It’s an all-out prison riot, and with no “real” superheroes in sight, Oliver must face the Parasite with nothing but his quiver!
GREEN ARROW (2016) #41 “Better Than Part 1”
Writer: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Matthew Clark
Inks: Sean Parsons
Cover Artist: Tyler Kirkham & Arif Prianto; variant by Mike Grell
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letters: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC COMICS
What You’ll Find Out:
Oliver is asked by the Justice League to escort The Parasite to a court hearing due to the nature of Parasite’s abilities and Oliver’s lack of powers. Upon return, however, Parasite manages to absorb Mammoth’s powers and a full-on metahuman prison riot ensues, with only Ollie and a quiver full of trick arrows around to stop it.
What Just Happened?
A surprisingly solid effort from the temporary creative team, this issue focuses predominantly on what it takes to be a superhero, and in particular, a superhero without powers. In the wake of Oliver’s role in Justice League: No Justice, wherein Oliver was ultimately given a weapon that can stop the entire Justice League, it would appear that his involvement with the League, in general, is trending upwards. The writing was sharp in this issue, although the narrative still manages to bear all the markers of a filler arc that will clearly have no ramifications. While there are definitely reasons to be excited about the impending arrival of the Benson sister with #43, in a sense it is a shame that Scott won’t be given the opportunity to explore Green Arrow more deeply, as she clearly writes with an affinity for the spirit of Oliver Queen.
In terms of the artistic team, I felt like it was a solid showing as well. There was something about it, stylistically, which called back to the dominant styles of the previous decade in a decidedly good way. One critique, however, would be of the page layouts. Clearly intentional, every frame resists squareness. While that doesn’t bother me in and of itself, it didn’t seem to be in service to the narrative, but rather a stylistic choice by the art team. I did quite appreciate the use of the pencils as gutters on the page above, but again, it didn’t seem in service to the story, but rather style over substance (not a condemnation; just an observation).
Final Thought: A nice offering from a creative team I was unfamiliar with. Worth picking up as you wait for #43, but if you choose to pass it over, you won’t be worse for wear for missing it.
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