Review: Green Arrow #1 by J.T. Krul and Dan Jurgens

Green Arrow #1

Written by: J.T. Krul
Penciled by: Dan Jurgens
Inked by: George Perez
Lettering by: Rob Leigh
Colored by: David Baron

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note: This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

For years, Green Arrow sort of toiled in obscurity.  This has changed in recent years. He’s started to gain some attention after he appeared in Justice League Unlimited.  He even got a major role in Smallville the last few seasons.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt when big name “non-comic writers” like Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer wrote arcs of the comic.

I have been a Green Arrow fan for a long time. Grell’s Green Arrow stands as one of the best runs I’ve ever read in comics. But, it’s been clear to me for a long time that Green Arrow really needed an overhaul. The character has been bogged down the last few years, and I was definitely hoping that Relaunch would breathe some fresh life into him.  Come to think about it, that’s probably true of a lot of Marvel and DC’s older characters.

Summary (contains spoilers): Green Arrow #1 starts with a board meeting at Queen Industries. But the CEO seems to have little interest in attending this meeting. Oliver Queen is too busy tracking down three superpowered punks in France named Doppleganger, Dynamix, and Supercharge. The three of them have been posting videos of themselves on Youtube causing destruction, and Ollie has decided to put Queen Industries Q-Core division to work in helping him stop threats like this. Ollie tracks them down to a cruise ship, and uses a variety of trick arrows to take them all down.

Ollie returns home, and talks a little with his support team. It is clear that there is a lot of back story here that needs to be delved in to.

Meanwhile, back in Paris, Dynamix and Supercharge are broken out of jail by another group of young superpunks:

Review: I know the summary seemed a little quick, but that is what happens when a comic is pure action.  I think you guys would rather hear what I thought of the book instead of a detailed blow by blow.

I love the fact that this series started with an action-packed one and done issue. They even managed to give us quite a bit of development for the support cast.  I really want to know a lot more about Jax, Naomi, Adrien, and Emerson.  Not a bad achievement for a 22 page comic.  I definitely think I got more value for my buck here than I did from Justice League or Action Comics.

I thought it was pretty cool that they name dropped Waynetech, Lexcorp, and Holt Industries right on the first page. It definitely helped establish that all these books take place in the same universe. I am a big fan of things like that. Marvel used to be the king of that back in the day. I had mentioned in one of my columns on Relaunch that I hoped DC would do this, and it looks like they won’t be disappointing me there.

This is the first relaunch book I have read where the character has been so drastically changed. And it would have to be one of my favorite characters, Green Arrow.  Thankfully, it worked really well. This version of Green Arrow feels a bit like Robert Downey Jr from the Iron Man movies. A business man using tech to right wrongs in an attempt to make up for some tragedy in his past. I am definitely curious what Ollie is talking about in the scene below:

I do kind of miss Ollie’s old supporting cast, but I genuinely think this was the right way to go.

One thing I am curious about is how Doppleganger got her powers.  It is mentioned that it was caused by a drug.  This seemed like it might be important later on.  I definitely will be keeping an eye out for that in other Relaunch titles.

I also like that it seems they are using a lot of the ideas set up in the Flashpoint one-shot: Green Arrow Industries. This is a pretty good idea, and definitely helps provide a new take on the character. I really think a lot of the Relaunch books can use this as a model for what they should be doing. Modernize the character, create some new supporting cast, new villains, and give the reader a complete, satisfying story once a month.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the art. I have been a fan of Jurgens for years, and his talents were put to great use here. I love the way he draws Green Arrow’s new costume. It has a Conner Hawke feel to it. And all the trick arrows looked great. This whole comic was about showing off action and motion, and Jurgens captured that brilliantly. This was just an exciting comic from cover to cover. Err…figuratively speaking. Digital comics don’t really have covers…

I also loved the designs for Doppleganger, Dynamix, and Supercharge and the mysterious villain group that showed up in the end. They weren’t anything ground-breaking, but they looked great.

It was strange to see George Perez doing the inks, but it worked great. Grey told me that Jerry Ordway is on the next issue. Apparently, Green Arrow is just going to have comic legends do all the art chores. Works for me.

There really is nothing I can complain about in this one.  Green Arrow #1 is a terrific first issue and I can’t wait to see where this series goes from here.

Final Score: 9.0 –  I read comics for superhero action, and this was exactly what I got here. Loved the changes to the character. I definitely approve of this new version of Green Arrow.  Highly reccomended.

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