Green Arrow #13
Story: Benjamin Percy
Art and Color: Otto Schmidt
Lettering: Nate Piekos
The production quality of Green Arrow #13 makes it feel like an episode of a TV show. Not THE TV show, but A show. I love the intro sequence, which feels like the cold open, and then a final cut before a theme song. In this case, that cut to the theme song and intro is actually a scene I do not care for as far as the storytelling goes, but it’s drawn wonderfully. And we all know how I do love my full-page portraits and landscapes.
Green Arrow #13 opens with Ollie recounting all of the reasons that he loves Seattle to Dinah. So it’s the Emerald Hunter espousing his love for the Emerald City. It is serendipitous and wonderfully penned and drawn. From there, the pair are sucked into a new mystery, one involving a master archer who is killing people with arrows in an effort to frame Ollie. It feels a bit gimmicky, as that is getting very close to the plot that is going on in the CW show, but the art and story allow this issue to create a bit of space for itself from being accused of being a re-hash of this past season’s run on the show.
Otto Schmidt has a unique blend to his art. Part Sunday morning action comic strip and another a bit Frank Quitely in his approach to faces, each one of which appears entirely unique. This combination makes every panel feel like a work you’d want to commission him to re-cerate at a con. As I mentioned, my favorite panel is the full portrait of Dinah and Ollie running away from a belligerent cop who has totally lost it. The one storytelling element I did not like here is that it portrays a cop firing his weapon pretty randomly when a ton of bystanders are within feet of him. All because he wants a shot at Ollie. It felt very contrived and unnatural.
On story, of course, Percy is treading REALLY familiar ground. The question is whether he can weave this set of characters into a thing that he can uniquely tweak, and that stands (or will stand) apart from past arcs because of his unique handling of the characters. The best element of Percy’s writing in this issue is his display of collaboration between the team. And while they are a team, he also finds some snippets here and there to display the strength and individuality that they each bring, showing us that there is no worry if they all wind up fighting together, or apart. Schmidt helps out here as well, with his neatly arranged panel shards overlaid on an underlying character portraits, giving time for each member of Team Arrow to stand out.
I really liked checking in on Green Arrow this issue. I’ve read a handful of the Rebirth issues and have always felt they were pretty steady. This creative team will need to work on keeping their focus nailed down to the core elements of this arc. I feel like they have had a tendency too get too cute for their own good at some junctures. This issue is a great example of managing a lot of talking heads as well as a lot of exposition and still keeping the issue as a pretty well wound-up knot. Please keep it up.