Review: Green Arrow #4 by Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens, & George Perez

Green Arrow #4

Written by: Keith Giffen & Dan Jurgens
Pencilled by: Dan Jurgens
Inked by: George Perez
Colored by: Richard Horie & Tanya Horie
Lettering by:

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

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

When I first saw this cover, I actually thought that was Shado on the cover, so I was a little disappointed when I saw that it was a new character named Blood Rose instead. Shado has been one of my favorite Green Arrow characters since The Longbow Hunters, and it’s a shame she kind of has been lost in obscurity. Real nerd alert: in City of Heroes, I actually made a really good version of Shado. As you may have noticed, I’m a huge fan of Mike Grell’s work.

Summary (contains spoilers): The comic starts with Green Arrow stopping some thugs who call themselves the Street Knights from mugging a woman. It’s quickly very clear that this is a setup, as the victim joins in the attack. Ollie quickly puts them all down, but weird markings on their face (acid-etched circuitry) start to glow and fake muggers and victim alike all start to burn up. Ollie reaches out to his tech team to see if there have been any other incidents similar to this one.

Ollie returns to the office, where he deals with some Q-Core business, and tries to see if they can get into the video game industry in order to better field test his Green Arrow equipment in a virtual reality setting before it goes out in the field.

Down at the waterfront, we see some supervillains (one one them is Blood Rose from the cover) plotting in secret. These guys seem to have a lot of interest in Green Arrow and Q-Corp. The story goes out of the way to point out the villains don’t think there is a connection between the two (which I thought read a little clunky):

In particular, they are looking to kill Ollie. You know…villains looking to kill superheroes in their civilian identity has really been a theme in DC Relaunch. Ollie, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Batwing, Mister Terrific have all had this problem. I wonder if this is an odd coincidence, or is that intentional on DC’s part.

Ollie ends up working late at the office, and as he starts to head out, Blood Rose arrives and opens fires on him. We find out that she is working with a mysterious figure named Midas, and seems to have some kind of connection to Ollie’s past, though he doesn’t recognize her. Ollie gets his tech team to activate the sprinklers to cause some confusion. Ollie manages to make is way to a hidden stash of his Green Arrow costume and  gear hidden outside. Green Arrow returns, and the two of them fight it out. She seems to run out of ammo, but then starts to exhibit some super strength, hitting Ollie with an entire wooden loading bay. When he returns to his feet, she is already gone.

Review: Like I said when I reviewed the first issue, a lot of the downtime scenes really remind me of the movie version of Tony Stark more than any version of Ollie Queen I have ever read, but I think it works really well. The scenes in Q-Core really help to ground Green Arrow, and really balance the character out. It definitely has a Silver Age feel to it, with the hero’s personal life constantly butting heads with their superhero life. Giffen and Jergens really have a great ear for dialogue, and I thought these scenes worked really well.

Really loved the fight scene between Blood Rose and Green Arrow. Was it realistic? Of course not, but it really was just what I like to see in a superhero comic book fight! The action was clear, fast moving, and balanced. I have always liked Jurgens’ art, and he’s put those talents to great use on Green Arrow:

I especially like that George Perez is inking this book. Who knew that Jurgens and Perez could make one hell of an art team!

I liked the set up here for this Midas storyline, and at the same time, I really felt like I got a complete comic here. Honestly, I didn’t think JT Krul was doing a bad job on this book, but I do like Giffen and Jurgens quite a bit, and they seemed to pick up right from where Krul left off without any drastic changes. I think this is the first Relaunch book I am reading with a creative team change, and if I didn’t pay attention to the credits, I wouldn’t have noticed. That is how smooth this transition was. I really hope that as we see more creative team shifts in the New 52 that they all go this smoothly.

I doubt it is, but I am really hoping that Blood Rose’s past with Ollie ties in to Shado.  She really does look a lot like her.

All in all, this was a really good comic. The story did feel a little safe, like it was something we’ve seen many times before with a mysterious villain with a secret past tied to the hero, but the execution was spot on. Personally, I would rather read a comic that managed that then something that strives for innovative and falls flat in the execution. See my review of Voltron for more details on that. This comic might slip under some people’s radars; it is not new 52’s flashiest or most original title, but it’s definitely one of my favorites!

Final Score: 8.5 Just a really solid comic book story. Great characterization, perfect pacing, and really clean attractive art. I doubt this issue will end up on anyone’s Comic Of The Year list, but I liked it a lot.

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