It's a great time to be an archer. Over at Marvel, Matt Fraction is killing it on HAWKEYE and here at DC, the new creative team is doing a ridiculously good job on GREEN ARROW. I've never been a huge fan of the Emerald Archer and I can't say I'm the biggest fan of the TV show, but Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are doing spectacular work with this one -- it's truly impressive stuff.
The story is tons of fun, but the visuals are where it's at. Beautiful and lively, Sorrentino's work has an immediately recognizably style. Whether it's Henry Fyff staring at a computer monitor or Ollie firing arrows, the book looks so good. What of course greatly benefits the style is Marcelo Maiolo's coloring. From our hero being illuminated by a helicopter's spotlight to arrows piercing skin, strong and vibrant use of coloring gives this book so much life and prevents any panel from feel stagnant. Then there's the absurdly creative panel layout which make the action amazingly entertaining. You can't help but cringe as an extra panel puts a clear emphasis on a body part being stabbed by an arrow. Even if you're not the biggest fan of the story, odds are the excellent visuals will compensate for that.
Like I said above, the story thus far is astoundingly fun. Writer Jeff Lemire is doing a brilliant job with the pacing. While the story is clearly trying to lure in fans of the show with a few similar elements, it's leaps and bounds above it in terms of quality. The mystery here continues to grow and so thankfully, so does my interest in this plot. The fact this issue has an extensive and brutal battle certainly doesn't hurt, either.
There's a few moments that rely on suspension of disbelief. Sure, there's panels discussing how much pain Ollie is in, but man oh man, he took a crazy amount of damage and still kept trucking. He was even able to support Komodo's weight with his side that took an arrow to his shoulder and wrist. Naturally, these are minor points since this is a comic book, after all, and we've seen the likes of the Punisher and others endure far worse over the years.
Just three issues in and this title has skyrocketed to the top of my pull list. This is without question one of the best ongoings DC comics is currently offering. The story is engaging and the dynamic visuals are stellar. It doesn't matter if you don't like Green Arrow -- this will turn you into a fan. Go read this book. Now!
Also, is it just me, or does it look like Emiko Lacroix could be Constantine Drakon Jr? If he won't make it into the New 52, I'm more than happy to see his super-speeding badassery transferred into this little package of death.