Green Arrow #1 was my vote for Worst Comic of the New 52. It was also the first book I dropped. I thought I’d be writing off Green Arrow for the foreseeable future, but after a few issues, DC decided to change up the creative teams on a number of titles, Green Arrow included, and with new writer Annie Nocenti (a respected veteran writer of the 80’s and 90’s) coming in with #7 to shake things up, I thought I’d pick it up and see what she was bringing to the table.
And what she is apparently bringing to the table is a whole lot of weirdness — and I mean that in a mostly appreciative way. Green Arrow #7 opens with Ollie in crisis mode. Not because of some villain, but because he’s realized (in that way you can only realize in your 20s after you’ve been working at a job you hate for a couple years) that he is no longer Cool. He’s become The Man to his underlings, a thought that seems to send him into an existential crisis that finds him running off to Canada with a trio of beautiful but potentially insane superfans/villains
The issue has its share of problems. Though Nocenti’s hyperactive pacing serves the story well – and presents us with one of the most interesting takes on Oliver Queen I’ve read in years – it took awhile for me to warm to it. Even re-reading the issue’s opening pages, some of the banter feels forced, some of the incident feels crammed a bit too tight. On top of that, artist Harvey Tolibao’s art is serviceable but unexciting, and the action scene that opens the books is a bit hard to follow at times – though I will praise him on his backgrounds, which are incredibly detailed and paint a believable picture of the issue’s locales.
But I’m willing to forgive all that because, well, Green Arrow #7 is fun. It’s predictable, sure, particularly with regards to new villains Skylark, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Nocenti’s portrait of Queen as a cocky, almost foppish young man desperate to find an identity he can live with feels interesting and honest, and the semi-absurd tone that runs lightly through the book keeps proceedings lively. The book won’t be for everyone, but anyone with an interest in the character – particularly those who were frustrated with or gave up on Krul’s run – should give Nocenti’s winning new take a shot.