Review – Green Arrow #5 (DC Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 17th August, 2016

And so we reach the conclusion of the first arc of DC’s post-Rebirth Green Arrow series.  Black Canary has been captured by global criminal finance consortium the Ninth Circle, and Ollie and Diggle are on their way to stage what will hopefully be a daring and successful rescue.

As villains go, the Ninth Circle are an interesting new addition to the GA rogues gallery with their “Court of Owls”-esque subversion and infiltration, albeit on a global scale.  There’s perhaps something a little over-the-top about their ludicrous masks and “burned” followers, but there’s also something intensely intriguing about their culture and ethos, making them a group of deranged maniacs I hope to be seeing a lot more of in the future.

Once again, things are marred ever so slightly by some of writer Benjamin Percy’s dialogue, with poorly-chosen gags detracting from the wonderfully-built tension on more than one occasion.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting Green Arrow to have an ultra-serious, Batman-esque tone, and his banter and quips are some of the more endearing traits of the character, but the timing of these remarks seems to be a little off here, making the otherwise serious situation feel almost frivolous at times.

By this point, you know pretty much exactly what you’re going to get visually from a Juan Ferreyra book, and the Argentinian artist continues his impressive run of form here with brilliant character designs, impressive and creative double-page spreads, and some of the most vividly eye-catching colours that you’re likely to see on a comic today.  A truly beautiful book, as you should expect by now.

The themes of money, wealth and social justice aren’t developed quite as well as they perhaps could be, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that we’re only five issues into this new series, so there’s still plenty of time for Percy to delve a little deeper into these storyline hooks in the future – particularly given one of Ollie’s actions over the course of this issue.

Overall, this first arc has righted itself impressively after a fairly jumbled start, and while some of the dialogue can still feel a little clumsy at times, the strong premise and jaw-dropping artwork makes Green Arrow one of the more highly recommended titles in DC’s Rebirth lineup.  The final page lurches the story into a wildly unexpected direction, and with Stephen Byrne set to take over on artistic duties for the next couple of issues, the potential is high for this series to continue its impressive improvement in the weeks and months to come.

Rating: 4/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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