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Now seems as good of a time as any to dive in to the world of reviewing ‘Green Arrow’ comics. I freely admit that despite being a comics fan I hadn’t read a single issue of ‘Green Arrow’ until after becoming a fan of the series.
Over the last two weeks I’ve read the entire forty issue run of The New 52 ‘Green Arrow’ which culminates in the issue released this week co-written by ‘Arrow’ TV mastermind Andrew Kreisberg.
It seems that the ‘Green Arrow’ comics have been searching for a setup which mirrored the TV continuity without damaging too much of what has come before it in the world of the comics. In recent issues the writers have phased out the team around Oliver to make way for the characters of Diggle and Felicity, hugely respected by fans of the TV series, to enter the comics lore and take up similar positions in Team Arrow.
In the narrative of the story it makes sense. Both Naomi Singh and Henry Fyff were written out of Team Arrow with the end of the ‘Broken’ arc with both put in serious danger and unable to continue their work, although both do make a brief appearance as part of the ‘Kingdom’ arc they are essentially sidelined in order to allow Diggle and Felicity to join the team.
Notably the ‘Kingdom’ arc has also allowed a so-far brief return for Roy Harper’s character ‘Arsenal’, another successful character from the ‘Arrow’ series who has been absent from the comics for some time.
It’s divisive to bring the ‘Green Arrow’ comics in line with the TV series but nobody can argue that it will bring more fans to the comics who will hopefully stuck with it when it later diversifies off the continuity of the show.
The recent change in creative team for the book has seen the artwork change quite drastically. Having been drawn in to ‘Green Arrow’ through the ‘Outsiders War’ arc it’s been sad to see the artwork by Andrea Sorrentino replaced by that of Daniel Sampere and Daniel Henriques. There’s nothing wrong with their art it’s just much less striking and takes away some of the individuality of the series.
It would be hard to argue that this move wasn’t deliberate to make ‘Green Arrow’ more accessible the casual comics readers or those joining the party purely from watching the show. It’s not necessarily a dumbing down but it is a simplification which in my view was not necessary.
The recent stories of ‘Green Arrow’ have been thoroughly enjoyable and that hasn’t changed with this closing chapter to ‘Kingdom’. For the ‘Outsiders War’ and ‘Broken’ arcs Team Arrow has been cut off from the rest of the DC Universe so to bring in Batman and other characters for short cameos helps to re-contextualise ‘Green Arrow’ as part of the wider world of the comics.
If you are new to ‘Green Arrow’ please go back several months and start with ‘Outsiders War’ or if you are just looking to fill the gap between episodes of ‘Arrow’ then pick up the beginning of ‘Kingdom’ and start from there. Either way you are going to enjoy these comics just as much as the show.