Guest post by: Craig Colbrook
The fear with any kind of root-and-branch reboot — or even the “some roots, some branches” soft reboot DC is pushing — is what, exactly, they’re going to change. You’re going to have to get rid of some things, of course; otherwise, there’s no reboot (in some ways, you might say there’s no story at all). But you’ve got to be careful not to change the things that made the character special to begin with.
Green Arrow has not done that yet, but I think there’s reason to be concerned.
In Green Arrow #1, the Emerald Archer takes on perhaps the world’s first social media super villains while trying to keep his operation and his team secure in the face of corporate pressure from Q-Core — the company Green Arrow himself owns.
My illustrious host, Rebel Rikki, likes to say that if it weren’t for Green Arrow’s social consciousness — and inability to shut the hell up about his social consciousness – he’d be just a Batman knock off. I think there’s some truth to that, and thus, I’m a little distressed that Green Arrow didn’t mouth off with any of his opinions besides, well, “Criminals are very, very bad.”
Let’s be clear: this is a solidly constructed first issue. We quickly learn who Green Arrow is, what he does, who his supporting cast is, why they’re there, and what ongoing conflicts they all face. We also meet some interesting new supervillains, and get a pretty fun action sequence, complete with clever new arrows (remote access arrow? Slow Clap, J.T. Krul). What’s more impressive is that we do all of this without suffering through obtrusive exposition, awkward flashbacks, or any other cheats. Dan Jurgens isn’t exactly my favorite artist, but his work is clean and detailed, he knows how bodies move and how to keep track of his setting. You’re never lost looking through Jurgens’ panels.
But so far, I’m not sure what’s really supposed to distinguish Green Arrow from any other hero, be it Batman or Ambush Bug. To be sure, there are some hints that this Green Arrow will echo what we all remember about him — he gives a pretty impassioned speech, he assembles his team from an “anti-war” point of view, and, well, why put base him in a corporate HQ if you aren’t going to have him scrape up against corporate culture? But these are just hints of what’s to come, and you think that in a first issue, you’d lead with what makes your book special.
Still, if the things that make Green Arrow pop are coming (like, say, a certain fishnetted florist…), then I’d trust this team to pull them off. And frankly, those things may be even more fun in the world Krul and Jurgens have already built.
Pull list verdict: ON PROBATION
My Best of 2012 Playlist by Eric Garneau
After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? Anyway, this has gotten even easier to do thanks to new technology like Spotify. read more