Green Arrow #2
FAR FROM HOME
Green Arrow is alive…but where the hell is he?! That’s what Roy Harper and Black Canary want to know, and their search takes them into the bowels of Belle Reve. But they’d better hurry—the stranded Oliver Queen and another lost member of the Green Arrow family are both being hunted by a brand-new villain called…Troublemaker.
It’s part two of Green Arrow’s return following the events of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Ollie and Lian are still trapped on whatever world they’ve been stranded on as they search for their way home. Meanwhile, back on Prime Earth, the rest of the Arrow family are searching for clues on Waller’s whereabouts since the War for Earth 3 ended and how to get Ollie and Lian back home safe and sound. We also get the return of one of Ollie’s oldest foes, a brand new one named Troublemaker: all this, plus the return of Peacemaker & his female counterpart, Peacewrecker. So let’s get to things…
The issue takes place immediately after the last issue, and Williamson and Izaakse are trying to pump as much plot as they can into the case, making the story’s pace a bit wonky. The story’s also a bit heavy on the sci-fi side of things, which Ollie usually tackles with the Justice League, while his titles deal with more real-world, grounded tropes. It’s not that it doesn’t work here; it’s just not what we’ve become accustomed to since Ollie was transformed into his everyman persona in the Mike Grell era.
After two issues into the mini, it is still unclear what the team wants with Waller and her connection to Ollie and Lian’s whereabouts. Waller’s always a great addition when including that corrupt government agency, but why are they looking for her? Williamson’s take on the rest of the cast also feels slightly off. It’s unclear if Williamson knows who these characters are, other than on a superficial and surface level, which is a disservice to the cast and the fans. It’s still been years since Ollie and the rest of the Arrow family in their own book, but this reader is in for the long haul, but what is being given of these characters so far just isn’t hitting their marks here.
It’s not to say there aren’t things that are enjoyable because that would be a lie. The reintroduction of Lia and seeing her slowly reintegrate into her family has been a treat; even if it’s just a tease at this moment, it’s coming. Ram V did an absolutely phenomenal job carving this new role for Lian as the Cheshire Cat, paying homage to her mother, the femme fatale Cheshire, who is one of the deadliest women in the DCU, and Williamson is trying to build on that, but his voice for Lian isn’t as strong as V’s was. Hopefully, he gets her a little more by the time this mini is finished.
Sean Izaakse is on art, and it’s truly the highest point of this mini thus far. A fan of Sean’s since the last volume of Uncanny Avengers, I followed him to Avengers: No Surrender, then to the Fantastic Four; he has become a favorite artist during Slott’s run, up there with R.B. Silva. Especially that two-parter where Ben and Alicia were on their honeymoon, Ben went toe-to-toe with The Hulk. While Slott’s run was polarizing, it was enjoyable. Izaakse’s take on Ollie, Dinah, and the rest of the gang is just a lot of fun to read. Especially when Ollie and Lian are in a space bar, meeting a fat cat crime boss looking for someone to take out Ollie for doing what Ollie does: get on crime bosses nerves. Just a really fun scene. After this series, one can hope to see Sean on a regular title that’ll take advantage of his talents.
Williamson’s giving us a serviceable mini, but he’s trying to throw in everything and the kitchen sink into the plot that it’s starting to become a bit of a drain on the flow of the book. On top of the plot, we’re also dealing with a cast that is too bloated to get any kind of significant character development here, and the characters and fans are the ones suffering for it. Fortunately Sean Izaakse’s art has helped me overlook some things, but if Williamson can’t pull this together, I fear Ollie’s first solo in six years will be a bust.
Green Arrow #2: We are family. I’ve got all my Arrows with me…
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 7.5/107.5/10