Green Arrow #31 (Comics Review)

It is here finally, the closing installment in Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s The Outsiders War saga. All the previous issues of this series have been rather spectacular. Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have really gone the whole distance with this series, and their take has been both refreshing and unique. The whole concept of the weapon clans is something that really worked for me and is something that I want to see much more of in this series. And if it so happens to pull in any other of DC’s heroic line-up, then all the better. Katana’s inclusion has been nothing short of amazing so far.

Green Arrow #31 has a long road to prove itself, largely because each of the previous issues of the current arc have been so amazing. I was expecting some really great things from it, and while the story and the art both deliver, they do indeed fall short a little bit, just a tiny bit. And the problem seems to be that some of the panels are missing, because there are some abrupt changes in dialogue and action. But either way, I loved both the story and the art. Such a far cry from the days when it was rumoured that Green Arrow was going to be cancelled!

Green Arrow 31With this arc, Jeff Lemire went really ambitious, and he gambled on the big explosive storyline connecting with readers, which it certainly did for me. I’ve loved everything that he’s done so far, whether that is bringing back Robert Queen from the dead, introducing Emiko as Oliver’s half-sister, and the whole dynamic of sundered families struggling to reunite with each other. Jeff Lemire made the story feel really personal for the characters and that’s the best part of it all, because the characterisation was tied to the story and vice versa so that neither felt like it was a one-off or going in its separate way or just there for the hell of it.s

One thing I was looking for here was a big showdown between Komodo and Oliver. That was what the story had been building up to all this long, and I was really excited for it. But the reality is a bit different. And not different in that I didn’t like, different in that it subverted my expectations for how the showdown would play out. Its just that my expectations weren’t exactly met, and Lemire plays up the grimness of the New 52 quite a bit in these pages. Those final pages are pretty cold in that regard. And damn, they are also quite badass.

What I really liked was how Lemire played up Ollie to be a man of honour who can’t and won’t associate himself with the darkness of the Clans, their necessity to murder and lie and cheat. He is someone who believes in people and isn’t someone who can easily forget or excuse betrayals. Which makes him a really good hero I think. And this is a characterisation that we saw to some degree in Geoff Johns’ Justice League of America last year, so it is nice to have that kind of consistency across titles and writers.

The issue isn’t all about Ollie and the Clans though. Back in Seattle, Diggle has teamed up with Ollie’s friends to do something about the level of organised crime in the city in the wake of Richard Dragon’s entry on the scene. A tenuous alliance was arranged with the Clock King in the last issue and this time we see what fruit is borne by that alliance. Suffice to say that the team back home is having an equally hard time of things as Ollie is in Europe.

Andrea Sorrentino, Marcelo Maiolo and Rob Leigh are back for another stunning issue of the series, and I loved what they did here, all the way to the end. Andrea’s panel layouts, as always are really creative and even mesmirising. He really pulls you into the whole mood of the moment, not to mention that Marcelo’s colours are beautiful once again. Really dark vibe, but still very colourful at the same time. It isn’t for no reason that Green Arrow is visually one of DC’s best books on the shelves right now. And it is one of the reasons why I come back to this book again and again. I love the artwork here. Lots of visceral and exquisite action scenes too.

For this recent Green Arrow convert, this issue was filled with all kinds of awesome.

Rating: 9/10

More Green Arrow: #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29-30.

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Posted on May 8, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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