Review: Green Arrow #7

Green Arrow and booze--of course.

I don’t often review comic books. They go by so quickly, that often I only feel the need to comment on something large in the comic or in an over-all arc. So what is about Green Arrow #7 from DC Comics that has me rushing to the interwebs to get all lippy?

I’m a Green Arrow fan. I have been since I was a kid. I even got into an argument with an older cousin when we were playing superheroes in their yard back in Dodge City far too long ago. (Jesus…probably over 3 decades ago, now that I do the math.) Of all my favorite superheroes in my long association with comic books, he has always, and I mean always, been in the top 3.

Problem is, oftentimes, his book sucked. I’ll admit, I got tired of that long run kicked off by Mike Grell’s Longbow Hunters, and quit reading round about when he and Black Canary were having relationship issues. I only started paying attention when they killed Oliver Queen off and replaced him with his son, Connor Hawke. I really got back into the book again. Sure, it wasn’t Ollie, but it was Green Arrow, and it was fresh and fun. And I genuinely enjoyed it.

Then Kevin Smith brought Ollie back from the dead and…well, I read it for a bit, but it just wasn’t the same.

But when DC did their big 52 re-branding seven months ago, I figured, “What the hell? Why NOT Green Arrow?” I was already picking up about 1/3 of the new books, so let’s see what the new guys could do? After all, I was familiar with the artist, and I wanted to see what a new writer could do.

Notice I didn’t blog about it then?

I was probably drinking away my tears.

(As an aside, I also feel let-down by how a few other books went, and of those, two of them have been cancelled as of issue #8. Despite loving the characters, and issues #6 and #7 being pretty damn decent, they never really found their pacing.)

I was ready to cancel Green Arrow after the first arc wrapped up. Then I heard some interesting news: they were giving Green Arrow to Ann Nocenti as of issue 7.

Don’t know who Ann is? Check that link to her wiki page. The woman is a legend.

Remember that list of 5 favorite superheroes I mentioned? Daredevil is also on that list, and she’s big part of the reason why. Her run, starting in early 1987 and running over 4 years was one of the best runs The Man Without Fear ever had.

I’m thrilled to report that Green Arrow #7 delivers. I was not familiar with the art team before this, but I love the layout and clean lines. And the story and characterization? Nailed it. In one issue Nocenti shows why Green Arrow is no Batman. I mean, think about it–both are wealthy heads of large companies, both are gadget based heroes, and highly trained and specialized. The big difference to me is that Bruce Wayne never struck me as wanting to be Batman. That’s a mantle he feels like he needs to be. But Oliver Queen wants to be Green Arrow–not just to make a difference, but because it’s fun.

Oliver is a hothead, ruled by his passions. Sure, he’s smart, but he’s also reckless. And he bores easily.

But he isn’t to be under-estimated, either.

I suggest checking the book out.

And I hope for a long, fruitful run on a book that I think Ann Nocenti seems perfectly suited to make one of my favorite DC titles.

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