Who's it by?
Green Arrow #1 is written by J.T. Krul and drawn by Dan Jurgens and George Perez.
What's the history?
Green Arrow has been tackling crime and social injustice in the DC Universe since his debut in 1941's More Fun Comics #73. Oliver Queen was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp as an archery-themed take on Batman.
Green Arrow soon became a force in his own right, going on to become the voice of left-wing and progressive politics in the DC Universe and gaining his own supporting cast. Queen is a billionaire and former mayor of Star City, using his wealth to develop high-tech archery equipment to fight crime.
The character rose to prominence in the late 1960s, when writer Denny O'Neil stripped him of his fortune and reinvented him as a social crusader fighting the corner of the working class and disadvantaged. Queen was killed off in the 1990s, and succeeded by his son Connor Hawke. However, the new Green Arrow was never as popular with fans, and the original was reintroduced in the 2011 'Quiver' plotline.
Since then, Green Arrow has played a role and several major DC events, such as Justice League: Cry for Justice and Brightest Day, as well as featuring in several solo titles. The character has even cropped up in numerous DC animated feature films and appeared in Smallville, played by Justin Hartley.
Green Arrow has been given a brand new look. The Robin Hood influence has been dropped in favour of a modern design closer to the character's Smallville outings than anything we've encountered in DC's comic line. Queen is a fair few years younger now, and has gone for the clean-shaven approach.
The billionaire uses his resources at Queen Industries Q-Core division to fund his vigilante activities as the emerald archer. J.T. Krul, who knows the character inside out by now, has remodelled him as a cross between Bruce Wayne and a young Tony Stark from Marvel Comics.
Ollie Queen tracks down three villains, Dynamix, Doppelganger and Supercharge, in Paris with the help of his Q-Core allies Naomi and Jax. The former is to Green Arrow what Oracle is to Batman, and the latter is a tech guru who aids Queen with weapons development.
Queen struggles to balance his crimefighting career with his role at Queen industries, taking part in board meetings via headset audio link as he closes in on the villainous trio, much to the annoyance of company head Emerson.
A battle between Queen and his adversaries takes up much of the comic, and he gets the upper hand thanks to those trick arrows that have become synonymous with the hero. The three end up behind bars, but this one has a twist in its tail that promises we haven't seen the last of them, and hints that there's peril for Green Arrow to come.
What's the verdict?
Green Arrow #1 is one of the weaker launch times in DC's 'New 52' launch lineup. Oliver Queen comes across as character that offers little more than the myriad other superheroes out there. Batman and Iron Man are billionaires with gadgets, while Hawkeye packs plenty of trick arrows in his quiver. This is disappointing from a writer who is as familiar with the crimefighter as Krul is.
The reader doesn't get into Queen's head a great deal. There's a semi-interesting narrative early on, in which the hero condemns society's tendency to view some criminals with an air of glamour, but the majority of the comic is hampered by trite dialogue.
Queen is caught up in charged exchanged with Queen Industries head Emerson (the stern businessman stereotype), and his tech developer Jax. The former is unimpressed with Queen's no-show at board meetings, while the latter struggles with the moral implications of developing weapons. Both scenes give the reader some insight into the protagonist, yet lack any real drama or tension.
The battle against Dynamix, Doppelganger and Supercharge takes up approximately half the comic, and it's at least entertaining to see those high-tech arrows fly. Green Arrow freezes one of his foes with an ice arrow, and takes control of a boat through a remote device planted in another. The only problem is that none of the villains ever pose any kind of threat, and the outcome is entirely predictable.
Social media plays an interesting role in the book. Its three villains are infamous for posting their exploits on YouTube, which gives the comic a topical angle considering the role such video services have played in real life crimes of late. Whether this is intentional is up for debate, though the issue's conclusion hints that it will have a bigger role to play in future issues.
In summary, Green Arrow #1 is something of a misfire, let down by weak dialogue and the cliché character redesign. Nostalgic '90s-inspired artwork from the ever-reliable Dan Jurgens isn't quite enough to save the book from the mires of mediocrity, so future issues have their work cut out to restore Ollie Queen's former glory.
> Buy the digital version of Green Arrow #1
> Read our review of Hawk and Dove #1
Watch the 'New 52' introduction video from DC Comics below: