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Green Arrow #14 Review

Green Arrow is attending a football game, but damn the luck–he’s being blamed for killing the star quarterback. Tough break Ollie, but is it good?

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Green Arrow #14 (DC Comics)

So what’s it about? The summary reads:

“EMERALD OUTLAW” part three! Tension in Seattle reaches fever pitch when the media begins to question Green Arrow’s involvement in a series of murders committed by an archer with unmatched skills. If the police can’t catch this mysterious archer, can Green Arrow and Black Canary? Plus, the rogue police officer Ollie humiliated in a viral video returns to take the law into his own hands.

Why does this book matter?

Benjamin Percy has written a solid series that has offered up a version of Green Arrow that’s nearly always with his back against the wall. He’s introduced Black Canary as a major fixture in his life, and it’s been fun to watch their relationship strengthen. With Ollie in the crosshairs of many angry people (when isn’t he in this position?) Black Canary might be his only hope!

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

They are so pumped to kill his ass.

Percy ups the ante so to speak, as a lot of folks get their asses killed in this issue. There are some really brutal kills in this issue, which surprised me, but it helps convey the incredibly brutal nature of the villain Ollie chases. Much of this issue is a chase from more than one angle, as Ollie chases the culprit who killed the star QB and Black Canary races to the scene to prevent the cops from killing Ollie too.

As a chase, the issue succeeds in ramping up the tension and keeping Ollie just at the heels of the villain. This certainly isn’t the first time Ollie has been framed, but due to the scenes with the cops you get a sense that it can’t get much worse than this.

The art is split between Eleonora Carlini, Carlos Rodriguez and Gus Vazquez, which is a tad scary considering the more artists you have the more likely the art will be shaky. There are certainly some great moments visually in this story, from the big reveal of who the villain is in a great full page splash to Black Canary’s scenes as she successfully hides amongst the police. The violence looks good too, though it might be a bit too brutal for some.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The trio of artists doesn’t help the flow of the comic unfortunately. The style changes in a subtle, but noticeable way here and there. A big moment that concludes the issue falls completely flat due to the art as Ollie appears to outrun an arrow. The positioning of the characters just doesn’t make sense and the only way it’d work is if Ollie was as fast as the Flash.

That scene culminates to a conclusion that’s a bit hard to swallow. Given the deaths in the previous issue, (and in this one), it appears Percy is going to let Ollie off the hook. How that makes any sense with no investigation taking place is beyond me. The cops were ready to kill Ollie at the start of the issue and really have no reason to believe Ollie isn’t at least a little guilty. It comes off as a moment in comics we’ve seen many times before where the writer needs the story to end and may not have the page count to get there in a clean way.

I also never felt as if Ollie was in danger. Clearly the intention is there to make the crowd want Ollie’s head, but he moves about so easily it’s hard to fathom if they actually care to stop him. You could argue he’s a superhero and he can manage himself amongst a crowd, but there isn’t even an attempt to stop before he’s off chasing the bad guy.

Heh, clever.

Is It Good?

A big reveal and a solid chase sequence are in store for readers of this one. A major hiccup in art at a key time late in the issue will make you question what you’re seeing, and generally the tension isn’t there due to a lack of visual payoff for Ollie’s actions, framed or not.


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