Green Arrow #39 – Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Writers; Marcio Takara, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Corrina: A Baffling Choice of Subject
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The second Lanzing/Kelly issue of the week, Green Arrow #39 picks up on a story from before Rebirth, oddly – a Deathstroke annual from the previous series, in which Deathstroke overthrew a foreign country’s government and left chaos in his wake. As the pre-Priest Deathstroke went, it was a decent story, although it didn’t leave much of an impression long-term and makes an odd choice for a years-later follow-up in a different title. The country of Rhapastan has been caught up in civil war ever since, and Oliver Queen has decided to make the most of his fresh start by flying in to deliver aid, with the help of his close friend Jonesy who has never been mentioned before. Sure enough, Jonesy winds up dead via RPG fire pages into the issue, and Ollie winds up stranded in a hostile country with no interest in help from self-righteous foreigners. It’s interesting to see Oliver off-balance like this, as he learns even his best intentions may not be enough.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the setup of the situation in Rhapastan really works as well as the writers hoped. The place is so relentlessly hopeless that it almost feels like a parody at times. The adults live in squalor and perpetual violence, while the kids have all gone missing. Despite being put off from the search by almost everyone he meets, Ollie pushes on, and eventually finds out that the place is now run by a warlord named Nothing – who seems to be a kid himself, and has an army of child soldiers behind him. There are a few exciting scenes, but Ollie seems overtly naive here give what he was through in the previous run. That, plus the lack of any references to the previous run beyond one line about “the trial” makes me wonder if this was an “evergreen” inventory story. It’s perfectly readable, but it’s trying for a lot of the same social commentary as Priest’s Justice League and Deathstroke. It’s just not nearly as smooth about it.
Corrina: After Percy’s run, in which I complained that Ollie seemed to make dumb decisions in order to suit the plot, this issue features an Oliver Queen who decides to do something rash, without a plan, and without thinking through the methods where he might help, rather than hurt.
That’s a long-winded way of my saying that Oliver Queen is a dumbass this issue. That seems intentional and yet, my reaction isn’t to feel bad for him but to want him to step back and help these people solve their own problems, rather than jumping in as their instant savior. That may be the lesson Oliver learns but I’m more interested in seeing these people solve their own problems.
So, after heaping praise on Lanzing and Kelly for their other recent DC work, I have to say that this was a misfire for me.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.