Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Green Arrow #1

Cover by Dave Wilkins

Green Arrow #1 (September 7, 2011)
Writer: J.T. Krul
Penciller: Dan Jurgens
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Inker: George Perez

I knew something was going to be off about this comic book simply by looking at the cover. Why does Ollie Queen look Wolverine’s collar-popping obnoxious brother? I know goatees are dated now but come on, I am not feeling this frat boy look.

Okay, on to the actual comic itself. This wasn’t a bad introductory issue for Green Arrow, it just felt like Krul was trying to establish as much characterization as possible in as short a time as possible. I know the New 52 was created out of desire to draw in new comic book readers but I felt that Krul sacrificed having a solid and exciting storyline in order to achieve this. I was disappointed especially because I so love Ollie Queen.

What I did enjoy was the fact that the blurry lines between legal and illegal crime-fighting practices played a major role in this comic. Ollie’s QCore team (he’s only slightly more subtle than Batman) often reminded one another and Ollie himself of his illegally gained intel and new, ultra dangerous weaponry. Of course, according to Ollie, it’s all in the name of justice but as I believe Krul wanted us to wonder, who is Ollie Queen to decide he gets to bring about justice in an unjust manner? Does the law really not apply to him and other vigilantes? I always find it refreshing when a comic book delves into this quagmire because it’s simply so easy to forget the real-world legal implications of these masked crime fighters.

The villains in this comic were nothing to write home about, however. Merely high-living thugs who, at least not until the very ending, didn’t seem to pose any major threat other than being a personal annoyance of Queen’s. His zealous desire to get these people behind bars almost seemed ridiculous and a little bit worrisome. I wouldn’t be surprised if this series turned into one of those, The hero is drunk with power and must be stopped! storylines. This wouldn’t upset me but I also wouldn’t be particularly excited.

Jurgens’ pencil work felt very much like I was reading a comic book. I know that sounds inarticulate and rather snobby but it was neither fresh nor particularly well crafted. I’ve seen this type of artwork on the back of children’s cereal boxes. I just wasn’t impressed by anything really in this comic. Out of the four New 52 comics I’ve read so far (I really need to get back to my local comic book store), this one was definitely the weakest. Poor Green Arrow.

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