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Green Arrow #19

Written by Jeff Lemire

Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Colors by Marcelo Maiolo

Review by Adam Shaw


Issue #19 of Green Arrow is Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s third at bat with the series. They continue to get runners on base this month, but not all them make it around to home.* This is a great issue, and I enjoyed reading, but it’s not without its flaws.

Just like the previous issue this one opens up with Oliver Queen wandering through the Arizona desert. We only get two pages in before we are brought back to the events of three weeks ago (just like last issue). I’m pretty sure this is Lemire’s intentions, but I’m a bit curious as to what is going on in Arizona, and why the Magus sent Ollie there. To quote Ollie, “I want answers, dammit!”

Cryptic desert openings aside, issue #19 drops us right back in the action with the rest of the issue pretty much focusing on the fight between Komodo and Green Arrow. Sorrentino lends his talents to help create some fairly high paced action sequences; it helps to really show that Komodo is pushing Oliver to his limits and forcing him to make small, but costly mistakes. My main gripe with the pacing is that it occasionally slows down, because there can tend to be a little too much dialog or description of what is going on. A minor complaint, and one that doesn’t force me to hold any grudges, because it forces to me look at the beautiful art just a little longer.

I would have liked to see the story progress a little more. I’m anxious to find out what’s going on in Arizona. Since it is obvious that Ollie is still alive in three weeks, some of the suspense is taken away from the battle with Komodo. Lemire does give us a nice reveal mid-issue that helps tie Komodo into Oliver’s past and to the events that helped to shape him. It’s a reveal that re-motivates Ollie to keep on fighting and not give up. That’s a theme we see throughout this issue. Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, doesn’t roll over, and will fight to the last. Either through Ollie’s thoughts or the dialog Lemire reinforces this idea. I would’ve liked to have seen a little less of the thought bubbles during the battle, as Sorrentino is more than capable to convey the determination of Green Arrow in his art.

Before I wrap up, I just want to mention that I am liking the character Emiko (despite her somewhat cliché Japanese name). She’s like a Hit-Girl trained in archery. She’s viscious, and frankly I find her a little frightening.

The Verdict

Buy It. Despite my minor gripes with the pacing, Green Arrow #19 is another fun romp from Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. This series is quickly becoming one of my more anticipated titles each month, and is moving closer to the top of my “to read” stack with each issue.


*If you aren’t a big sports fan, then I apologize for the possibly alienating metaphor. My boy Yu Darvish pitched a hell of a game the other day, and I got baseball on my mind.

3 Responses

  1. thisjohnd

    You know, the one thing I didn’t like about this issue was that reveal, which of course is spoiled on the fold-out cover. I think it’s just become too easy to tie the current villain of a superhero into some traumatic event in his/her life just to up the stakes. It’s like Joker being the one to kill Batman’s parents in the Batman movie. Joker can just be a villain that Batman needs to stop. You don’t need that tie in to his parents. Same thing with Green Arrow. I admire that Lemire is trying to create new arch-nemeses for Green Arrow but I think he’s building up Komodo too much. Everyone afterward is going to feel a bit less significant.

  2. Adam Shaw

    I read digitally, so the full fold out cover was at the end of the issue. Kind of weird.
    Although, you make a pretty valid point, John (can I call you John?). Hopefully Lemire finds a way to make the future rogues feel significant in their own way. I hadn’t really given that much thought.

    • thisjohnd

      Well I would hope that you would call me John, though if I had known I could be called something else I would have come up with a better pseudonym.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying Green Arrow. There are certain tropes in comics I’ve just come to accept, and having the villain be part of the major life-changing event in the hero’s life is just one of them. But to that same point, Komodo only says that he killed Ollie’s father. That might not be true, so there’s that to consider. I’m actually hoping that Emiko becomes a villain in the future because she seems like the real threat here.

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