Or – “Oliver Queen, Oliver Queen, Doing Some Things And Being Quite Keen!”
After several months of traipsing about the newly-created White Lantern Forest (not to be confused with the White Cliffs of Cover), Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen was shot in the head by an unknown assailant with a bow. How in the world is he not dead? (Here’s a hint: The book isn’t called “Unknown Assailant With A Bow.”)
Green Arrow #4
Written by J.T. KRUL
Art by DIOGENES NEVES & VICENTE CIFUENTES
Cover by MAURO CASCIOLI
1:10 Variant cover by PHILIP TAN
Colors by ULISES ARREOLA
Letters by ROB LEIGH
Published by DC COMICS
Previously, on Green Arrow: The events of Cry For Justice left Green Arrow at his wits end. His city was decimated, his family destroyed, his marriage over, causing Oliver to return home in disgrace. At the end of Blackest Night, the White Lantern energy of the Entity grew an insta-forest in the ravaged center of Star City, and Ollie has started playing Robin Hood among the trees, protecting the White Lantern branded tree in the center. In recent issues, he was shot in the head by a mirror image Green Arrow (I think), only to be saved by the mysterious Galahad (I think), and has become super-aware that strange things are occurring all around him, seemingly an effect of the magic forest. What’s lost truths are hidden in the trees?
We open in the trees with Ollie facing down a giant chartreuse hentai tentacle creature (CGHTC for short) that has begun rampaging through his new home. The CGHTC seems to be focused on the White Lantern Tree, fighting it’s way to the symbol as Green Arrow sticks it repeatedly with sharp sticks. In a moment that should be shocking, but was totally spoilered by a recent issue of Brightest Day, the creature stops yowling like a cat in a wood chipper long enough to growl, “AAAHHH-LEEEE!” Green Arrow is shocked to recognize the voice of his old friend and teammate the Martian Manhunter, and can’t understand why J’Onn is trying to kill the Lantern tree. For his part, the CGHTC/JJTMM creature can’t explain, morphing out of control, even turning into his Black Lantern incarnation before Oliver decides to save a tree… by cutting down a different tree. Heh. The tree falls in the woods, making a sound upside J’Onn’s head, and knocking him back into his regular form. As trees start to cascade down around him, Oliver half-drags J’Onn out of the forest to safety.
Having escaped a certain doom, they discuss the power-negating nature of the Star Forest, and watch as the trees suddenly grow right back up to fill in the empty spaces. Galahad shows up for a moment to say something enigmatic, telling Oliver to think more like a good knight than a superhero, and the Martian Manhunter leaves. Sometime later, at Queen Industries, Green Arrow gets involved in a protest gone bad (as a villain calling herself The Queen seems to have taken over his old company and created her own personal police force, called The Royal Guard) and saves a woman called Mary from certain death. After quelling a riot, Oliver checks in with his reporter pal about a series of murders, then suddenly gets a flash of insight. Racing across the city, Oliver tracks down his friend Mary, and either finds that she IS a serial killer, or that she is in the clutches of a serial killer (I’m not entirely clear on the ending, and I’ve read the book four times now) as we fade to black.
I have to say I enjoy the art in this issue overall, although I have some issues with the flexibility of anatomy of characters who shouldn’t be malleable (Martian Manhunter obviously doesn’t count.) I’m disappointed by the difference between the cover art and the interiors, but I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m officially tired of arguing that particular argument any more. The battle sequence wherein Green Lantern fights his way through a crowd is pretty impressive, but I’m still unsure whether the unclear climax is a failure of art or story, leading me to have to downgrade my overall analysis of the total package. This issue’s story is far too inextricably tied to Brightest Day for my tastes, and having dropped that book and missed a couple of issues here, I was still able to jump in and have parts of the tale feel formulaic and overdone. Still, based on it’s own merits, it’s more comprehensible than it could have been, allowing Green Arrow #4 to earn a not-at-all disrespectful 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m not necessarily going to jump right in again next issue, but nothing here drove me away, and sometimes that all you can as for out of a book…
Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day: What aspects of Brightest Day are working for you?