Green Arrow strives for change

Photo by Chris Jones

Green Arrow: The Life and Death of Oliver Queen.

DC Comics has once again rebooted its comic series with “Rebirth.” With this comes a new series of comics ranging from Batman to Aquaman. However, with the popularity of the television show, Arrow, one of the first series to be released in the “Rebirth” storyline is Green Arrow.

The first volume of Green Arrow is titled “The Death and Life of Oliver Queen.” It takes place long after Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, has returned from being stranded on a deserted island and has long established himself as a superhero.

Oliver lives with his younger half sister, Emi, who is also his sidekick and has yet to receive her superhero name. They both work with Dinah Lance, the Black Canary.

The story follows Oliver and company as they investigate a group homeless people are calling “the Underground Men.” In the end, it turns out they are merely the minions of a secret, evil corporation looking to tear Oliver’s life apart.

There were many positives in this volume of Green Arrow, but there was one negative that stuck out: the artist’s depiction of the Black Canary, otherwise known as Dinah Lance.

While comic books aren’t new to the over-sexualisation of their female characters, it is time to move on. When one looks at Black Canary standing beside Green Arrow, there is a noticeable amount of skin showing on her compared to him.

Black Canary is a character who should be taken seriously, seeing as she is there to challenge Oliver’s way of life and to show him he needs to look at the world from outside of his well-to-do upbringing. She’s supposed to show him the rough aspects of Seattle, the city that Oliver protects. Instead? She’s there for male readers to ogle.

Overall, Dinah is a character who is strong on her own, as proven by the fact she doesn’t need Oliver to rescue her when she is kidnapped and used as bait to get Oliver to attack.

However, while the comic has the one flaw in the character of Dinah Lance, it is a promising beginning to a series that felt stale during the previous “New 52” series.

One of the biggest issues that’s been addressed in the Rebirth story arc of Green Arrow is the seriousness. The author, Benjamin Percy, has remembered Oliver Queen is a serious superhero. In the “New 52,” it felt as though this notion had been ignored, but in “Rebirth,” Percy brought this notion back.

One aspect of Percy’s writing that stood out was how it felt like a horror story. When Oliver and Dinah are trekking through the sewers of Seattle to find their enemies and interacting with the Seattle underworld, it feels much more dangerous than previous Green Arrow stories.

However, when looking at a graphic novel, one does not only look at the writing. One must also look at the art.

The art for Green Arrow, as drawn by Juan Ferreyra and Otto Schmidt, feels like the art of a graphic novel. However, it also manages to maintain the darkness of the series. It does not forget what it is while also managing to maintain the seriousness of the series.

Overall, the “Rebirth” Green Arrow is a well-written, well-drawn graphic novel that really only suffers from the same flaw that almost all graphic novels do. The Life and Death of Oliver Queen is a promising start to a new Green Arrow series.

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Christopher Jones is a second year journalism student. He enjoys writing about video games, sports and politics. His work can also be seen on Riot Radio at Durham College and out of Montreal. In his spare time Christopher enjoys reading, playing video games and catching up on his long list of TV shows. He hopes to go into either video game journalism or into sports one day.