Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Release Date: 19th October 2016
DC’s post-Rebirth Green Lantern series continues to be something of an enigma to me. The potential is clearly there, with writer Benjamin Percy’s firm, confident grasp on the character and his “Social Justice Warrior” approach. Unfortunately, the series has been plagued by a general lack of subtlety thus far that has made the worthy message at its heart feel more than a little clumsy and forced. Think “Boxing Glove Arrow” rather than graceful, elegant marksmanship.
This latest issue is a perfect example of that, with Percy’s message about the dangers of meddling in other countries’ affairs being buried under some clunky storyline beats and generic action set-pieces. Tonally the issue is all over the place, and while there are definitely some enjoyable moments to be had – particularly from the banter between Ollie and Dinah as they stage a daring attack on an opium field – the actual point of the story seems to be suffocating under the layers and layers of moral messages. Disappointing, to say the least
Stephen Byrne is back on art duties, which is also somewhat disappointing, not necessarily because he isn’t a talented artist (which he undoubtedly is), but rather because his work feels like a bit of a step back when compared to the stellar output of Juan Ferreyra and Otto Schmidt. Byrne’s stylised, almost manga-esque approach works well in its own regard, but doesn’t seem to fit the series as well as the work of Ferreyra and Schmidt. Things aren’t necessarily helped by his colours, which give everything an uncomfortably glossy sheen to it, or by the overabundance of double-page spreads that don’t really seem to serve any actual purpose.
The story does what it needs to and nothing more, introducing a potentially intriguing premise and barely scratching its surface before tossing it to one side and moving on. With us now nine issues into the series, it’s safe to say that Green Arrow has been a little unfocused to say the least, and continues to feel incredibly disjointed as we pinball from interesting idea to interesting idea, never taking the time to let any of them actually resonate.
Honestly, after an impressive reveal to set it up, the “Island of Scars” storyline has been a bit of a non-starter, and in DC’s current quick-fire release schedule, should be viewed as entirely skippable. Fingers crossed that the series manages to regain some of its early momentum as the team heads back to Seattle, otherwise this is a book that could find itself being rapidly culled from a lot of bloated post-Rebirth pull lists.
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