Green Arrow #41 – Mairghread Scott, Writer; Matthew Clark, Penciller; Sean Parsons, Inker; Jason Wright, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Ollie Fights Alone and It’s Great
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Before the Bensons (who had their Green Arrow debut in last week’s annual) take over this title, it’s time for a two-issue story, starting in Green Arrow #41, by up-and-coming writer Mairghread Scott, who is taking over Batgirl in a few issues. With the series in between big stories, Scott takes a minimalist approach to her Green Arrow story, paring back the supporting cast and focusing solely on Ollie in a tense, intimate story that pits him against an army of supervillains. As the issue begins, he’s been called in on a Justice League mission to supervise a villain transfer from prison to trial. That villain? The Parasite, which explains why the League sent one of their non-powered heroes, so he wouldn’t have anything to leech off. As soon as Ollie arrives – with some pointed commentary about the prison system – he’s met with hostility from the guards and warden, who don’t trust outside intervention. What’s more, Parasite doesn’t seem like the big threat he usually is – he seems scared of something or someone.
He instantly panics when faced with other supervillains, and the dim-but-strong villain Mammoth makes the mistake of spitting on him – which gives him the contact with the DNA he needs to absorb his powers. Parasite turns into a super-strong hulk, and the issue is on as he rampages through the prison, escaping and freeing all the other inmates in the process. In some ways, this feels more like a Suicide Squad issue than a Green Arrow issue, with a focus on the prison system and an outgunned hero. Ollie goes up against a full horde of villains, including his own rogue Count Vertigo and obscure Batman villain Doctor Phosphorous, but most of them just get a brief appearance. Next issue’s actual fight with Parasite, where the follow-up to the hints we got about what’s wrong with him will play out. It’s an intriguing setup to a short story, but it wastes little time jumping into the chaotic action, and as such doesn’t make the impression it otherwise could with a stronger narrative about the supervillain prison system.
Corrina: This was my favorite Green Arrow story in some time. Why?
Oliver Queen, liberal bleeding heart? Check, with the added bonus of Ollie’s political views being absolutely relevant to this story. They do not read as if they are needlessly inserted, a mistake made by many GA writers.
Oliver Queen against villains he has no business fighting? Check! Green Arrow works well as an underdog and it’s a treat to see him go up against a plethora of villains who underestimate him. He wins in his own way, though not without a few setbacks. These fight sequences read as if they could have been an episode of Justice League Unlimited, and I mean that as a compliment because JLU Ollie is terrific.
Ollie, with a sense of humor about his skills and his odds? Check. Ollie’s saving grace has always been that he recognizes his limitations, while always finding ways to, if not win, at least escape death. He does that here, with style.
Looking forward not only to the conclusion but, now, I’m also psyched for Scott’s Batgirl.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.