In the new DCU, Oliver Queen is the owner of a successful corporation that provides a wide variety of products and services. This includes Q-Core, a technology firm similar to Apple. But Queen is secretly the crime fighter Green Arrow. Aided by a pacifist weapons maker and a hardnosed super-hacker, he travels the globe catching super villains with his trick arrows. In this issue, he goes to Paris to capture three fame-seeking villains who post their crimes on YouTube. But these aren’t the only crooks chasing internet stardom.
I can describe this comic in one word: basic. The hero is a rich man with a guilty conscience. He fights crime with gimmick weapons, courage and a smile. He has time to chastise the villains between punches. There’s even a high-handed moral lesson in the book: our culture encourages crime by glorifying them in the media.
The art is basic too. I’m not saying Jurgens is a bad penciller, and I don’t think Perez could fail if he tried. Their art is easy to follow, and the figures are natural and realistic. It’s not terrible, but it’s not very exciting or unique. I would call it competent or average. The nicest compliment I can pay is that it reminds me of Gil Kane’s art. I feel the same way about him, too.
The story left me with a couple of questions. What exactly is Q-Core’s relationship with Queen industries? Is it a semi-independent company? Queen says he wants to keep Q-Core separate from the rest of Queen industries. Why? And what role does this Emerson guy play in the company? Is he in charge of Q-Core? A senior executive at the company? Emerson’s clearly supposed to be the J. Jonah Jameson in Queen’s life. So what kind of power does he have over our hero’s secret identity? But the most important question is why Oliver Queen fights crime at all. He says he once stood by and watched people die when he could have saved them. Who? When? Is this his new origin? And what happened to his beard?
The whole comic just felt like well-worn clichés and superhero standards. Our hero is a guilty billionaire, (like Tony Stark), whose assistants provide intel and moral guidance, (like Alfred and Oracle did for Batman) and he’s offended by villains who become famous for their crimes. (Comics have been doing that story for 70 years!).
Now there is plenty to build upon. Queen’s character and motivation can be fleshed out in upcoming issues. And if Jurgens and Perez stay on as the art team, then “Green Arrow” could turn into a decent book. On the other hand, it is written by the same man who wrote The Rise of Arsenal. So I’m not hopeful.
Michael Deeley is proudly serving in the US Air Force while inoculating his fellow airmen with his liberal views. He’s currently struggling to balance a life that includes family, career advancement, video games, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 in addition to comic books. He currently buys only three monthly series: Irredeemable, Incorruptible and Dark Horse Presents. The rest are minis, specials, trades and back issues.