By Adam Basciano
Green Arrow is in pursuit of Lime & Light, wanted criminals with a penchant for partying it up at clubs and thrashing penthouses/hotels. After a few quips Green Arrow gets the upper hand. Oliver Queen enjoys some down time playing some basketball, much to the chagrin of his superior at Q-Core who reams him out for his lackluster performance at work. The scene shifts to a unkown location, where the villains from last issue are plotting their next move against the Emerald Archer. A new member has been added to the team who goes by the name of Alpha. Oliver and his tech support are putting the pieces together that these string of villains he’s fought are connected, led by a man named Rush. As they’re doing so, they see a streaming video of Rush and his gang beating Alpha to death, as a way of calling out Green Arrow. Oliver suits up, knowing full well he is walking into a trap. He arrives at the hideout to find darkness but is quickly greeted with lights, cameras, and Rush’s gang of internet criminals surrounding him, ready to attack.
This book is pretty even in terms of aspects I like and dislike about it. I like Oliver’s “do it my way” and “for the people” attitude. That’s been a staple of the character since his inception. No matter how “new” and “different” the DCU wants to be, I’m glad they didn’t alter this aspect of the character. Also, it turns out that I actually like Oliver’s superhero support system of Jax and Naomi. It makes sense that a superhero with no superpowers would need an extra pair of eyes and ears, along with tech support. After all, not every hero can get away with Batman’s “prep time” excuse.
I think the villains M.O. of posting their crimes online is a smart decision by writer J.T. Krull. We live in a society where everything ends up online. The internet is a tool to promote yourself, so it makes sense that small-time villains would use it to make a name for themselves. As for crimes and violent murders getting all those views, the real world is so desensitized to violence. People pay to watch two men beat each other to a bloody pulp. So it’s not that hard to believe Rush’s video’s get over a million hits. While I’m intrigued by their methods, I find the villains rather dull and annoying. First off, they look like the cast of Jersey Shore. Secondly, I don’t care how many of them there are, none of them look like they would be too much of a threat to Green Arrow. The other major disappointment I have with this title so far, is what appears to be a lack of an overall endgame. After two issues, this book seems like every issue will feature one of Rush’s gang members battling Green Arrow and loosing. That’s all well and good for say a single issue one and done adventure but if each issue is part of an overall story, then it’s going to get redundant rather quickly.
The art is above and beyond the best aspect of this issue. Dan Jurgens and George Perez were responsible for bringing the script to visual life and do so fantastically. The two men are most famous for their work in the late 80’s and early 90’s, yet the work doesn’t feel dated at all. Seeing Green Arrow fighting above, on top and inside what appeared to be the Space Needle, was the premiere action sequence of the book. Having the book take place in a real world location, pulls me into the story more so then if it were a fictional city. Some fans are upset over the lack of a goatee in favour of stubble. Call me crazy but I’m fine with the stubble, it gives Oliver an edgier look. I’m also a fan of the Smallville inspired costume. Smallville had many mis-steps in its 10 year run, yet in my opinon, they did a wonderful job of interpreting Green Arrow and his costume. Besides, at least now it doesn’t look as though Oliver Queen wandered into the forest and stole Robin Hood’s wardrobe.
Given the way the first issue ended, the second installment was somewhat of a let down especially when considering J.T. Krull’s previous version of the title during “Brightest Day.” Those issues left you with intrigue and wonder, as to what would happen next. That’s what is missing for me with this new title so far. However, I’ll be sticking with this book because I like how they are establishing Oliver Queen in the new DCU. They’ve gotten rid of the down and depressed loner who seemed lost, blaming himself for everything that went wrong. I also feel that over the past few years, the book and the character got far to intrenched with real world politics then comic books should be. Typically, a hero is only as good as the villains he fights. In the case of this issue, the villains weren’t worthy of the hero, which decreased my overall reading experience.
Overall Grade: 6.5/10