Green Arrow #1 review

Missing from the DC Universe since the exaggerated death of the Justice League, Green Arrow is back in the spotlight. He’s not on Earth, though.

He’s somehow wound up on a sci-fi version of the island on which, long ago, a shipwrecked Oliver Queen learnt to use a bow and arrow. And his dialogue reveals he’s been getting washed up a lot since he was lost while returning from ‘death’ with the rest of the League.

On Earth, his adopted son Roy Harper, long-lost son Connor Hawke and longtime love Black Canary are following a clue to Oliver’s whereabouts. In an alley in Gotham City they come across a new face on the urban vigilante scene.

A whiskered face. Roy knows immediately who’s behind the mask.

There follows the most heartwarming scene I’ve come across in a while as Roy is reunited with his daughter in a delightful near-full-page image by artist Sean Izaakse (he knows it’s a winner cos he signs it, something I dislike as it drags me out of the action – sign it for selling after the comic goes to press).

Izaakse, recently seen on Marvel’s fun Thunderbolts mini-series, looks thrilled to bits to be drawing this book… I think I read that he’s a bowman himself, so it makes sense that this would be fun for him. It’s certainly fun for me as writer Joshua Williamson starts to gather the members of the Green Arrow family. It’s great to see Dinah, Roy and Connor (even with the hideous man bun), and we’re promised the likes of Red Arrow Emiko Queen, Speedy Mia Dearden and more – this issue’s cover by Izaakse and colourist Romulo Fajardo Jr is part of a multi-issue image of the extended Green Arrow family, villains included.

While the beginning of the story sees Oliver in his familiar superhero garb, by issue’s end he has a rather cool new – if likely temporary – look. It come with the daftest, most fun gimmick arrow this side of the classic boxing glove number.

Williamson does a nifty job with Oliver’s narration and dialogue, with our hooded hero displaying a level of self-awareness he long lacked. Oliver also shows that, perhaps as a result of his years with Black Canary, his old sexism is long gone, as he tweaks a favourite DC catchphrase.

The crux of the story seems to be that someone is trying to keep the members of the Arrow clan from being together, which makes sense, given that both Roy and Lian have been killed and come back via comic book hand waving, yet here they are, torn apart two minutes after being reunited. But who could it be? Green Arrow isn’t known for having a lot of cosmic nemeses.

The scene between Roy and Lian is tenderly written. He’s been characterised as more emotionally intelligent than Oliver since the beginning of the Bronze Age, and he’s still a credit to, well, himself.

The aforementioned Fajardo’s colouring is terrific, with him seeming as comfortable with alien worlds as he is with the streets of Gotham. And letterer Troy Peteri does a bang-up job, giving everyone their own font, even coming up with some nice new logos.

What don’t I like about this issue?

Amanda Effing Waller. It seems Williamson is tying this series into the promised/threatened Waller vs the DCU heroes storyline. Ugh. To think Waller, once one of the best-written, most nuanced characters in comics, is reduced to moustache-twirling villain.

I hope she doesn’t take over this promising mini, all I want from it is that the Green Arrow folks are back together and ready for new adventures. Too much Waller and I shall feel shafted.

6 thoughts on “Green Arrow #1 review

  1. Ollie-Ollie-Ollie Bowman-free!
    “Too much Waller and I shall feel shafted.” Ouch! Hilarious pun.
    The perfect end to any Waller Vs the DC Universe would be: BAM! HEADSHOT! Whodunnit? Ooh, look it’s the real Amanda Waller of the main DC Earth and a returned Deadshot; the raging assh0le who has been causing trouble for years came from one of the nastier Earths and took the morally flexible-but-not-insane-or-evil Wall’s place. Same with the Maxwell Lord-with-an-eviiiillll-personality transplant we’ve had to suffer for not too far off two decades. It would explain why both Maxunwell Lord and Badmanda Waller have the same stupid anti-superhuman stance. (Well, bad writing explains that, but one has to be forgiving. Up. To. A. Point.) Hey, one can dream, Martin, can’t one.
    P.S. As soon as I saw that cat mask I knew who that character had to be. Not subtle, is it! Roy, reunited with his history, his arm, and his daughter and sans that vulgar ballcap. Some things are looking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Id pay to see your scenario play out, I thought for ages the apparently current DCU (Earth 0) Waller was going to be the Earth 3 version. If it’s not, the Earth 3 version could be the goodie, and take over.


  2. Speaking of Waller, hadn’t she taken over Earth 3 at the end of the last “Suicide Squad” series a year or so ago? I’d always assumed that would be a major plot point in “Dark Crisis” – Waller swooping in with her Earth 3 army to help save the day – but it’s been ignored, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Presumably they’ll pick that up with this Waller Vs the DC Universe thing (my vote for the title? “Balls to the Wall”). Except…you are entirely right, if the MultiOmniverse was in dire peril you’d have thought loony Waller having a planet at her disposal might have come up. Perhaps it did and I missed it, but it’s still a ridiculous goof, although I suppose if they are committed to pointless event after pointless event nothing has to make sense. *Flibblewibbleweeee!* (That was a note I took at the last DC editorial retreat.)


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