DC Rebirth for me more or less has been a success. I have far more DC Comics books I’m reading now than I was near the end of the New 52 and that to me says a lot about the company at the moment. Now speaking of Rebirth, DC has certainly taken that word to heart as the books are aiming right at the heart of its heroes and understanding what is it about them that makes them some of the world’s greatest heroes and iconic characters. You’ve seen me heap much praise about my personal favorite DC book right now, The Flash, but today I’m here to talk about another hero that’s found success in his own rebirth, the Green Arrow.
The Death & Life of Oliver Queen really does takes Green Arrow back to basics and it’s for the best. Benjamin Percy is the series writer and he was actually on the book towards the end of the New 52 and it was a fairly good run, but this immediately blew the previous issues out of the water.
Here the premise is stated outright in the Rebirth special: How can Oliver Queen fight the man when he is the man? Its a question that strips away the surface and let’s you look beneath and to his credit, Percy plays all the sides of Ollie to greatness from his playful charm to his caring nature to his dark side, but above all his heroism. Green Arrow has always stood out as a man for the people. Ollie donates to various charities, fund programs across Seattle, fights injustices, and stands with the common man, but he considers his best philanthropy work to be when he’s Green Arrow.
That to me is indicative who Green Arrow truly is and speaking of what makes Ollie who he is, this book goes right back to making him the most political superhero ever. That’s right away from the first page and I’m not afraid to say, I loved it. Even more on display is the return of Black Canary into the Green Arrow rotation. That’s one thing I missed in The New 52, even during the times the GA book there didn’t suck. This is as much about reestablishing their dynamic as it is reestablishing Ollie himself. Their banter and teamwork make for the best parts of this story, especially when they bicker and get way too personal in their arguments. Both make huge assumptions about each other and are told they don’t know anything, but do ultimately do what’s best for the people and work together. I can’t express how happy I am for these two to be in the same book again. Emiko (Ollie’s half-sister), Henry Fyff, and John Diggle help to round out the supporting cast that adds even more with their roles.
Percy understands the characters, but his action sequences and fights are amazing and that wouldn’t be without the help of Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra on the art. Both split the issues they draw on here and both have a great unique style that makes them feel different.
Starting with the first artist Schmidt, his art has the appearance of mainly looking like sketches, but they are finely tuned and well polished with an angular look to many of the characters that help them all look different. It also helps than he (and Ferreyra as well) color their art on the book as well.
Ferreyra has a bit more realistic look to him with a painted style and coloring that makes the book pop with its vibrant colors as well. Its not Alex Ross level, and really it doesn’t need to be, but it helps sent the tone and mood for the second half of the book.
Each capture the small moments well, but when things go down, they do shine. The movement between panels and pages give these two a great platform to show off how dynamic their art is. For me personally, Ferreyra has the edge there, but I will say Schmidt’s art was the style I enjoyed most when reading the comic. I feel it helped to breathe the vibrancy of Green Arrow a little more, but the pacing overall from Ferreyra caught my eyes just as much. I give high praise to them both.
Now this book does have some extra with it. There is a variant covers gallery as per usual with trade collections now, but something different from each of the two artists. Ferreyra did the covers for every issue and some of his sketches for the covers are featured and there are character sketches and rough page layouts by Schmidt. The rough layouts to me are the more interesting of the extras featured since I am still very fascinated by the behind the scenes making of a single issue.
Overall I really can’t recommend Green Arrow: The Death & Life of Oliver Queen enough. Its a story that really shows why Green Arrow is one of the absolute best heroes ever and gives you one exciting story that ends on a great cliffhanger that will have you begging for the next trade immediately. You can find this book and many other offerings from DC Rebirth on Amazon right now.
Have you read this book and if so, what do you think? Are you enjoying DC Rebirth? Let us know in the comments below!