Green Arrow #19
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Eleonora Calrini and Mirka Andolfo
Colorist: Arif Prianto and Hi-Fi
Publisher: DC Comics
The Green Arrow series has never shied away from liberal political opinions, and here it's on full display with a story about an unhinged and crazy militia attack on native lands over a proposed pipeline. If Marvel's heavy handed political commentary in their books upsets you, then this issue will probably bring out more of that. I don't really lean either way politically so the topic in this arc doesn't really bug me, but I'd be a fool if I didn't admit that are some out there that really don't like social commentary in their comics. Take into account that this issue mirrors some very real world topics, and you have a comic that is very blatantly making a point. Take that however you will.
On that note, the issue mainly deals with Roy coming to terms with a changed Oliver. He 's not completely convinced that Ollie has changed from, what he says, a “Hollywood actor who goes to a village in Ghana to hand out a few goats for a photo shoot.” That statement kind of hits home for me. We all have that one friend or family member who points his/her finger at everyone else and judges them for not doing enough to save the world, yet they haven't done anything either. Ollie is finding himself in the cross-hairs of Roy's judgment.
This issue had a few nice throwbacks to Green Arrow's past including the infamous “My ward is a junkie!” Looking back on that issue, it seems more comical than serious, but Carlini and Andolfo's art is excellent in portraying Roy today and the Roy of the past. The current Roy is drawn with a quiet anger, but he strong and steel willed, if not a bit too hard headed. The flashback sequences paint Roy in a much different light; ragged, unkempt, immature. In fact, the art is fantastic in the drug use scene, as it really gives off a “dirty” vibe.
I'm not 100% sold on the new look Count Vertigo. I think the swirly body paint is a little too blatant, and the green color scheme he has going on is a bit too much for a book that already very “green”. The faux hawk and the open vest/trenchcoat makes him look more like Count Emo. I really enjoyed his New 52 look where he appeared more unhinged and dangerous looking. I'm curious to see where story goes from here since the next issue looks like it will focus on Vertigo.
Overall, this came off as an excellent issue that looks into Oliver and Roy's history. There's a lot going on here, from the present day pipeline dispute to the flashback sequences with both Count Vertigo and Roy's early days as Speedy. In fact, the format with the past couple of issues almost reminds me a bit of Greg Rucka's “The Lies” and “Year One” Wonder Woman arc that kicked off Rebirth. Both were fantastic looks at characters that have their past catching up to their present.