Sunday, July 24, 2011

Green Arrow #13: Projectiles

Cover by Josh Middleton
Green Arrow #13: Projectiles
Writer: James Patrick
Penciller: Agustin Podilla
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Colorist: Ulises Arreola

The Green Arrow is one of those characters that I really liked watching in Justice League Unlimited; Ollie Queen was one of my favorite aspects about that show. Due to that, I never sought out Green Arrow comics because I assumed they would not be as much fun or dynamic as the Green Arrow of JLU.

That was wrong of me.

I am so glad I picked up Green Arrow #13. Though this depiction of Queen was very different from the good-hearted trickster smartass of JLU, Patrick still gave the reader a very engaging Green Arrow, one that I really care about and also am so excited to see where he goes in the next issue.
What I loved  most about this issue was the sheer amount of action in it. The pacing was fantastic and gripping without feeling rushed or as if anything was left out. I think the best way to approach Green Arrow #13 is to think of it almost as a (very detailed) storyboard of a climatic chase scene in the movie. Podilla’s panels were really well-done: expressive and full of action without feeling overwhelming or too busy.

I really believe that single issues benefit from having the simplest plot possible and then adding exciting extra moments to this straightforward storyline. For instance, Green Arrow #13 followed our hero as he assisted Federal Marshall Haley Donovan escort the fundamentalist terrorist Billy Miggs to his arraignment across state lines. That was it. Yet, it was one of the most exciting comics I’ve read in a long time. Of course things do not go well and Migg’s cronies arrive to wreak havoc, forcing the Green  Arrow to retaliate.

One of my favorite aspects of this issue was Green Arrow’s narration, which gave the reader an insight into his character and ideals. It also glimpsed into his past and his obsession with finding out just how his arrows affect human flesh. Podilla did not shy away from anything and actually gave the reader a couple of very grim panels featuring Green Arrow testing his projectiles on medical school cadavers. Due to these experiments, he is reluctant to kill, which obviously affects the outcome of this issue.

My second favorite aspect was the character of Donovan, an extremely interesting and rewarding female character. The concept of a woman in a position in power is definitely not a new one in comics but very often, her power is counteracted by something incredibly demeaning and stupid, like her enormous cleavage or her sexual fixation on a male character or something like that. Donovan did not suffer from any of these. She was not drawn particular sexual, she did not have any weak or embarrassing moments, she was not afraid to use violence (and in fact, encouraged it against Miggs), and she was entirely focused on the job at hand. I really, really liked her. She even admonished Green Arrow for not killing Miggs when he escaped. The only eye-roll-inducing part was when Green Arrow makes a dumb joke about them previously dating but, like I did as a reader, Donovan simply ignores that comment and continues speaking about the matter at hand. She was focused and serious and I basically loved her.

I definitely hope to see more of her in the upcoming issues and more than anything, I really, really wish there were more female characters like her in comics.

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