Review – Green Arrow #48: Total Vertigo

Comic Books DC This Week
Green Arrow #48 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Green Arrow #48 – Colin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, Writers; Javier Fernandez, Artist; John Kalisz, Colorist


Ray – 8.5/10

Corrina: Stylistic Art

Ray: After several short-run creative teams on this book, Green Arrow is ending in only two months with the anniversary issue as the characters head off in a new direction to be determined. But the final act of this title is looking promising as writing team Lanzing and Kelly return for a second arc with Green Arrow #48. After the mess of the previous arc, which tried to combine tie-ins with two events and a politically centered story, this arc is getting back to basics. Bringing in one of Green Arrow’s most iconic villains in Count Vertigo, it also firmly grounds the issue in the relationship between Ollie and Black Canary. Ollie is still in a rough place following all his personal setbacks – starting with his sister leaving town (which still hasn’t been fully explained) and ending with Roy’s death at Sanctuary. The dynamic between Dinah and Ollie as she tries to get him to cope in a healthier way feels genuine and lived-in, a rarity for superhero relationships.

Although Dinah and Ollie are mainly dealing with rioters and petty criminals at first (including one young woman who seems to view herself as a people’s alternative to superheroes), a much bigger threat is brewing. That would be Vertigo, who has taken advantage of his time in captivity to hone the power of his implant and turn himself from a routine illusionist to a reality-warping A-list threat. When he finally unleashes his powers, it’s one of the issue’s most visually impressive scenes and a great display of former Nightwing artist Fernandez’s skill. There’s also a great, ironic last page twist about what he’s actually going after. It’s a shame this title didn’t make Lanzing and Kelly the full-time writers earlier, because this is one of the better Green Arrow issues in some time. Whatever comes next for the characters, I hope Lanzing and Kelly are on board.

Count Vertigo rising. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: It is one of the better Green Arrow issues in a while, simply because the relationship between Dinah and Ollie feels layered and complicated, rather than just…there. Lanzing and Kelly had a good handle on Dinah in their terrific Gotham City Garage, so I’m not surprised by this, but, sadly, it’s probably too little, too late for the overall title. (Still, good issues at the end are preferable to bad issues.)

The Dinah/Ollie relationship problem goes back to when Ben Percy basically presented their relationship as a fait accompli, without any courtship or relationship arc. Otto Schmidt’s art definitely made Percy’s issues worth reading but I was never as pleased with them as Ray was.

But, back to this issue. Yes, this feels like two adults dealing with complications, especially grief. Bringing back Count Vertigo was an excellent choice because now the exterior plot can match their interior maelstrom. And the art team goes to town depicting these sequences, so I’m not sure what is up or down or sideways. (Incidentally, this is like, the fourth issue this week where the main characters have trouble telling reality from illusion.)

Gail Simone, who wrote Birds of Prey run in which Dinah thrived, was teasing a revival for that title on Twitter this week, by mentioning the Birds, and asking what creative team would be good on that series. So…maybe we’ll see Dinah there when this is all said and done.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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