Review – ‘Green Arrow #42:’ Prison Break

DC This Week
Green Arrow Variant Cover. Image via DC Comics

Green Arrow – Mairghread Scott, Writer; Matthew Clark, Penciller; Sean Parsons, Inker; Jason Wright, Colorist

Ray – 7.5/10

Ray: This short arc is sort of way station for both writer and character, as Mairghread Scott is headed off to take over as the main writer on Batgirl in a month, while the Benson sisters have already made their debut on Green Arrow with the recent annual and are jumping on the regular series with next issue. That doesn’t stop this arc, set inside a specialized metahuman prison during a riot and breakout, from being a pretty solid Green Arrow story. When we last left off, Green Arrow transported Parasite to the prison to await trial, but was shocked by the conditions the mutated criminal was going to be held in. When he expressed these concerns to the warden, he was essentially mocked and belittled – but those concerns were borne out when things went south at the prison and Parasite charged himself up for an escape. This issue takes place almost entirely in the tunnels under the prison, as Green Arrow tries to avoid being caught by the increasingly unstable Parasite and makes an effort to talk him down so he can get help.

Green Arrow vs the Very Hungry Parasite. Image via DC Comics.

It’s a good look at vintage Green Arrow, when he was as much a social justice crusader as he was a masked superhero. I don’t know if the execution does it quite as much justice as it could with only two issues to work with, though. I would have been up for a full arc of Green Arrow exposing corruption within the metahuman prison complex and business, but it seems like the majority of the story here is to do with reigning in Parasite despite his sympathy for him. Interestingly, this is the New 52 Parasite, who was all but forgotten until now, and he was distinctly more of a victim than the earlier version. Matthew Clark’s art is a big part of why this issue is a success, as he manages to draw Parasite well whether he’s a grotesque-but-harmless shrunken wreck, or a monstrous, hulked-up threat. The scenes where he appears out of the darkness are often scarier than anything in Nightwing this week. There’s a lot of promise here, but it ends on ambiguous note – as stories about social injustice have to, I suppose. I’m looking forward to seeing what Scott does with a bigger run on Batgirl soon.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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