Green Arrow Rebirth #1
Story by Benjamin Percy
Art and Color by Otto Schmidt
Lettering by Nate Piekos of Blambot®
Review by Joey Braccino
“You don’t know a thing about me.”
The goatee returns in Green Arrow Rebirth #1!!! Really though, there’s a lot more “returning” in this action-packed issue from Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt, which focuses on a team-up between our titular Green Arrow and the Black Canary herself, Dinah Lance. If that and the aforementioned goatee aren’t enough to get you in for at least this Rebirth issue, then I don’t know what will.
We open with Oliver Queen’s “day” job in Seattle, which essentially boils down to fancy brunches with fancy ladies and flashing hundred dollar bills when he can. He gives one such hundred to a homeless mother and son on his way out of the restaurant. After Ollie walks away, the mother is abducted by strange creatures off-panel. Hard cut to Oliver Queen’s “night” job as the Green Arrow as he investigates the reported disappearances of over seventeen people. The intersection of those jobs—the benevolent billionaire playboy and the bow-and-arrow wielding avengers of the downtrodden—is at the core of the Green Arrow mythos, and writer Benjamin Percy clearly has that in mind as he walks readers new and old alike through both sides very quickly in the first few pages of this issue. Enter Black Canary after a brief and expected team-up kerfuffle and we’re off to the races as the two investigate the abduction of homeless people all across (and underneath) the city.
In terms of a first issue, Percy is very clearly trying to (re)establish the characters and world of Oliver Queen, so much so that there are points where the dialogue is a bit too blatantly on-the-nose (Ollie literally proclaims “I’m a social justice warrior” twice in this issue). As a result, some of the joy of seeing Ollie and Dinah back together again gets bogged down in recapping and “explaining themselves” to each other (another thing which Ollie literally says to Dinah). Nevertheless, Percy clearly has a passion for that socially aware element of the Green Arrow (something he explored in the last chunk of the New 52 Green Arrow series which he also penned) and the storyline here is promising and intriguing in that regard.
The strength of Green Arrow Rebirth #1 is in the visuals. While definitely reminiscent of the gritty, hard-lined realism associated with the DC house style, Otto Schmidt’s aesthetic has an element of whimsy and caricature to it that makes for a truly dynamic and engaging visual experience. There are some weird panels (including one in which Ollie and Dinah inexplicably hold up their fists in some strange salute of solidarity), but overall there is a vibrancy and kinetic energy to Schmidt’s lines and designs that move this book along. Schmidt’s colors also focus on warmer oranges and reds that mix nicely with the greens and blues of our character’s presences. Simply a fantastic looking book that overcomes some of the minor hiccups of the layouts and plotting.
BUY. Green Arrow Rebirth #1 does hit some first-issue snags in both the dialogue and visual departments, but overall it’s an enjoyable and entertaining (re)introduction to the world of Oliver Queen. The real draw here is the reunion of Ollie and Dinah, and Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt do a wonderful job of bringing them back together in an action-packed, socially-aware fashion that stays true to the core of their beloved backstories.