Green Arrow Rebirth #1
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist & Colourist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Editor: Andy Khouri
A review by Amelia Wellman
I want to preface this review with some honesty: I have never read a Green Arrow comic before. My knowledge of him stretched as far as his hair colour, his choice of weapons, his relationship with Black Canary, and that his shtick seemed awfully close to Batman’s. Am I not the perfect guinea pig for Green Arrow Rebirth #1 or what?
Something very sinister is happening below the streets of Seattle. Missing people cases are rolling in as homeless women and children are being abducted off the streets. Green Arrow and Black Canary (together again for the first time) work together to investigate these kidnappings.
I knew enough about Green Arrow to know that his back story includes him being a trustfund douchebag. I was worried this comic would take me all the way back and I’d have to see him in his d-bag glory, but Green Arrow Rebirth #1 features an older Green Arrow. He knows what he was but he knows now that he’s someone different. He’s a straight up social justice warrior! He uses his money to fund community projects like Batman, but he’s more vocal about it. Black Canary comments at one point that he’s ‘against elitism, racism, cronyism, conservatism, any-isms, all the-isms’.
The actual story of this first issue is creepy, and fairly dark. It deals with human trafficking in an inhuman network. It had my stomach roiling as I watched the mysterious villains talk about how little these lives meant to the world that they could just be snatched off the street and no one would care. The pacing is perfect and the dialogue and interaction between Green Arrow and Black Canary really made the bits that lacked action still feel full and important.
Hands down my favourite part of Green Arrow Rebirth #1 was Schmidt’s amazing artwork. Having done both the artwork and colouring there’s an astounding sense of unity throughout. The art is jagged lines, rough shapes, and blotches of colours that create something shadowy and hectic but also beautiful and authentic. A lot of mainstream comic book art is so crisp and clean that it comes off rigid. It’s hard to empathize with a character if they’re perfect and glossy. That’s not the case with Green Arrow Rebirth #1. The sketch-like quality to the artwork is animated, but the character’s expressiveness is so human. So much is learned through Black Canary smiling or Green Arrow furrowing his brow. I didn’t know these characters before, but I know them now, almost intimately, just from the artwork. That’s an impressive feat to accomplish.
Buy It! If you’re like me and have never read a Green Arrow comic, Green Arrow Rebirth #1 is absolutely the place to start! It gives enough background information for new readers to feel comfortable with the mythology but, at the same time, it’s not too much that veteran fans of the hero will feel like it’s nothing but rehashed information they’ve already read a thousand times. A big story is promised within this first issue and I think Percy’s jaunty writing and understanding of the characters, and Schmidt’s amazing artwork will deliver it perfectly!