“I knew it was only a matter of time.”
Welcome to Green Arrow, Rebirth; where Benjamin Percy, as principal writer, has managed to breathe life into not just Oliver Queen, but Star City as well. He weaves an entertaining high-action tale, while allowing the reader the time to mull over the many questions surrounding the definition of power. To me, the mark of a good comic book is one you can enjoy and learn from at the same time.
Island of Scars does a great job structuring its stories in two halves. At the forefront, we have Emiko Queen, Oliver’s half-sister. In many ways a product of her parents influence like Oliver was, she’s finally sifted through a bunch of growing and exited on the other side.
Her time with Oliver has strengthened her resolve in her own identity, and we see that play out through this run. She frees her mother from a generational debt incurred by her grandfather by taking down a Yakuza boss by day and ancient shape shifting dragon by night. Emiko’s thoughts on honor in conjunction with her mother’s highlights a generational shift. But in typical comic book form, they use the bonds of family to defeat the bad guy, a bit predicable but the writing is there throughout to back it up, so it does feel earned.
“Some people may call me the bad guy… but I’m just here to do my job.”
Oliver Queen brings up the second half of volume 2, and what we see is a tremendous amount of maturity and self awareness in his character. Obviously a lot of credit can be linked to the two other stars of this run: John Diggle and Black Canary. They’re the force behind a new Oliver Queen who is able to laugh at himself, which allows for the reader to root for him.
The stories blend Oliver Queen’s many different personalities. The social justice warrior, redeemed playboy, the loyal friend, and the man finally comfortable with responsibility. His relationship with Black Canary simply shines throughout the panels. The comfort and trust they have in each other is just so cute, and then when you throw in Diggle, world renowned body guard/badass, the writing just lends itself to a great group of characters.
Even the bad guys resonated; some came off as your typical comic book-y villains, others were well fleshed out, and some were just on the clock. The biggest villain, of course, is the role corporations with unlimited funds play when they decide to partake on the world stage; showing who truly gains from the endless cycle of violence around the world.
The comics have been able to blend together Oliver’s green thumb when it comes to social issues, but this new iteration of Oliver Queen kicks it up a notch.
“War is an abstraction.”
This was a great volume of Green Arrow that perfectly encapsulates its rebirth, (I know, but I just had to.) Its moments of levity are equaled to its moments of seriousness. I was engrossed from begging to end. It was fun, well written, and a page turner to boot.