Green Arrow Rebirth #1 Review

Posted June 1, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Ben Percy

Art by: Otto Schmidt

Publisher: DC

It feels good to have the old Oliver Queen back. Aside from Lemire and Sorrentino’s run on the character, which was phenomenal, but brief, The New 52 was not kind to this character. Based solely off of this issue, it seems that Rebirth will do the opposite. The Oliver Queen of this issue isn’t the whiny idiot from the TV show, nor is he the stand-in we’ve had to deal with for the majority of the past four years of comics. The beard is back, the politics are back, the light-heartedness is back, and perhaps most importantly, Black Canary is back.

So yeah, it’s safe to say that I loved this issue. It sets up two interesting stories, that are likely to be explored simultaneously in the main book. The plot in this issue isn’t just throwaway, instead, it’s used as a vessel for character development. It’s something that Percy could drop when his run on the character truly starts, though in this case, I kind of hope he doesn’t. Anyways, the plot seems designed solely to set up the character dynamic between Oliver and Dinah. Of course, they aren’t back to their pre-New 52 status quo quite yet, but this issue puts them on that path. Seeing that is pretty awesome.

To be fair, this issue does have faults. I do think that some of the writing, both dialogue and monologue, is a little bit clunky, and there’s a fair bit of exposition. For new readers, some of this will be necessary. The book is designed to ensure that everyone understands exactly what’s going on, and so the writing can feel a bit forced. This seems like the type of problem that will be weeded out after another issue or two, but for now, it’s a glaring fault on what is an otherwise excellent book.

Otto Schmidt continues the trend of this book doing excellent things with his art and colors. The colors are especially important to this issue, as they create a strong visual juxtaposition between the two sides of Oliver’s life. It’s not exactly the deepest stylistic device, but it seems absolutely necessary to help the reader better understand Oliver Queen as a character. The colors also lend themselves well to an excellent portrayal of Dinah’s scream.

The colors aren’t the only element of the art that Schmidt gets right. His pencils create a strong visual style, and all of the characters look great. It’s also nice to see DC allowing artists to move away from the “house style” a little bit. The art here isn’t wildly different from the rest of DC’s line up, but it’s just different enough that it helps to give the line of Rebirth titles a genuinely interesting visual palette.

Green Arrow Rebirth #1 is a great issue, both for new readers and those returning to DC. It sets up the start of Percy’s run quite well, and introduces (or re-introduces, depending on how much Green Arrow you’ve read) legitimately interesting characters. Oh, and it’s also nice to know that Emiko is still around! I kind of assume that she’d been written out after I dropped the book, and she wouldn’t be around for Rebirth, but just knowing she still exists is awesome.

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.