Green Arrow #20
WARNING THERE BE SPOILERS!!!
For the month of April, I really started looking forward to this book, and while I was waiting for this issue to come out, I got even more excited. This book has had such a high consistency, that it is a shame that this book isn't getting the same treatment as Batman, or the Justice League. Oliver Queen has been put through the ringer, and watching that unfold has been amazing. There are still answers that need to be revealed, but how will the Emerald Archer face his better? You will not want to miss this issue, but on to the review!!!
Lemire has done a fantastic job at staying consistent through his short run on the book so far. This issue is no different. Looking back, the intro scenes with Oliver make more and more sense as each past by. This issue has Oliver on the cusp of the hidden secret behind his father, and by the end of the issue, the scenes in the beginning come full circle. I just love it. I was afraid that Lemire was going to draw out this arc, but according to the solicits, next issue will be the last one to deal with this storyline for now. It seems as though there will be more to Oliver's past, as wells as some answers on the Outsiders. Though we are not given those answers in this issue, we see the final conflict with Komodo and Green Arrow (at least for the time being, sorry trying to avoid as many spoilers as I can). The first three issues have been basically one huge encounter with Komodo, and thought Oliver got some time to breathe in between, he has never had time to recharge or properly heal. The guy isn't Supes, or Batman for that matter (who has been trained to take this kind of punishment), so to see Oliver go beyond his limits is great to see as a reader. In the end, Komodo is visually crippled, and Oliver goes to Black Mesa, and everything begins to add up. With Ollie having a bow and some arrows in the desert (as we have seen in issues 19 and 20) there seems to be another huge conflict waiting for us next month.
I have raved over Sorrentino's art in the past, and though this issue isn't as exotic as the past issues have been, Andrea definitely took some new risks and they paid off beautifully. He still shows off the unique black and white emphasis paneling. I know colorists don't get a lot of praise, but Marcelo Maiolo did an incredible job with coloring in this issue.
BEST STORY MOMENT: Basically Oliver overcoming Komodo, and having the ending reach such a perfect circle of events makes it amazing for people who have been reading these past four issues.
BEST ART MOMENT: Another hard choice, as Andrea did a lot of full page panels, and accompanied with a great colorist, made some outstanding pages. In particular, the rain arrow fight scene was something out of a movie, and Oliver coming down on Komodo Dark Knight Returns style was spectacular.
There is always something hard to complain about with this series now, but there are legitimate concerns from me and possibly other readers as well. First off, I really would have preferred that Naomi was dead, or at least gave up helping Oliver because she felt guilty or was too afraid for her life. Fyffe is another huge stretch for me, as he is basically some random guy who would have no reason to help Oliver. I know it seems very dark, but I wouldn't have minded Fyffe messing up the bomb diffusion or there being an alternative bomb that would have killed them both. I just prefer that Oliver was alone, (this also comes from my annoyance with the Arrow show, as Oliver is basically inept at everything besides sex and archery). I really feel he should learn how to do this for himself, and honestly not be good at it in the very beginning. I understand Naomi wanting to help, but Fyffe shouldn't be involved anymore. I actually don't mind how the issue ended, but I could see how some people would have minded the fist fight/brawl that ended with Oliver shoving an arrow into Komodo's eye (Oh no I gave it away!!!).
The art in this issue was great as it always was, but it definitely lacked the exotic paneling of past issues, instead relying on simple vertical panels, though help the issue with the fight scenes, lacks the uniqueness of the past. There was also a lack of the color play, with the black and white scenes focusing on red and green. There was some in there but I could count on one hand how many times it was used in this issue.
WORST STORY MOMENT: Fyffe being able to diffuse the bomb was a stretch for me.
WORST ART MOMENT: The paneling had too many white spaces, and it is surprising coming from Sorrentino.
Another great issue from this team. I think I can honestly say that Lemire and Sorrentino have saved this book. I know a lot of people could have said that about how great issue 17 was, but to keep up this momentum for 4 whole issues means something. Now, the team will be fully responsible on how well this book turns out, and though that is a scary thought at first, I have the utmost confidence in these guys. I would recommend picking up issues 17-19 if you are new, because you definitely don't want to miss this series. Next month we are hoping to get some big reveals, so you really won't want to miss that. Til next month!!!
(Comic Vine, I really miss those half star grades. It would definitely help :p)