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Green Arrow #3

Review by Paul Bowler

Oliver Queen’s life has been torn apart. Betrayed by those closest to him, he was left for dead, vilified by the media, and lost everything. Now in Green Arrow #3 the Emerald Archer’s enemies are closing in. Green Arrow has become an outlaw in his own city. Breaking into Queen Industries to investigate those responsible for his downfall, Green Arrow must confront his former ally – the assassin Shado – who has been sent to stop him uncovering the truth…

Green Arrow #3 finds Oliver Queen going on the offensive against the mysterious cabal that has engineered his fall from grace. From the opening moments, writer Benjamin Percy throws us – and Oliver Queen – right into the thick of the action, as Green Arrow brakes into Queen Industries in search of answers. I really like the way Green Arrow takes out the guards and swiftly bypasses the buildings advanced security, but this all proves to be just an appetiser for the intense excitement, action, and revelations which soon follow.

Green Arrow #3 COVER

Benjamin Percy maintains the frenetic pace of the previous issue. The narrative feels much more measured and assured in this issue, cleverly unfolding on several fronts, we learn more about the mysterious cabal known as the Ninth Circle, with James Diggle – a brilliant surprise addition to the series last issue – conducting his own investigation in Italy, while Green Arrow discovers the full extent of the betrayal and corruption lurking right at the heart of Queen Industries, and Black Canary looks into the shipping containers the Underground Men used for their people trafficking operation.

Having hit the ground running with DC’s Rebirth, Benjamin Percy’s gripping new Green Arrow storyline has quickly gathered momentum, and completely reenergized the character of Oliver Queen / Green Arrow. It’s also been fascinating to see how Oliver has clawed himself back from the brink after his life was so spectacularly and publicly ruined. We gain more insight into Black Canary and James Diggle in Green Arrow #3, as each in turn presents us with very refreshing, and contrasting viewpoints on Oliver’s character, together with the current situation, and their faith in him never wavers for a moment – even though they believe he’s dead.

Another key factor that has made Green Arrow standout from the crowd during DC’s Rebirth event has been the work of artists Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra and letterer Nate Piekos on this title. Green Arrow #3 is Juan Ferreyra’s first issue on the series’ interior art, his artwork is stylishly dynamic, the intricately structured panels are layered with subtle details that catch the eye and makes the action flow seamlessly across the page, and the rich use of color brings added texture and definition to every scene. Green Arrow’s moonlit transit from the Space Needle to gain access to Queen Industries is a joy to behold, a fiery confrontation with the forces of the Ninth Circle finally allows Green Arrow to strike back at his enemies, the intriguing interlude on The Inferno as honcho Dante plots and schemes with Emiko Queen, and the high-speed face-off with Shado – were we finally learn the reasons for her betrayal – are just some of the many highlights in this issue. Nate Piekos letters skilfully accentuates the tone and pace of the narrative, and the cover by Juan Ferreyra, needless to say, is absolutely stunning.

The is perhaps the most satisfying issue of this new Green Arrow series so far, the story, the art, everything meshes together here perfectly as the creative team really hits their stride, and the issue builds to a thrilling double edged cliff-hanger that spells terrible danger for Oliver Queen and one of his closest allies. With its exciting story be Benjamin Percy and great artwork by Juan Ferreyra, Green Arrow #3 is one of those comics you want to read again right away as soon as you‘ve finished it. This is the Emerald Archer at his very best!

Publisher: DC Comics / Writer: Benjamin Percy / Art and Color: Juan Ferreyra

Lettering: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT / Cover: Juan Ferreyra

Variant Cover: Neal Adams and Sandra Hope and Dave McCaig