Green Arrow #50
Script: Ben Percy
Art: Szymon Kudranski
Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb
Green Arrow #50 posterizes Deathstroke on the cover. But by the time you get near the end , you’ll almost forget that he’s supposed to be in this story. I’ve lost a grip on which version of Oliver Queen this is. I am pretty sure that I saw issues early in the New 52 that had Diggle and Malcolm Merlyn in them. It’s always tough keeping tabs on DC’s continuity if it’s a character that you don’t track. At any rate, there’s no sign of TV Team Arrow in this issue, but there are plenty of vampires.
Wait. What? Yeah. Vampires. Or rather an infection that is so close to vampirism that they may as well be vamps. It also appears that Ollie has been infected, but keeps it at bay using a medicinal called Lukonex. This is an oversized issue, at 44 pages, at least for the digital version. I guess because DC is approaching the swan song for the New 52 books. With two issues to wrap things up (I guess?), I am curious as to where this Green Arrow is going to land and where the new book picks up. As far as this story goes, there are infected, and apparently people who are “prejudiced” against the infected and want them quarantined. So much so that they are willing to kill them. Somewhere out in the world, there is a Doctor Miracle whose blood holds a cure for the infection. Deathstroke has been hired by the King Infected to find this individual and bring him under the big creepy’s rule. Again, not sure why this isn’t just vampires.
I am sure that if you have been on this book, there is a lot of value here in seeing a large amount of content pulling your story forward. For a hop-on like myself looking at this as a single issue, there is not a lot here. It’s never really explained what the impacts of this “disease” are, or how it might impact Oliver, or why he insists on keeping it at bay, as the infected don’t appear to be that bad off in a lot of cases. There are a couple of nice entries in dialogue. I loved the scene where Oliver says his natural instincts took over during a shoot-out at the blood bank between the infected and the infected-haters. But his natural instincts are those of a billionaire playboy; that Green Arrow is an act that requires focus, and does not reflect what he is prone to do in a crisis. His natural instincts are characterized by him NOT being a hero. So when natural instincts kick in, it’s not for him to do something heroic, but for the billionaire to seek refuge. To run. Even without having been on the book and knowing this Oliver Queen, those panels were so rich in character development that it didn’t matter. Unfortunately, this one scene for this one character is the only real character development that there is in the course of this 44-page comic. With all that space, could some other characters have been moved forward?
The artwork is okay. I do like the panel work on the page where they introduce the king vampire. The Dr Miracle scene in the sick-tent is a bit of excellent story-telling. You can truly feel the Doctor’s sorrow for the sick child he is trying to save. Close-ups of Ollie are also excellent when he is wearing the hood and there is a lot of shadow and light to play with. Pretty much what you would expect from, Gabe Eltaeb on colors; excellent portrait work. But the rest of the artwork just failed to grab me. It’s good, just not wholly distinct from other comic book artwork you might see today.
All-in-all, Green Arrow #50 is a decent issue, with some knocks for a slightly jumbly story, some pacing problems as they constantly shift around who the conflict is with, and a lengthy issue that might have been tighter if it was normal-sized. I don’t regret having read the issue, but, regardless of the impending flip of the New 52, this book would not have encouraged me to onboard this to my pull-list. It also leaves me feeling like this entire 50-issue run may not have been my thing, given where it looks like Arrow is winding up and what my notion of a “Green Arrow for me” would be defined as. Fans of the book should hook in and stay on for the final ride. Others who have a passing interest in the Green Arrow character are fine waiting to see where the DC reboot takes Ollie.