Review | Green Arrow #1

The best thing to be said about Green Arrow is that it provides conclusive proof that Dan Jurgens is a better artist than writer. His pencils won’t ever set the art world abuzz, but there’s a yeoman’s quality to his staid, solid panels. When inked by George Perez, as Jurgens is here, his art even hits a few graceful notes.

Still, the new Green Arrow is an aggressively mediocre superhero tale. It lends the best proof I’ve seen to my colleague Brent’s assertion that the New 52 are, at least partly, trying to mimic the characters’ more famous film and TV versions. I didn’t get that vibe as much as Brent did from Justice League, but this Oliver Queen—a younger, hipper hero and millionaire mogul—looks and feels a lot like the goatee-free Justin Hartley iteration from Smallville. He even has a support team, headed by a computer whiz/hacker extraordinaire named Naomi, who fills the Chloe role.

Jurgens’s art could look even better if it were paired with more innovative writing than we’re getting from J.T. Krul, whose best idea is to make Oliver, as head of Queen Industries, a younger and more dashing Steve Jobs. But that idea alone won’t offset the yawningly generic villain team that Green Arrow fights. And if the stick-up-his-ass older executive who butts heads with Oliver in the boardroom doesn’t turn out to be a secret villain mastermind in the next year, well, I’ll eat an arrow (and owe Krul an apology).

If all you had to compare Green Arrow to is the achingly bad book Jurgens wrote last week—Justice League International—you might think DC has a hit title. Or, more likely, you’d toss the New 52 aside, never to give them a second thought. Luckily, there’s plenty of wheat so far among the chaff.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)