Green Arrow Vol. 1: Life and Death of Oliver Queen
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artists: Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra
Letterer: Nate Piekos
A review by Stephanie Cooke
This was everything I’ve wanted a Green Arrow comic to be. I’ve been a fan of the character pre-dating Arrow but fell off of following him during the DC New 52, save for a little toe dip into Jeff Lemire’s pool. The character didn’t feel like Ollie to me and while the writing was good, it didn’t draw me into it as a fan.
I was hesitant to come to this Green Arrow, fearing the same sort of thing but a mere few pages in, I was 100% into it. The story by Benjamin Percy feels very much like a story about Ollie to me. It’s definitely feels a little bit influenced by Arrow at first but grows into its own thing and brings back the character to what I was previously used to. Change for a character isn’t bad or anything but it just wasn’t my cup of tea and this version coming out of Rebirth thankfully made me grateful the latest reboot happened.
As great as Percy’s story is, the real draw of the book (no pun intended) is the art by Otto Schmidt. Oh. My. God. The art is just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I don’t usually spend a lot of time at the back of the book enjoying the “bonus content” but Schmidt’s concept designs for the characters were such a treat to behold. Ughhhhhh, SO GOOD.
Juan Ferreyra does covers for the series and then winds up doing the interiors for a couple of issues. It’s hard to really, truly enjoy Ferreyra’s beautiful line work and colours after Ollo Schmidt’s clean and animated pages but they’re amazing nonetheless and shouldn’t be left out of the discussion. It’s a strange switch up but the artists compliment each other well going back and forth on the series and while I always wish for consistent artwork, if you’re going to get fill in artists, you hope it’s someone like Ferreyra. But again, Ferreyra’s art would be much better served on its own and I’m sure that there are plenty more books that will be featuring exactly that in the coming months.
Without spoiling any parts of the story for you, I just want to say that I was SO HAPPY for the reappearance of Dinah Lance in Ollie’s life. I have been THIRSTING for that romance again and Dinah aka Black Canary has arguably never looked as good as she does with Otto Schmidt bringing her to life. She isn’t a sidekick to Ollie, she is an equal who is more than capable of getting shit done in her own way. I’m so happy to see her properly back in the Arrowverse here.
Buy it! I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume of Green Arrow to come out of DC’s Rebirth. While I don’t think I’ll follow along issue to issue, the trade was worth picking up and contained lots of interesting bonus content to enjoy. As mentioned, Schmidt’s concept art was an absolute treat and I think the book as a complete package will definitely feel like a good investment for your bookshelves.
Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Life and Death of Oliver Queen is out on January 10, 2017.