Green Arrow #33 Review

The recent news on the departure of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino is surely disappointing. They have developed the characters so well in the past 16 issues. The creators have taken one of DC’s sloppiest books of the New 52 and turned it into one of their best.

Green Arrow #33 pits the titular hero and his half-sister, Emiko, against a team of villains recruited by Richard Dragon so that they are no longer in his path for total control over Seattle. We flip back to four years ago to a broken Oliver Queen after the loss of his mother presenting how he has been able to overcome so much. This issue presents (which is also very prevalent in this run) Queen’s need for his team and how Green Arrow isn’t just solo hero.

Jeff Lemire consistently creates a tense environment where the worst possibility feels like a probability. It seems as though at any given time a character can die; something he hasn’t shied away from in his run. The villains feel so intimidating and he makes D-list villains seem like legitimate threats. When we cut to the past, we see a struggling alliance between a Green Arrow who has given up and his teammate Diggle. It provides a strong dynamic with the supporting cast as it presents not only how important the characters are to the protagonist, but how they help him develop as a hero throughout the story.

Andrea Sorrentino’s art is the strongest part of the issue. His heavy use of shadows creates a serious mood and brings a strong sense of grittiness. The action pieces are phenomenal. They have a strong sense of fluidity making them seem vital to the plot rather than a required trope of the genre. The way he plays with panels is brilliant. Having a panel within a panel to call attention to something that’s minuscule portrays significance without having to waste space or rub the reader’s nose in something that can be subtler. Sorrentino allows you to experience Green Arrow’s mental state when it’s being altered through sections of the art drifting off into pieces, creating a strong disjunct quality.

The only gripe I can muster is that the colorist switches for a few panels which makes one of the pages look awkward. The colors are sharper and the characters are less textured. It’s very noticeable on the page, but a speck in the overall comic.

Green Arrow #33 is another expertly crafted issue. Powerful story and exceptional art help to build to a grand finale. I can’t wait to see how Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino complete their run on the book in two months.