Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 19th October 2016
After a brief, underwhelming trip to the “Island of Scars” in the previous two-part arc, Benjamin Percy steers his Green Arrow ongoing series back into familiar waters here with a sharp, humorous and dynamic issue which sees Ollie, Dinah and Diggle stowing away on the Trans-Pacific Railway, only to stumble onto a nefarious plot to destabilise an already fragile peace accord in the Middle East and North Africa. As you do.
Juan Ferreyra is back on artistic duties here, bringing the story to life in his own inimitable fashion and utilising the creative panel layouts that are rapidly becoming his trademark throughout the course of this issue. His characters are lively and expressive, and there’s a sense of kineticism to the action sequences that really helps to accentuate the ‘fun factor’ in Percy’s script. He also throws in a jaw-dropping, poster-worthy splash page near the end of the issue, because… well… why not, right? This is yet another gorgeously illustrated chapter – as should be expected by now from the Argentinian artist – and Ferreyra’s visual flair helps to cover up the occasional clunky line of dialogue or awkward pun from Percy.
That said, this is definitely one of the better written issues of the series so far, with Ollie’s “Social Justice Warrior” mantle not feeling as forced or uncomfortable as it has in some of the previous chapters. It also helps things immeasurably that the story is so much leaner and more straightforward than we’ve seen previously, with a simple, direct plot and a pleasing lack of double or triple crosses for the reader to keep track of. This is the Green Arrow that I’ve enjoyed most of all in the post-Rebirth era – the direct, socially aware and slightly humorous Oliver Queen – and I can only hope that the series can remain in this ‘sweet spot’ as it moves forwards.
I mentioned in my review of the previous issue that it felt like this series was running out of steam after an impressively strong start. Well, I’m happy to report that this issue marks a welcome return to form, and that Percy and Ferreyra’s energetic, vibrant take on the character hits you like a Boxing Glove Arrow to the face. It’s not flawless by any means, but it is a hell of a lot of fun, and – if this trend continues – is definitely worth a couple of your hard earned quid every fortnight.
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