Monday, April 28, 2003

Green Arrow #24 - A Review

Written by: Ben Raab
Penciled by: Charlie Adlard
Inked by: Charlie Adlard
Colored by: Titjana Wood
Lettered by: Jack Morelli
Editor: Bob Schreck
Publisher: DC Comics

I’m really starting to regret having asked the editorial team to let me review all six parts of this story line. If you read my complaints about the series so far what I have to say will probably sound familiar. For that, I apologize. But since Raab and Winick are recycling the same tired plot devices and running gags, I feel little need to think up new complaints.

Just kidding. There are new complaints! So, with a little nod to Nick Piers for the format…

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Green Arrow #24.

Synopsis (Skip if you want no Spoilers!)

Kyle and Jade are settling in for a night of romance, when he gets a call from Connor. Within minutes, Kyle has flown across the country and is introduced to Amon Sur. Amon, it turns out, is a major Green Lantern fanboy as well as son of Abin Sur (the GL who gave Hal Jordan his ring) and member of a new space cop force: The Ungaraian Elite “Light Brigade”. He explains that Earth is the latest target for an intergalactic crime syndicate called “The Black Circle” and that they are responsible for all the problems Ollie and Kyle have been investigating the last two issues. After thwarting an intergalactic assassin, Kyle and Amon head into space as Ollie does his conducts his own investigation on Earth.

The Good

As I’ve said before, the best parts of the series are the ones that don’t involve the increasingly forced team-up/conflict between Green Lantern and Green Arrow. The scenes with Kyle and Jade ring true. And the scenes with Ollie working alone in the urban environment, tracking down leads work very well. And I have go give Raab credit for some wonderful dialogue lines. Particularly…“I’ll be the first to admit when I’m out of my depth, but I’ll be damned if I’m not the last man standing when the smoke clears.” And the GL fan in me cheered when Kyle refered to The Book of Oa.

The Bad

More Ollie/Kyle fighting. More forced name-calling. Yawn. The characterization seems even more off this issue, with Ollie being unusually insecure regarding his image as a hero when his charges draw pictures of their favorite superheroes… and Green Arrow isn’t one of them.

Am I the only one who thinks it is odd that one of the kids drew Black Canary, but not ONE drew Green Arrow? Star City’s hero and local legend of over a decade? Especially since (more on this in a minute) the kids apparently know who Ollie is?

I’ve talked about the overshadowing in the artwork before, so I don’t need to say anything this time except that Adlard’s artwork is still over-inked. This time, I noticed that the colors are also far too muted. With the exception of the dark blue worn by Connor and the dark green of Kyle’s costume, everything is a light pastel and the whole book looks muted as washed out as an old pair of jeans. It looks horrible, especially Amon Sur’s uniform, which can’t seem to decide on being blue or green.

The Ugly

Would it be too much to ask for a definitive statement as to where Oliver Queen stands on his secret identity? In the Smith run, the soulless Ollie was trying to protect his ID but was informed by Batman that his being Green Arrow was public knowledge, thanks to the obituaries published after his heroic death. In the Meltzer run, Ollie was trying to track down items that could reveal his secret identity, presumably a non-issue according to Smith. And now, Raab has Ollie hosting alien entities in his place of business… and THINKS NOTHING OF THE KIDS WHO APPARENTLY DON’T KNOW HE IS A SUPERHERO PLAYING WITH HIM?

I mean, what are these kids saying when they got home? Suppose that one parent actually DOES believe it when their child tells a story about the odd red-skinned man at Mr. Queen’s place?

I’m just going to hope that this was a mistake on the part of the artist, since no reference is made to the kids in the dialogue. Adlard has very little sense as a visual storyteller, neglecting to draw anything around Kyle to show him being protected in deep space, though Amon Sur does get a nice spiffy space suit.

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