Green Arrow #2 Review

Posted July 6, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Ben Percy

Art by: Otto Schmidt

Publisher: DC Comics

With DC’s Rebirth, Green Arrow was one of the books that benefited the most. Outside of a brief period of greatness in The New 52, Oliver Queen hasn’t had it so great over the past five years. So, when the Rebirth one shot and the first issue of the series proper dropped, it felt especially good to be reading Green Arrow comics. Fortunately, Green Arrow #2 continues the trend of this being one of Rebirth’s strongest titles so far.

First and foremost, and I know I’ve said this before, I have no idea how I didn’t know about Otto Schmidt before this book. His art is absolutely stunning – walking the line between DC’s house style and and the more cartoon inspired style of books like Gotham Academy. Among the new line of DC books, it’s wholly unique, and that’s something worth pointing out. And I should say, I don’t mean that as a knock against the rest of the line. It’s just difficult for them to keep up when Schmidt has quickly become, at least in my eyes, one of the best artists in the business.

Part of it could be the fact that he does his own colors (and presumably inks, but there isn’t a credit for that in the issue). What this means is that the artistic vision of the book is very consistent with itself. Everything is in line with Schmidt’s style, and the aesthetic of Green Arrow is just incredible. In this particular issue, he’s also given the chance to do some cool things with the layouts of certain pages and panels. There’s nothing quite as crazy here as someone like Andrea Sorrentino would go for, but I’m still a sucker for artists playing with the structure of panels.

As for the writing, while, Percy is still doing a pretty good job. I feel like the pacing is a bit odd in this issue – a lot happens in the span of 20 or so pages. It is difficult to critique the pacing of something that’s serialized based on a single installment, but it does feel like the plot may be moving at too brisk a pace.

But, as with the first two issues of the story, it’s really the characters that provide the emotional core here. This is the first time in this series that Percy has had the three main characters relatively on their own, and, as it turns out, there’s more to them than just the relationships they have with one another. Some of the dialogue can be a little clunky, but I’m willing to overlook most of it considering how well Percy seems to understand the characters. He nails their individual voices, even as they all struggle to deal with a rapidly changed status quo.

Overall, I don’t think Green Arrow #2 is quite as strong as the issues that preceded it. That being said, reaching the heights of those two issues was a high bar, so the act that this issue even gets close is enough for me. It’s still not too late to jump onboard, and honestly, I really think you should. Between Otto Shcmidt’s incredible visual style and Ben Percy’s character work, this could very well become one of the greatest runs on Green Arrow we’ve ever seen.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.