Ollie not Oxen Free: Green Arrow #12 (Review)

Green Arrow #12
DC Comics

Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Otto Schmidt

Sometimes plot devices work. Green Arrow #12 is a wonderful example of how plot devices and narrative framing can work to both the writer and the readers’ benefit. Comic writers frequently attempt to balance making a long running series accessible for new readers with rewarding long standing fans with references to prior story lines. The opening pages of Benjamin Percy’s Green Arrow #12 strikes this balance perfectly. A television news reporter quickly jumps through some of the events of the Green Arrow since Rebirth started in the summer of 2016, but this same news report plot device comes back multiple times throughout the issue to move the story forward. The news report plot device  frames the issue and delivers a stunning event that sets the tone for the current story arc.

Benjamin Percy has again nailed the pacing of the issue and packs a lot into issue #12. The Green Arrow if a fugitive, sets up a new base, begins to regain the trust of the public, a new threat is teased, an old enemy strikes, and Ollie, who is thought dead, reveals himself to be alive. All of this plot along with quiet reflective moments and a few action sequences sprinkled in. Percy successfully covers a lot of ground in 20 pages and Otto Schmidt’s artwork helps him achieve this success.

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Schmidt’s style works well in the Green Arrow’s world.  It is bright and colorful, but finds a way to make the shadows and night dangerous and threatening. Bright personal moments with Oliver and the Black Canary sit side by side with dark shadowy panels of nighttime fights. Schmidt’s facial features are often limited for supporting and side characters, but his consistent definition of Oliver’s face presents both the squared features of determination and the weathered lines of experience.

Percy and Schmidt continue to deliver engaging and intriguing Green Arrow stories. The story told here in issue #12 wraps up the first six months and should excite new and ongoing readers for the next six months.

Returning readers and those new to the series have a lot to look forward to with Percy and Schmidt. The first eleven issues of the Green Arrow may have resulted in some hits and misses, but #12 lands a bullseye.

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