy scenes at the docks are dominated by some pretty fast and furious action, which in turn highlights Green Arrow’s and his allies fighting skills to the max, with Black Canary unashamedly getting all the best lines and a show stopping fangirl moment against the Underground Men. The next step in Oliver’s and Dinah’s flourishing relationship is also beautifully illustrated by Schmidt, from here the bond between all of the characters is explored in the most heartfelt way, before Oliver’s visit to Queen Industries leads to a far darker turn of events…

I have to admit, its been a long while since I’ve read a Green Arrow comic regularly. I really enjoyed Green Arrow Rebirth #1 though, and I’m pleased to say that Green Arrow #1 also impressed me just as much, if not even more, than Green Arrow Rebirth #1 did. Benjamin Percy’s and Otto Schmidt’s take on the character and his supporting cast is brilliant, they’ve totally nailed it, successfully reaffirming the characters legacy and infusing culturally relevant issues into the mix to make Oliver question his own stance and role in the grand scheme of things. Then of course we have the sizzling chemistry between Green Arrow and Black Canary, together again at last in the DCU. Oh yeah, THIS is the Green Arrow comic that I’ve been waiting for!

Green Arrow #1 gets the series off to a great start, this issue moves at a cracking pace, bursting with action, and emotion, it all builds to a jaw dropping cliff-hanger that will blow you away! Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt have crafted something very special indeed here, I’m overjoyed to see the Emerald Archer’s adventures being handled by such a terrific creative team, and can’t wait to see what else they have in store for Green Arrow in the months ahead!

Publisher: DC Comics / Writer: Benjamin Percy / Art and Color: Otto Schmidt

Lettering: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT / Cover: Juan Ferreyra

Variant Cover: Neal Adams and Kevin Nowlan with Dave McCaig