Green Arrow #17: Lemire Takes Over

The new creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino takes over the Emerald Archer's story.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Since the New 52 began, Green Arrow's been a bit of a hard sell. Taking away the traditional Robin Hood beard seemed to relegate Oliver Queen to just another pretty boy superhero. The initial J.T. Krul run didn't grab me, nor did Ann Nocenti's notably weirder take, although admittedly it's kind of hard to sell me on Green Arrow in the first place. I'm not a big archer guy, I suppose, and I'm one of the few people in the world who preferred to see Black Canary with Dr. Mid-Nite. But seeing as how Matt Fraction has somehow got me buying Hawkeye, I have to give Jeff Lemire a chance to bring me into Green Arrow.

With Lemire's first issue, Green Arrow #17, business seems to pick up. Queen is wandering the desert, lamenting the loss of everything he had – his fortune, his business, his identity. Cut to three weeks earlier, and he's in the offices of Queen Industries yelling at his mentor Emerson for losing the company to Stellmoor International, only to get a lecture about how he's a flaky ne'er-do-well who never had the focus to take over the business anyway, and he was meant for something more. Implying that even the whole Green Arrow identity was something that was destined to happen to him. Then, Emerson is promptly killed by an archer, who tags him with a claw arrow and yanks him out a window before he can clear up his cryptic mystery.  The rest of the issue is Queen being hunted and bested by the guy, who calls himself Komodo, and seems to know more about Queen than Queen does.

On the surface, it's a pretty fast-paced, drop-you-in-the-middle sort of beginning, and it's engaging enough to keep us reading until the end. However, this notion that "The Arrow" will be some kind of destiny thing puts me in the mind of that whole spider-totem thing that J. Michael Straczynski pushed on us during his Amazing Spider-Man run. Someone who is watching the Arrow TV show needs to tell me if this is some element of that canon that's being forced into comics as a tie-in.

Andrea Sorrentino of I, Vampire is bringing his pseudo-Jae Lee style to bear as artist and colorist, although Green Arrow calls for considerably less moody shading than the suckhead story did, and while it sometimes comes off rather iffy in the face, when it counts, he can really bring the drama home. Plus, his use of color is pretty eye-catching, despite the indistinctness of some of his visages.

Overall, there's enough here to build on, and Lemire's proven himself to be a writer to trust. It's worth a few more issues to see if it's going to go pear-shaped or not.