One Small Step In the Right Direction For Nocenti
The original solicited cover wasn't exactly outstanding, but it was much more interesting than this one. And it had those two villains jumping around playfully in a pit of cash! This issue is titled, "The Joy of Crime!' Seriously! And don't even get me started on DC and useless banners. Sigh.
So, Nocenti has DEFINITELY calmed down since her utterly ridiculously hectic first arc, but now she's demonstrating some DIFFERENT pacing problems. I honestly can't decide what this arc is trying to be. First it's the Dark Arrows and their 'occupy movement' philosophy, bringing up a ton of uncertainties in Green Arrow both professionally AND superhero related. And that's all well and fine, but then suddenly the issue dives headfirst into this whole huge subplot that ALSO ties into fallout from the previous arc where Oliver Queen has to go to China to buy his company back. I'm certain the Dark Arrows aren't going to be showing up in China, so, what was the deal here? Which plot (both given equal page time) is the more central one?
Harvey Tolibao's artwork is... Well, certainly there's a bunch of super funky body proportions, but in this case most of them are stylistic choices, things vaguely similar to what Dustin Nguyen does, where traditional accuracy is ignored in favor of creating more flow and energy. Well, ok, sometimes, especially in less actiony scenes, people's faces can get SUPER awkward. Yes there's quite a few too many close shots. But there's some nice toying with panel layouts, and some nice energy all around. But I can DEFINITELY understand people not being fans of the art.
The 'Occupy Seattle' Dark Arrows are a mixed.... duo? I feel like it implied there was a larger network, but we only saw a single duo. THAT'S a little unclear. Honestly I'm extremely torn on how I feel about them. The two we saw had a REALLY interesting dynamic, fairly sizable cliches alone, but together they form a unique duo entity. But as for their whole 'Green Arrow on a Budget' theme, I can't decide if it's a really clever way to shake up Green Arrow, or a painful gimmick. The presentation leaves this a VERY thin line. Also dancing on the thin line beside is this sense of whether these 'occupy' characters are super hamhanded bandwagon jumpers or impressively straightforward not-beating-around-the-bush. I REALLY CAN'T DECIDE.
In Conclusion: 3.5/5
Honestly it's probably better than most of Nocenti's issues save for the previous one, but I was a little easy on the first two. It fixes a lot of errors Nocenti had previously, but balances them out by having some new ones. At least this time I can both see what Nocenti was trying to do with the previous arc, and REALLY see what she's trying to do with this one. Her nice deeper emotional journey for Green Arrow is working much better, but there's definitely some shaky plotting going on, along with art that wavers significantly in level of appreciation. A step in the right direction at least.