Current Reviews


Green Arrow #33

Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Scott Beatty
Pencils: Shawn Martinbrough
Inks: Mark McKenna

Publisher: D.C. Comics

After looking back into Oliver's past where we get a look at one of the last battles that Oliver and Roy ever fought together, we jump to the present day where we see an item from Oliver's past is being sold online. However, while Oliver eventually gives into the temptation of getting his hands on this item from his past he discovers an evil villain has also set his eyes upon this item, and this determined villain is not exactly pleased when the item he's seeking ends up in Oliver's hands.

Not half bad considering it's a fill-in issue, as Scott Beatty turns in a somewhat goofy, but highly entertaining visit to one of the more goofy elements from Green Arrow's past. I also rather enjoy the idea that there's a web-site in the DCU that sells off items that previously belonged to super-heroes, as if nothing else this idea could act as a springboard for future stories. Now Green Arrow's lack of a rogues gallery required Scott Beatty to create a generic baddie with a mad-on for the Green Arrow, but the idea of a villain hunched over a computer, engaged in a bidding war for the possession of an item belonging to his hated enemy is very amusing scenario. My only quibble with the story is that Bruce Wayne steps forward to up the bid by more than twenty times, and yet for comedic relief the story ends with Oliver blowing the item to kingdom come. Now only does this present Oliver as an ungrateful prat, but frankly I wouldn't have minded seeing this item from Oliver's past stick around, at least long enough to have gotten Roy's reaction to it. Still, there's a couple fun running gags in this issue such as the side-effect that the JLA teleporters on Oliver and members of his supporting cast. Plastic Man's encounter with an item from the JLA trophy room also made me smile, as did Oliver's speech after he deals with this potential threat. The story of what happened to the item after it wasn't destroyed in the explosion was also rather cute.

As for the art, I do believe this is the first time I'm seen Shawn Martinbrough's work, and it's a fairly impressive first look as it's a highly energetic style that lends itself extremely well to the book's action sequences. I mean the credit page shot of our heroes busting their way into the Kobra headquarters is a great visual to carry us into the issue. The final sequence where Oliver gets a chance to show off the features of his new toy was also amusingly presented. I also enjoyed the look of the issue's villain, as his sinister look is perfectly contrasted by his less than villainous behavior. There's also a great little sequence where we see Mia and this villain engaged in an online bidding war, as the art nicely captures the mood of both parties, as well as their shared reaction when Batman enters the scene.

Final Word:
A very entertaining done-in-one story that manages to take a fairly simple gag of a plot and spin it into a fairly solid little adventure. Now there are moments where the plot is clearly not taking itself all that seriously, and there's almost a sitcom feel to this issue as we follow our cast through a string of funny moments. In fact Oliver's visit to the JLA watchtower feels like it should be accompanied by a laugh track, and in a couple cases a rim-shot to punctuated a couple of the lamer gags. Still, for the most part I found this issue to be a very amusing diversion, and considering it's following on the heels of a fairly serious-minded arc by Judd Winick this visit to Oliver's Silver Age roots was a welcome change. I was a bit annoyed that the book was in such a rush to remove this goofy item from the book before the final page arrived, as frankly I wanted to see it stick around as a reminder to Oliver and readers that he wasn't always the serious-minded vigilante he is in today's DCU. Plus the fact that Bruce Wayne dished out 20 million dollars does make Oliver look a bit ungrateful.

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