In Green Arrow #3, Benjamin Percy gives us answers to some really interesting questions that were raised by the previous three issues . It also furthers Percy’s attempt at bringing the Emerald Archer back to his bleeding heart liberal roots, with a villain that fits that theme perfectly.
First and foremost, we need to talk about the art, because this issue isn’t drawn by Otto Schmidt, but Juan Ferreyra. For those readers who found Schmidt’s art a little too rough around the edges, this change is going to be a wonderful update, as Ferreyra’s art is cleaner, clearer, and has a larger emphasis on realism, while still remaining a distinct stylization. Ferreyra also does the colors for the issue, which are overall fantastic. There are a few panels that look somewhat dull, but in general the book felt very vibrant and alive. It utilizes a very subtle contrast between the greens and reds throughout. It’s not perfect, there are a couple panels where it’s a little too cartoony for my taste, but that is a petty nitpick at best. It’s hard to complain about the visuals we are given.
Percy’s continuation of John Diggle’s reintroduction is interesting, and so far seems sure to please fans of the show’s portrayal and fans of Lemire’s version of the character just the same. It’s obvious from Diggle’s crusade that him and Oliver Queen still had a long history in the post-Rebirth continuity, and I’m looking forward to the two reuniting once again. Hopefully we will see the characters’ chemistry come back to the pages of our comics.
Percy also reveals to us the extent of the conspiracy that was introduced in Green Arrow: Rebirth #1. It’s ended up a lot bigger and more interesting than I initially expected. The Ninth Circle is explained fairly in-depth here, and ends up being a fairly obvious archetype for a Green Arrow villain as well as a fun concept that doesn’t get explored too often. Basically, they’re a bank for evil. They invest in sordid villains with dastardly plans and expect a return on that investment. Green Arrow’s ultimate villain is literally big bankers.
Their leader, Dante, also has a fantastically disturbing design, his face appearing to literally have been melted off his skull. His name, the motif of fire we see throughout, as well as the name of his organization, the Ninth Circle, are all fairly obvious references to Dante’s famous story Inferno, which had a large theme of corruption and power. That reference works very well in this story, where Oliver Queen loses his way, is betrayed by those he trusts, and those in power are revealed as corrupt. Inferno’s political overtones make it an extremely fitting archetype from which to create a story for the Emerald Archer, and I’m excited to see how deep Percy takes it.
It’s obvious that Benjamin Percy set out when writing this to tell a quintessential Green Arrow story. One of greed and corruption as well as the internal conflict between Oliver’s sympathy for the unfortunate and his status as a “One Percenter”. Percy is reintroducing every aspect of Oliver Queen that popularized him in the mid-to-late 20th century. While this is fantastic for long time fans of the characters, it can seem a little heavy-handed at times, especially for fans who preferred the softer Green Arrow of the early 2000s, which had a heavier emphasis on charity work and family than political outrage and combativeness. Still, even for a fan of that version of the character, it’s hard not to love the bleeding heart Emerald Archer in Green Arrow #3. Percy’s rendition is very good, if not perfect.
- Fantastic, smoother art from Juan Ferreyra
- Reveal of a fitting theme of corruption and a fascinating conspiracy
- Solid continuation of Diggle’s character
- Political themes can feel a little heavy handed at times