When Green Arrow premiered, I wasn't all that impressed, but I gave it a second chance, and I'm glad I did. I was never a huge Green Arrow fan after he grew the beard, and I loathed the Post-Crisis version. Justice League International and Smallville proved the worth of the character, when his cheating, bleeding heart was removed, and the New 52 Green Arrow is another version I actually found myself enjoying. Mind you, I tried to resist.
Dan Jurgens with Keith Giffen make Green Arrow a strong action/adventure book, and his redesign echoes the Smallville version of the character. The story arc, if you can call it that, is a war with pop star villains. They're in it for the fame as much as the cash. Now, this isn't really new. When you think about it, Jack the Ripper and every serial killer that came after him wasn't just looking for sick gratification. They were after the spotlight.
Jurgens and Giffen open the book with a bout against low on a low on the totem pole crew known as the Street Knights. Arrow scores a decisive victory, but his opponents go up in smoke, literally. They're not vampires, but Jurgens and Giffen aren't ready to divulge the answers to this particular enigma, and it appears to be marginal to the main story, which sees Oliver Queen hunted by an assassin in red.
Green Arrow in the Bull's-eye
I'm not going to lie. Complex, Green Arrow is not. It's a big duel to the death pitting Ollie against Blood Rose, our lady in red, but you know what? With art like the following, it doesn't really need to be deep.
There is however more to Green Arrow than just the duel. Green Arrow is Oliver Queen, and Oliver Queen is the playboy dilettante Batman used to pretend to be. Even on Smallville, Ollie never pretended to be dumb. In his eponymous title, Queen plays deaf and dumb. This earns him the loyalty of his employees.
It also sets up numerous suspects for the bankrolling Blood Rose's quest to split the Arrow. It's odd that she targets Ollie, and Green Arrow is merely an obstacle. So, I suspect that although her reasoning seems personal, she's incorporating business with a pleasure kill. Green Arrow however doesn't know how he slighted the lethal lady, and she turns out to be more than merely a pair of guns.
Green Arrow is turning out to be a reliable, dynamic addition to the New 52 Universe, and it deserves a second look, even by those not traditionally rooting for Emerald Archer.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.