- Written by Benjamin Percy
- Pencils by Otto Schmidt
- Cover by Juan E. Ferreyra
“THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLIVER QUEEN” Chapter One “The End’
As Oliver struggles with how he can fight “the man” when his huge fortune makes him the man, he and Black Canary uncover a deadly new threat to Seattle that cuts the Archer to the bone.
Pickup your copy of ‘Green Arrow: Rebirth’ #1 @ Comixology now!
Admittedly ‘Green Arrow’ is a title that I hadn’t read until the TV series had begun. I started reading the New 52-era ‘Green Arrow’ around a year ago and followed it through to its conclusion. Although enjoyable I felt New 52 ‘Green Arrow’ suffered heavily from an overly complex story which made it difficult to follow. Thankfully DC Comics seem to have realised this also and put ‘Green Arrow’ on a course correction.
‘The End’ is the first chapter of a new arc entitled ‘The Death and Life of Oliver Queen’ and is helmed by Benjamin Percy. The story clearly lays out its plan, introducing the villain early on and setting up their conflict with the titular hero. The issue is then able to spend much of its time focussing on the characters. Oliver Queen circa New 52 was much more a clone of his TV counterpart. Rebirth Oliver reclaims much more of the glory of previous iterations of the character. His beard also finally makes a return!
‘The End’ also reintroduces a beloved character to the franchise. Black Canary. Fans have been vocal about missing the relationship between the two characters and DC has listened. The two characters naturally gravitate towards each other and are still yet to recall the missing memories. See you ‘Rebirth’ special review for more on that! Fans will most likely have to wait a little longer to see the characters regain all their memories. In the meantime we at least have the benefit of seeing the two working together again for now.
Percy seems to really understand the two characters and therefore their chemistry leaps off the page. His script pops with great dialogue as mixes the smaller character moments with the larger action sequences well. If I had any complaint about ‘The End’ it would be that the sinister villains seem fairly similar to the Court of Owls. ‘Arrow’ the TV series is often critiqued for using Batman villains and storylines. That hasn’t, to date, been an issue with ‘Green Arrow’ comics but I fear it may begin. ‘The End’ really is only the opening chapter of the story so there is plenty of time to develop its own path separate to that of the Owls.
The artwork by Otto Schmidt is quite literally stunning. Instantly ‘Green Arrow’ has become by favourite go-to comic when subscriptions arrive. The character designs look great, the atmosphere between Oliver Queen scenes and Green Arrow scenes is palpable and the whole package looks brilliant. There’s an angular nature to the art which gives it a slightly anime/manga vibe but not to a point of distraction. Daytime scenes are light and airy whilst night sequences feature much darker, bleaker colour palette.
If this is a sign of things to come then ‘Green Arrow’ is going to be a highlight of the Rebirth venture. An absolute triumph of synergy between artwork and script. Schmidt’s images are stunning and Percy’s words hit home every time. Go and pick up a copy now!