Caging The Bird in “Green Arrow” #4 (Review)

Aug 4, 2016

GA-Cv4-ds-3fc7cGreen Arrow #4
DC Comics

Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Juan Ferreyra

The story starts off in Seattle where Green Arrow is struggling with how he has not exactly been accepted by the Justice League as we hear in his narration. Once again he is being targeted by the police only to incapacitate them and then he meets John Diggle on a bridge where they battle. There is a cutaway scene with Black Canary tracking down Emiko who is Shado’s daughter. Emiko has betrayed Green Arrow and Diggle reminds him constantly throughout the first half of the story about how she betrayed him. Black Canary is captured by the Ninth Circle and its leader Dante and the remainder of the story revolves around Green Arrow, Diggle, and Henry Fyff trying to figure out how to save her.

The Artwork is decent, except my biggest problem with it is the consistency and how well some of the artwork looks in the foreground scenes such as the water going under the bridge juxtaposed with Diggle and Green Arrow standing on the bridge in the background about to fight. The former is well polished, while the latter’s looks like the artwork was done with too much haste and it appears choppy. Much of the other colors and art throughout the book are well done, especially on the last panel which is arguably the most important sometimes.

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The writing is put together with a steady pace that makes the story flow smoothly, which is great for a reader, such as myself who has not read Green Arrow #1-3. I could easily infer what is going on and pick up the story from here and continue on. My favorite aspect of the book is the inner thought dialogue bubble design for Black Canary and Green Arrow’s narration. A reader knows automatically that these are different bubbles because they have an imprint on the left hand side of the bubble. Crossed exes for Black Canary that look like her signature fishnet stockings and a green arrow pointing up for Green Arrow. These are the bubbles that tell the reader that those heroes are running their own commentary on what they are thinking.GA-4-4-9ba17

I am familiar with most of the characters, but I must have been asleep at the wheel somewhere between DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths and New 52 because I do not know who this Emiko is other than the stated fact in the book that she is Shado’s daughter. I have also never heard of the Ninth Circle or Dante so I am thinking they are new for the Rebirth run. The parts I disliked are the mind-boggling part where Oliver says Emi is his sister, where if that is true, he used to have a thing (love interest, at the very least it was heavily implied on the TV show Arrow) with Shado so there is something morally wrong there. I am also not familiar with Henry Fyff, but he seems to be the bumbling, inept tech guy only good for Oliver to throw zingers at and to hack computers.

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Lastly, I want to read comic books that make me want to read the next issue in that series immediately and make the next two to four weeks feel like forever waiting for said issue. There should be a hook somewhere within the 21 pages of the book I am reading that tells me, “this is awesome!” I did not get that with this issue. As much of a DC apologist as I am I was hoping for more of a cliffhanger at the denouement. A little more action, a few more lines, and less whining about not being in the Justice League. (They will call, keep your chin up brother.) I will read the next issue, but I am not as excited as I was in the past for the next issue while I was reading the Mark Waid run of the Flash in the early 90s.

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