Review: Green Arrow #17

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Green-Arrow_17_Full-665x1024After 16 mediocre issues, Green Arrow finally has a scribe that has a real direction. The immensely talented Jeff Lemire has a new direction that feels familiar, but still works.

With the recent success of Arrow, it would have been easy for Lemire to incorperate some the successful parts of the show into the comic.  But he forgoes that, instead going the Daredevil: Born Again route.  Let’s tare down Ollie and build him back up.  Considering we saw Matt Fraciton do this a few times in his Invincible Iron Man run, it seems like a retread of a story.  Thankfully, Lemire doesn’t do a complete wipe clean from the previous 16 issues.  The characters are there before, and everything that happens to them has the correct emotional weight.  It would have been nice to see Lemire ease into a big arc like this, showing us how he plans on writing Ollie normally.  Ollie in a hard spot is different than Ollie relaxing on a couch.  But I’m still excited for the potential of a great Green Arrow comic.

One thing does get much more screen time is the island aspect in Ollie’s history.  It’s one of the weakest parts of Arrow, so it’s inclusion is a little disheartening.  It’s too early to decide if this was a bad decision though.  Lemire is one of the best writers at DC (although that isn’t hard to do) so he has my full faith in this book.  The final line from Magus seems to be unintentionally hilarious.  After reading #17 a few times, what I see most in this issue is potential.  I dove into Green Arrow every time the creative team changed, hoping that it would be a worthy addition to my pull list.  And every time, I was saddened that the book wasn’t that great.  With #17 though, that has changed.  Arrow was my first real foray into the character that stuck, so it’s good to see Ollie written well in multiple outlets.  My pull list each month is ever expanding

Andrea Sorrentino, who’s art on I, Vampire was stunning, pencils a great issue here.  The only problem I have on the artwork is the lack of eyes.  No, that isn’t a joke for Magus at the end.  Ollie’s eyes are suddenly gone in multiple panels near the middle of the book.  I wasn’t sure if it was a mistake, or the inking.  But there is something to be said for an artist who pencils, inks, and colors an entire issue.  It’s a lost art in the medium these days, mostly due to shipping schedules.  The use of panels accentuating things is expertly used, and shows us how keen Ollie’s eyesight is compared to others.  The green hue throughout the issue gives the book a feel unlike others on the stands, but it’s not so overbearing it ruins the art.  Shooting arrows in a day with guns has always been a sticking point for the character, but Sorrentino makes a case for keeping the arrows.  They look great in this issue.

Green Arrow #17 isn’t the home run that many were wishing for, but it shows that Lemire has a lot of plans for Ollie.  It’s a good time to be a Green Arrow fan right now.

Green Arrow #17 gets 3.5/5.

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