Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art & Colors: Otto Schmidt
Letters: Nate Piekos
Green Arrow #12 is the beginning of the Emerald Outlaw arc as Ollie returns to Seattle and sets up shop in a forest, not Sherwood but the homage is clear. For the last few issues Ollie, Diggle, and Dinah have been stuck on an island, not the island, but an island before stowing away on an underwater transcontinental high-speed rail. While on the train they were embroiled in global politics and were less then successful in saving the day as well as the train. Not the best of times for our heroes.
Green Arrow #12 is setting up what the Green Arrow is going to be for the near future, which is much more in line with Robin Hood than Batman as Ollie is poor, again, and back on the path of liberal social warrior taking from the rich and giving back to the downtrodden. There is a lot going on in this issue as the status quo is being set up. To the general public Oliver Queen is dead, Queen Industries has been taken over, and the news media is investigating what the general public should think of the Green Arrow, Seattle’s own vigilante. It’s interesting to see the Right and Left of the political spectrums interpretation of Ollie and his motivations and in my opinion Green Arrow is at its best when its playing with politics as well as super heroics. There’s a lot here to play with to as not only does this issue comment on recent police brutalities but also we’re introduced to a very outspoken nationalist who prefers to blame others for the recent downturn in America rather then looking within at ourselves. He’s not orange but the intent is clear, as is the fascist brutality present at his political rallies and how opposition is met with a boot to the face. Hopefully the DC universe has a brighter outlook but this is a universe that elected Lex Luthor to the presidency.
I’m glad Green Arrow #12 was a return to the excellence this book started with its Rebirth launch. It helps that Otto Schmidt rejoins Benjamin Percy for this arc as it was this artist writer combo who set a high benchmark for this relaunch. There’s a lot going on in this issue as upcoming plots are teased and the future of Green Arrow is hinted at. There’s also an intriguing cliffhanger that will bring readers back for next issue just to see who is responsible. Percy has a good handle on Green Arrow and Schmidt’s art works so well with this character. Not only does he draw a nice Green Arrow but his Black Canary is strong and realistic. Over the years Dinah has been over-inflated and her fishnets have ridden higher and higher but Schmidt treats the character with respect and Percy writes her as an equal to Ollie, not as a damsel in distress or a sidekick. It’s a joy to have the Black Canary and Green Arrow team back together, it’s been missing for far to long.
Verdict: Buy this book. It’s nice to have a quality Green Arrow book on the shelves. Other then the Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino run the past few years have not been kind to the Emerald Archer. Percy is writing a solid story and it doesn’t hurt to have Otto Schmidt back on the artwork. Whether you’re a long time fan or finding your way to this book from Arrow this book deserves your love as Green Arrow has been one of the most consistent Rebirth books and #12 does not disappoint.