“Sometimes a man doesn’t know what he really has until he’s lost it all.”
It’s not very often that an adaptation outshines its source material, let alone a television show, but this is the predicament that DC found itself in. Arrow on CW is a certified hit, while the comic series on which it’s based, ‘Green Arrow’ has become the laughing stock of the New 52. Luckily for fans, DC heard the rallying cry to save one of their strongest characters. With Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino taking the reins on issue #17, Oliver Queen aka ‘Green Arrow’ finally gets the series he deserves.
This new arc, dubbed ‘The Killing Machine’, starts with Oliver, stripped of wealth, wandering lost in a desert. The story then flashes back three weeks to find there’s a new archer in town and he’s looking to take Ollie out of the game for good. The book wastes no time getting to the action as this new archer, Komodo, frames Oliver for the murder of Queen Industry’s CEO. A few more tragic set-backs follow and now Ollie’s on the run for his life.
There has been much discussion over the last couple years about the quality of the ‘Green Arrow’ series. While avoiding specifics for what may have been the cause, Lemire’s approach is simple and fresh. Everyone loves a good comeback story, and what better way to make ‘Green Arrow’ relevant again then to bring the series back to its core; the tale of a young man trying to find his place in the world. While often regarded as a poor man’s Batman, fans of ‘Green Arrow’ know otherwise, as does Lemire. By removing Oliver’s wealth from the equation, ‘Green Arrow’ can now separate itself further from Batman. The possibilities of a hero without means are endless and entirely relatable.
Add in Andrea Sorrentino, who crafted the art herself, and you have one of the most unique books currently available. It’s a shame that ‘I,Vampire’ was cancelled, but if that’s what it took to get Sorrentino to pair with Lemire then it’s a fair trade. Her minimalist style is unlike any artist working today, and her use of colour is ingenious. Each panel is unique, yet so carefully coloured that the story flows, separating the action and locations with ease. Even if there were no lettering, the reader could follow with zero effort as the art stands on its own merits.
Lemire and Sorrentino faced an uphill battle when they decided to take over ‘Green Arrow’ and now the duo can breathe a sigh of relief. Issue #17 is a near flawless return to form for Oliver Queen and the new arc is a modern classic in the making. Fans new and old can jump on and be instantly glad they did. ‘Green Arrow #17’ is a taut action thriller that knows it’s assets lie on the shoulders of its main protagonist and the series is all the better for it.