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Green Arrow #5

Review by Paul Bowler

Oliver and Diggle break into the Inferno, the gargantuan battleship bank of The Ninth Circle in Green Arrow #5 to rescue Black Canary from Dante – the leader of the secret society that has ruthlessly destroyed Oliver Queen’s life and reputation. Now, as the Emerald Archer uncovers the full extent of what his company has been secretly funding, desperate times will call for desperate measures as Green Arrow and Black Canary take on their former ally Shado and the forces of the Ninth Circle in the depths of the Inferno…

Green Arrow #5 throws Oliver Queen and Digle into the belly of the beast that is the floating fortress called the Inferno, as writer Benjamin Percy drives the intense narrative of this arc forwards at a break neck pace to deliver one of the most thrilling issue yet of DC Comics new Green Arrow Rebirth series.

From their stealth infiltration of the Inferno amidst raging seas while Dinah endures being Dante‘s captive, Oliver and Diggle quickly decide on their next move. The banter between Ollie and Diggle is especially well written, Percy excels at making scenes like this come alive on the page, and I like how Diggle acts of the voice of reason here. The issue quickly unfolds with a series of interconnected scenes as Oliver makes his way through the Inferno, eavesdropping on a clandestine meeting headed by his CEO, and one time friend, Cyrus Broderick, which gives us a shocking insight into exactly what Queen Industries has been involved with. Its powerful stuff, packed with revelations that drag the vile people trafficking activities of the Underground Men and the insidious global machinations of the Ninth Circle into the cold light of day for Oliver.

Green Arrow #5 COVER

The standout scene in the whole issue for me was the reunion between Oliver and Dinah. As ever, the characterization here is spot on, I love how Percy makes Black Canary sassy, vulnerable, and kick ass all at the same time. It’s also great how the Rebirth Green Arrow works on so many levels, there’s always lots of key moments for long term fans to pick up on, but not enough to bewilder or spoil the fun for new readers. There is also one big game changing plot twist that will makes you see this arc in completely unexpected new light, and serves to enlighten Oliver about how much the people he cares about believe in him.

Juan Ferreyra brings all the distinct qualities of his interior artwork and colors to the fore in Green Arrow #5 with some beautifully eye catching page layouts that effortlessly immerse you in the story. With sumptuous attention to detail lavished throughout, Ferreyra’s art complements the pace of Benjamin Percy’s story perfectly. The opening scenes on rough seas as Green Arrow and Diggle board the Inferno are stunning, and then we have the dark moody interiors, the layers of Shado’s and Emi’s treachery are peeled away as Black Canary waits her fate, the cavernous opulence of the vault, and a spectacular face-off between Green Arrow, Diggle, and Black Canary against Shado and the Ninth Circle in a blood boiling chamber of horrors.

Green Arrow #5 is another hugely impressive issue from Benjamin Percy and Juan Ferreyra. The frenetic pace, strong characterization and wonderful artwork make this one of the best DC Rebirth titles around at the moment in my book. The Emerald Archer’s adventures have been elevated to a whole new level of greatness by Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra, and Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT’s work on this series, and with Green Arrow #5’s action-packed closing moments and cliff-hanger to die for ending, it looks like we are going to be in for one hell of a ride!

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Benjamin Percy / Art and Color: Juan Ferreyra

Lettering: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT / Cover: Juan Ferreyra

Variant Cover: Neal Adams and Bill Sienkiewicz with Jeromy Cox

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