My main complaint from the rebooted GA was that the main character seemed to have no resemblance to the old Oliver Queen, one of my favorite quirky DC mainstays. Intended as a modern day Robin Hood as Super-hero metaphor, and with a skewed left political perspective to match, Queen has long been a cranky, contentious ass with a heart of gold and an out of control libido, making him a character hard to like, but easy to love. The rebooted “New 52″ Queen seems to have next to nothing in common with…himself. Design-wise, he looks more like Marvel’s Ultimate Hawkeye than he does Green Arrow, and he acts more like a super-selfish version of Roy “Arsenal” Harper from pre-reboot Titans.
I picked up Green Arrow hoping that the new creative team of Ann Nocenti (strangely referred to as “Annie Nocenti” on the cover) and Harvey Tolibao would be a good change from the previous team on the book. I hadn’t enjoyed the first couple of issues, and dropped it after that, so I was ready to come back and find Oliver Queen returned to all his glory.
If only. Nocenti does nothing to change the above. If anything, Queen has devolved into even more of a lothario, and a condescending one at that. He addresses women like some Hugh Hefner parody from the 70s, calling them “dollface” and “gals”. (I can only assume, since this comes from Nocenti, that she simply thinks these are terms still in common use, since she has these words coming from the mouth of a young, uber-hip corporate mogul.) Nocenti also telegraphs all the plot’s punches. There’s literally nothing that happens in the comic that you won’t see coming from a mile off. As a matter of fact, my suspicion is that she even telegraphs stuff coming up in the next issue too, which I won’t buy to see if I was right.
I’m sorry to say that the art from Harvey Tolibao made me even less happy. It’s a HUGE step down from the estimable Dan Jurgens. His figures are misshapen, panels are jumbled and overcrowded, and linework is too uniform, making it difficult to discern fore- and background objects from one another. There’s one scene where the issue’s villains “reveal” their trickery, and the tiny panels are so confusing, I honestly couldn’t explain exactly what was revealed. It’s especially horrific considering if you saw it on the stands you would be immediately drawn to the gorgeous cover by Howard Porter, then open to see…this.
I really wanted to like this issue. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to hope to be coming home to a revamped GA, and find things worse off than before. For now, at least, I’ll have to wait and hope that someone at DC comes to their senses and does the right thing: either restore the Emerald Archer to glory, or put him out of our misery.
Recommendation: Avoid at all costs.