Sunday, April 6, 2014

Green Arrow, Volume 4: The Kill Machine

 In which we discover that "Everything that we knew about Green Arrow is wrong!!!"

 Luckily, I knew nothing about "New 52" Green Arrow, except for the precious little that I read in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, VOLUME 1. So I was pretty much a blank slate anyway.

 I don't know how people who had been reading GA's "New 52" adventures are going to feel about writer Jeff Lemire's wholesale destruction of all that had gone before, but from what I've read online, GREEN ARROW wasn't exactly lighting either the sales charts or reader's imaginations on fire, so I guess DC didn't have much to lose by letting Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino run wild.

 GREEN ARROW, VOLUME 4: THE KILL MACHINE collects GREEN ARROW #'s 17-24, as well as #23.1, which was part of DC's "Villains Month" event. Considering the fact that you get 9 issues worth of story for a MSRP of $16.99, that alone is enough to make me say that you should buy this book. When you consider that you can probably find it for about half of that online, you'd be a fool not to give this reboot of a reboot a look.

 That said, how is the actual story...? I was fairly impressed. Lemire hits the ground running in the opening pages, having Green Arrow/Oliver Queen lose his company and his fortune, his safehouses and crime-fighting equipment, and his support system, reducing him to a homeless scavenger in a Robin Hood outfit. Lemire also weaves a tangled web of mythology involving various weapon-based clans, one of which, The Arrow Clan, has secretly been behind just about everything that has ever happened to Oliver Queen. (Daa-daa-DAAHHHHHH!) This could have been very cheesy stuff, and it borders on it, at times, but Lemire has crafted a paranoid conspiracy thriller that will immediately hook people who have just seen CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. (Great timing on the release, DC!) The art, by Andrea Sorrentino, took a little getting used to, but by the end, I was fully on board.

 Unlike most other "New 52" books, GREEN ARROW, VOLUME 4: THE KILL MACHINE is mercifully free of crossovers, and it incorporates it's "Villains Month" issue much better than BATGIRL, VOLUME 4: WANTED did. The story flows seamlessly, and I was sorry to see the book end. Despite my general disappointment with "The New 52", I really enjoyed this book, and I'll be back to see what Lemire does next. (I do miss the crabby old Ollie that I knew and loved, but if they give "New 52" young Ollie a goatee, I'd feel a lot better.)

 DC Comics provided a review copy. Highly recommended stuff, folks.

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