THIS WEEK: In Green Arrow #3, we get a host of fun guest stars as the main theme behind this new Emerald Archer series comes into focus. Plus, Batman: The Brave and The Bold continues to be excellent!

Note: the reviews below contain spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdict.

Green Arrow #3Green Arrow #3

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letterer: Troy Peteri

With this week’s Green Arrow #3, there was a lot going on. First and foremost, on page 2 we get a massive guest appearance by The Legion of Superheroes, last seen in the short-lived (for my tastes) run by Brian Michael Bendis and Ryan Sook. Here, the Legion is encountered by Oliver Queen and Lian Harper, who have spent the first two issues of this series tumbling through space and time. On top of that, Ollie’s son, Connor Hawke, is with them for some reason and seems to have been with them for a while.

This, of course, all follows up on narrative threads from the series first two issues (of what’s expected to be 12 total). In this series so far, we’ve seen members of the Green Arrow extended family reuniting, only to mysteriously apparate and be sent somewhere new, first with Lian in Green Arrow #1 and Connor in Green Arrow #2, while Oliver was already lost in time and space, following the events of Dark Crisis. 

It’s a lot of sci-fi hijinks to juggle, but this book also brings into focus why this is happening and the major theme that it serves — some dark future is essentially assured unless the Green Arrow family of characters is kept separate. So, guess what, Amanda Waller has stepped in to make sure they are kept apart, aided by an aged version of Oliver Queen who hails from said dark future. 

It’s an interesting premise that gives Green Arrow and his supporting cast an import within the DC Universe that they usually don’t have, getting typically limited to street-level crimefighting or topical adventures that mesh them up with whatever is currently in the news. I think this approach for the new series is an effective one, allowing for the creators to seamlessly incorporate what has lowkey become a wide, interesting, and varied cast of characters, most of whom are super great with a bow and arrow. 

It’s also an approach that is allowing the A-tier art team of Sean Izaakse and Romulo Fajardo, Jr., to do fantastic work in these pages. If all that wasn’t enough, though, this issue Joshua Williamson’s script eludes to addressing some bit of logic left dangling from one of the most famous and beloved Green Arrow storylines, Quiver.

What it all adds up to is a maxiseries that is pretty rewarding for long-time Green Arrow fans to follow, at least through these first three issues, anyway. It’s taking what feels like an old editorial edict — not to give superheroes unwieldly generational expanded casts — and turning it into a fun story about family. Things have definitely leaned fantastical in this book, but that all makes sense, too, given how Oliver Queen has been used of late. 

Verdict: BUY

The Round-Up

  • Batman: The Brave and The Bold #2 is another high-production anthology with across the board bangers. The main draw, of course, is going to be Batman: The Winning Card, This lead piece is a dark and gritty Joker story from Tom King and Mitch Gerads, the acclaimed team behind Mister Miracle, with letters here by Clayton Cowles. It’s smart and incredibly well illustrated, and it’s as terrifying as we’ve seen the Joker in some time. But equally worth a mention here is Superman: Order of the Black Lamp, a stunner of Supes story by Christopher Cantwell and Javier Rodriguez, with letters by Simon Bowland. Everything in this one is so well done, and it’s all coming together in a way that also elevates the work of those involved. There’s a lot of good Superman content right now, but you really don’t want to miss this one. Finally, Stormwatch: Down With The Kings by Ed Brisson and Jeff Spokes with letters by Saida Temofonte is also really strong, taking characters that don’t fit anywhere else in the DCU right now — from Peacekeepr-01 to Shado — and assembling them in a new Stormwatch story that captures the feel of the older books. 
  • City Boy #2 is a weird and awesome new superhero origin story, which I think is high praise, given how tired superhero origin stories have become after decades and decades and decades of them. This one is moving fast and doing a lot and going in increasingly bold and surprising directions. If you’re interested in a new superhero smashing around the DCU, you really ought to give this book a chance. It’s written by Greg Pak with art by Minkyu Jung, colors by Sunny Gho, and letters by Wes Abbott. 
  • Finally, you’re all reading Detective Comics, right? The best Bat-book of the moment, this run is a slowburning must-read. Just want to make sure you’re all reading it. This week’s Detective Comics #1073 is by Ram V., Ivan Reis, Goran Sudzuka, Danny Miki, Brad Anderson and Ariana Maher, with a back-up story by Dan Watters, Stefano Raffaele, Lee Loughridge, and Steve Wands.

Miss any of our earlier reviews? Check out our full archive!