Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino
Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
Let’s pretend for a second that Jeff Lemire’s run on Green Arrow is the comic book equivalent of a ‘bullseye’. Every issue thus far has hit its mark and then some. So here we are now, ten issues into his run with issue #27. If those back issues were a bullseye, then what does that make #27? Easy! It makes it the arrow that splits all the other arrows in half, blows up the target while Lemire walks away, back to the explosion, in slo-mo, with white doves flying behind him. In other words, Green Arrow #27 is a classic.
Anticipation amongst Green Arrow fans had been high following the announcement of “The Outsiders War”. Last issue plunged readers head first into a globe trotting adventure as Ollie seeks the truth of the island he was marooned on, as well as finding the mythical Green Arrow, an ancient artifact long since forgotten. Now, with the arrow missing, Ollie must continue his search with Shado on the island. Unfortunately for him, he’s not the only one looking for the artifact as he comes with to face with an ancient tribe of warriors called “The Shield Clan”. What follows is a surprisingly brutal tale of deception, violence and adventure that not only shatters the Green Arrow mythos, but raises it to new and exciting heights.
When Lemire tackles violence in his works, it is always quite shocking. It may be easy to gloss over the harsh realities of violence in a superhero book, but Lemire is able to juggle the juxtaposition perfectly. The excitement of the splash page featuring Ollie and Shado as they unleash a torrent of arrows against the Shield Clan is shattered immediately as Lemire takes the reader back to the first time Ollie had to kill. It’s blood soaked, harrowing, and as far from heroic as you can get. This is not violence for the sake of entertainment, but violence as a destroyer of the soul and the price Ollie will continually pay to get it back. Superman he’s not.
Sorrentino is a unique artist at the top of his game, and in Green Arrow #27 he’s never been better. From the opening torture scene to the expert paneling of the Shield Clan assault, each page is a treasure to behold. You may want to read this issue with a bib on because these pages will leave you drooling.
Maiolo on colours certainly had his work cut out for him with this issue, and he nails it. The soothing greens of the jungle are shattered by the harsh reds of violence, further showcasing the horrific toll the spilling of blood can take. Leigh’s letter work is more than commendable as well, using some unique sound effect techniques to shatter the tranquil silence of the Island.
Deeper and darker than any superhero comic should be, Green Arrow continues to be one of the best and most underrated comics on the shelves. With issue #27, Lemire and Sorrentino deliver an instant classic and cement themselves as one of the greatest creative teams to ever tackle the character.