Thursday, January 8, 2015

Green Arrow #38 - A Review

As Green Lantern and Green Arrow reluctantly team forces to save a hospital full of victims from John King's men, Mia Dearden falls into her father's clutches.  Even with the aid of Katana, can the Emerald Allies save the day? Can they even stop arguing for two minutes?!

If I were to sum up my feelings about Green Arrow #38 in a word, it would be 'torn'.

There is so much about this comic that doesn't sit right with me.  I don't like that Mia Dearden's past as a drug-using teen prostitute has been brought back into play. There was just no reason for it with her new background as the daughter of sociopath billionaire John King.

Another problem I have with this comic is with its lack of explanations for any of the new characters' backgrounds.  We have no idea how long Mia has been on the streets, but the previous issues suggested that it hadn't been long - perhaps a year or two at the most. And we've been given no explanation as to who the heck Mack Morgan is and just why he is so important to John King.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this issue is John King's descent from ordinary rich jerk villainy into "cartoonish supervillainy".  Now, granting that this IS a superhero comic, the best Green Arrow comics have had some grounding in reality regarding their villains motivations. And yes, John King is a social Darwinist who would think nothing of killing an entire hospital to cover up one murder. But when we reach the point where the bad guy is ordering his minions in a hospital to stop providing care to the dying and expecting people to just go along with it with no questions asked, you have also passed the point at which one can still credibly believe John King to be an arrogant but subtle manipulator. Captain Planet villains are more subtlety evil than this!

So why am I torn on this book if the villain is so melodramatically awful?  Because the treatment of the heroes is so perfect!

The Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen of the New 52 universe are not the best of friends.  Heck, they don't even like each other that much! But the chemistry between the two characters is apparent here - the classic situation of two people not liking each other because they are so much alike. The banter between the two is hilarious and becomes doubly so when Katana is forced to put up with them.

One thing I'm not torn on, however, is the artwork of this issue.  Daniel Sampere and Jonathan Glapion provide their usual high-quality work.  The action of the issue is well blocked throughout and colorist Gabe Eltaeb depicts everything with a rich and vibrant palette.

I'll continue to read this book for now, but I hope that John King's madness is exposed soon and that there are no plans for him to be a long-running villain.  There's just no way for the character to last that long at his current pace of deterioration.

No comments:

Post a Comment