Green Arrow #25 by Jeff Lemire (Comics Review)

This is the month that marks a slew of DC releases which tie into Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s ongoing Zero Year event for the Batman title. Whether a Bat-family title or otherwise, there are a lot of these comics, and the first among these is Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow #25, which takes a break from the ongoing events in that series to give us a flashback to the origins of the relationship between Oliver Queen and John Diggle.

Of course, if you recognize that name, then you are in the know as to some of what’s going to happen in the issue. Created for the CW Arrow, John Diggle has carved out a niche as a fan-favourite character and its great to see that he is transitioning to the comics. Reminds me of how Harley Quinn was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series and then transitioned to the comics, such that she is finally getting herself an ongoing series this month. As a flashback, this was a really good issue, despite a few flaws, but the overall effect is superb nonetheless.

Green Arrow 25As a tie-in to Zero Year, I think this issue doesn’t work all that well. Batman gets a very minor cameo and Gotham is just background scene setting, easily switched out for any other city really, so I consider the whole tie-in effect to be a misnomer. Still, that doesn’t mean that this issue isn’t good. Far from that. Through a main story and a backup, Jeff Lemire really helps introduce readers to Diggle and establish how Ollie and Diggle met and how they formed the comics version of the relationship that the two of them have in Arrow.

The issue starts off some time after Batman #24 and it appears that Moira Queen has gone to Gotham on a humanitarian mission. Ollie comes back to Seattle at this time, presumed dead for a long time, and its quite a shock to senior executive of Queen Industries, Walter Emerson. Once Ollie finds out that his mother is in the hellhole that Gotham has turned to, he resolves to go there and get her out before something happens to her. No surprise when Moira is attacked by a villain who wants to kidnap her and claim a high ransom in turn.

Seeing a younger, less experienced Ollie than we have seen in the last two issues of the series provided a nice change of pace. I haven’t really read any of the Green Arrow comics for New 52, so I have no idea really how he has been portrayed in the series, but the character is definitely growing on me. Especially since I’m really enjoying Arrow‘s season 2 at the moment and that is feeding into my like for this comic. Jeff Lemire has a really great tone and voice for this series, much different to what he’s done on Justice League Dark, Constantine, or Trillium and its great to see that diversity in his writing repertoire.

While the main story is all focused on Ollie and him coming back from the dead to save his mother and her security team from the predations of Gotham, the backup switches perspectives to John Diggle himself and presents the story from his side. Its a quickie story, a “gone and done it” in which Dig meets Ollie for a second time, some time after the events in Gotham, and the two end up becoming a crime-fighting duo. It has some great moments, some decent beats, and overall it was a decent backup story.

In the main script, the artwork is divided between penciller Andrea Sorrentino, colourist Marcelo Maiolo and letterer Rob Leigh. All three of them do a fantastic job here. I particularly love the the effects that Sorrentino uses for the fight scenes, focusing on where the punches and arrows strike the characters. Its a really good way to draw attention to the core element of the fight scenes. Batman appears a bit silly in how he is drawn when he first makes his appearance, but Sorrentino and Maiolo catch on really quick and gives a nice portrayal that differs from Batman artist Greg Capullo’s definitive version. Also, I kind of like Moth, the villain. There was an understated lethality to the character that I enjoyed, and I’m hoping that he comes back at some point, preferably in Green Arrow.

In the backup, the artwork is divvied up between penciller Denys Cowan, inker Bill Sienkiewicz, colourist Matt Hollingsworth and Rob Leigh again. The shift in the art style is striking, and it kind of reflects Dig’s mentality as portrayed by Lemire’s script. It was decent. Could have been better since I don’t usually enjoy this kind of artwork. All the same, good way to switch things up and provide some change of pace.

Overall, this was a fairly solid issue, and I’m all pumped for the beginning of Lemire and Sorrentino’s next big arc on the series, The Outsiders War. Should be good fun!

Rating: 9/10

More Green Arrow: #24.

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Posted on November 7, 2013, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

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