Monday, May 13, 2013

Green Arrow #20 - A Review

Reading Jeff Lemire's revamp of the Green Arrow franchise at the same time that the Arrow TV series is breaking similar ground makes for an interesting experience.  Both the show and the book are retelling the story of Oliver Queen but are doing it in completely different ways.  Yet despite the differences, there are a lot of common points of reference, such as the theme of Ollie trying to live up to his father's legacy and the main antagonist being a black-clad archer who is a successful businessman and loving father in addition to being a highly-trained assassin.

Jeff Lemire's Kodomo gets some further definition in this issue, showcasing how he has his own masters to answer to, unlike Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow.  Kodomo also has a far more hands-on parenting style, though he still resists having his daughter get involved in his battles. It is this sort of development and detail that has made Lemire's run thus far interesting.  With the idea of a semi-mystical brotherhood of warriors secretly planning out Oliver's life, this series is far different than any take on Green Arrow we've ever had before.  While the classicist in me longs to see a goatee-wearing madman shooting boxing glove arrows at corporate fat-cats with Black Canary by his side, I can't deny that Lemire's writing is the best this series has seen since The New 52 started and his concept for this book - while different - is engaging.

The artwork of Andrea Sorrentino also impresses me.  I don't know if Jock's work on Green Arrow: Year One was a direct inspiration but the work here is reminiscent of that great mini-series while still being uniquely good on its' own terms.  Sorrention's figures are firmly defined and expertly outlined, with even the darkest and most atmospheric of scenes being clearly defined and easily visible.  This is a welcome change considering how too many artists on a title like this tend to over-saturate the page with ink.

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