Compassion vs. Selfishness in Green Arrow Annual 1

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: Early in Green Arrow Annual 1, Oliver says that “on Christmas everything turns out exactly as it should.” It’s a nice sentiment, but that’s exactly what it is — sentiment. The world doesn’t magically change just because it’s a holiday, and holidays can, in fact, be very depressing times for many people. If Christmas is a special time, it’s because people make it that way, and the desire to do so is the clear line that divides Green Arrow and Count Vertigo. Continue reading

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Green Arrow 34

green arrow 34

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Green Arrow 34, originally released August 6th, 2014.

Spencer: Eighteen months ago, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino began their run on Green Arrow, which had been a meandering, mediocre title ever since the New 52 relaunch. Lemire and Sorrentino arrived with a distinct style and a strong, specific vision, quickly transforming the title into one worth paying attention to. Now — with the exception of next month’s Futures End tie-in — their run has drawn to a close, and more than ever it’s apparent how much effort the creative team has put into rehabilitating Green Arrow. Issue 34 gives the conflict between Ollie and Richard Dragon a happy ending, but it also lays bare Lemire and Sorrentino’s strategy for creating a compelling superhero comic. Continue reading

Green Arrow 33

green arrow 33Today, Spencer and Shelby are discussing Green Arrow 33, originally released July 2nd, 2014.

Spencer: Despite being the title character, throughout Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s run on Green Arrow Oliver Queen has largely been a pawn, pushed back and forth by businessmen, various factions of the mysterious Outsiders, and even members of his own family (or sometimes all three!), all trying to use him for their own means. After declaring his independence from the Outsiders, though, Oliver Queen has moved to the front-and-center of his book — as Richard Dragon says, they’re both kings now. There’s still a massive focus on the supporting cast, of course, but now Lemire is using the supporting cast to teach us more about Ollie. I don’t necessarily understand every revelation, but it’s still a refreshing change of pace. Continue reading

Green Arrow 30

 

green arrow 30Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Green Arrow 30, originally released April 2nd, 2014.

Shelby: Because I like to stay on top of pop culture trends, I recently discovered the TV series Legend of the Seeker. It’s a pretty straight-forward magic-based fantasy, based on Terry Goodkind’s series The Sword of Truth. You know, right up my alley. Anyway, there are two groups of magical women in this universe: Confessors and Mord-Sith. The Confessors’ power is based on love and truth; they can see when someone is lying, and as a last resort force them to tell the truth by causing people to fall desperately in love with them. The Mord-Sith, however, get their power from hate; all love, kindness, and compassion is burned out of them from youth until all they know is how to cause pain and hatred. While neither situation is ideal, it’s made clear that the love for a Confessor can elicit positive change in a person, whereas “training” from a Mord-Sith can only breed more hate. So, what do you get when someone is motivated by both love AND hate? By quiet dignity and unbelievable cruelty? Maybe we should ask Green Arrow.

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Green Arrow 24

green arrow 24Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Green Arrow 24, originally released October 2nd, 2013.

Spencer: Perspective is an amazing thing. Things that look small or large from far away end up being the exact opposite. Some items, when viewed from another angle, reveal surprising secrets. Even as a more metaphorical idea, perspective is pretty great; when I have trouble writing these reviews, sometimes I need to take a step back from the issue at hand, look at it from an entirely new perspective, and then I’ll find the angle I need. In Green Arrow 24, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino play with both forms of perspective as Shado takes on Richard Dragon and Ollie faces down Count Vertigo. Continue reading

Green Arrow 23.1: Count Vertigo

green arrow 23.1 vertigo

Today, Shelby and guest writer Zach are discussing Green Arrow 23.1: Count Vertigo, originally released September 4th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

villain div

ShelbyJust what makes a villain? Are villains people (super-powered or otherwise) who tried to do right but realized doing wrong was faster and easier? Were they denied something in their life, and have decided to get it back no matter what it takes? Are they just huge assholes? As DC rolls out Villains Month, I suspect we’ll be asking ourselves these questions over and over. This month, I’m hoping to get some deeper insight into the role of the villain, as well as the origins of the villains our heroes encounter every month. Also, I want some depredation and cruelty, because what’s the point of a month of villains only without depredation and cruelty? Happily, Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Marcelo Maiolo give me exactly what I want, kicking of Viillains Month with a dizzying bang. Continue reading

Green Arrow 23

Alternating Currents: Green Arrow 23, Drew and Mikyzptlk

Today, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Arrow 23, originally released August 7th, 2013.

Drew:  Last month, Count Vertigo articulated exactly why he’s such a perfect match for Green Arrow — Ollie needs to aim, while Vertigo stymies perception of space and motion. Ollie’s life has been such a mess recently, it’s easy to forget that archery is inherently very ordered. Even the quickest shot requires some pre-planning, some careful thought. In this way, the relationship between Green Arrow and Count Vertigo is one between order and chaos, a theme writer Jeff Lemire blows up in issue 23, as just about everyone has their plans upended. Continue reading

Green Arrow 22

green arrow 22

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Green Arrow 22, originally released July 3rd, 2013.

Shelby:  Last night I was hanging out with friend and fellow writer Taylor; we’re going to the steampunk weekend at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, and we needed to spend some time crafting toy guns into steampunk weaponry. After adding some gears and coils to the rubber band shooter he’s going to use, Taylor started to play around with some copper wire, but ultimately decided to keep it simple with what he already had. It’s easy to give in to the temptation to add more stuff to a craft project because you can, but it’s important to know when something is finished, to keep things simple instead of cluttering your project with unnecessary extras. Jeff Lemire is the king of keeping things simple; his books may not have a lot going on, story-wise, but he definitely knows how to use simplicity to let a book shine.

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