I have always been a big Green Arrow fan ever since I was a kid, and have enjoyed his exploits over the years. I also know J.T. Krul has been writing the exploits of the Emerald Archer for awhile now, and had heard he was doing pretty well with it. Unfortunately, Green Arrow #1 out this past week is rather underwhelming despite it giving a new beginning and direction to the character. Written by J.T. Krul with art by Dan Jurgens on pencils and George Pérez on inks, Green Arrow looks pretty, but lacks substance which makes it one of my least favorite #1s of last week.
The book opens with the head of Queen Industries giving a speech about its Q Core division. Not surprisingly, Oliver Queen is away playing Green Arrow conferencing into the meeting via a headset while he is crime fighting. Green Arrow has an Oracle-like online info sidekick named Naomi working behind the scenes, and he is on the line with her too, as he tracks some villains who are in civilian disguise.
GA goes after the villains as they create trouble utilizing his bow and arrows. GA definitely has some neat trick arrows. However, when an arrowhead is shot into a computer and then starts hacking the navigational computers of a boat so Naomi can drive it with remote control… I thought that it was a bit much. GA certainly does have the tech to put in his arrows, as Oliver Queen he is the head of a technology company, Q Core. Q Core is pretty much the Apple of the DCnU, with Q-Phones and Q-Pads being such indispensible pieces of technology that even the villains carry them. Not only does Green Arrow use arrows, he now throws discs. This seemed a little weird to me, though I guess it’s cool to see GA is expanding his repertoire.
With Olliver Queen a billionaire turned crimefighter leaving others to run his high tech company while he masquerades as Green Arrow, things start to sound a lot like Bruce Wayne/Batman, but this is true to Green Arrow’s roots. However, Ollie’s radical attitude is completely turned down—it’s almost not there at all. Green Arrow talks down to the villains and talks up his cause, but it comes off as somewhat generic super hero fare rather than showing the passion Ollie could be seen to have in the past.
It felt like a lot of the book was introductory stuff, which is just fine for a first issue but it seemed a little excessive with blatant exposition without any real excitement to balance it out. There is a lot establishing Oliver Queen’s absentee role as the head of Queen Industries, keeping his Q Core division at arm’s length and letting someone else (with a robot hand no less) run that business. His main concern is crime fighting, and he now has a backup team in Naomi and a weapons maker, Jax who are helping him as Green Arrow. And he shoots arrows. And throws discs. And that’s about the extent of Green Arrow #1.
The art is good with Dan Jurgens and George Pérez doing a bang up job but it’s not as good looking as other books out last week. I like Green Arrow’s new look a lot, though it takes a little getting used to. I also gotta say that the costume depicted on the cover is a little different than how Ollie looks in the actual book. The new costume is slick and streamlined and Ollie looks a lot younger. Beardless Ollie almost looks more like Connor Hawke or Arsenal but it’s cool to see Ollie during his younger, unshaven days, and he does have some healthy stubble. You can really tell that Pérez is inking, and he and Jurgens make a decent team.
While visually satisfying, the book really doesn’t stand out from the crowd—at least with the first issue. The villain battle didn’t feel like the stakes were high enough to be interesting. The villains themselves seemed pretty bland and were not in costume (they are off duty villains after all). It all ends with a pretty ho-hum hook that I could care less if I see what happens next. The only real dangling question I have is why the guy running Q Core has a robot hand, and I’m more curious in that meaningless fact than I am in any subplot or cliffhanger the book presents. Of course, as a Green Arrow fan, I would love to pick up #2 and see that the book is chugging along but right now it simply isn’t. Overall, Green Arrow #1 comes off as lacking, and a mediocre reading experience. I’d advise even Green Arrow fans to handle this one with caution when it comes to deciding if you’ll buy it.