Sunday, July 14, 2024

Green Arrow gets a new Trio

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While no one likes an over-the-top do-gooder, it’s not hard to compare such differing personalities as Oliver Queen and Kal-El. Both have a heart of gold and both care about the welfare of others before themselves, though of course the main difference of course is that Ollie is not so nearly as basically invincible as Superman. Luckily, the man of steel was not the Justice League counterpart exclusive to this issue. I mean, technically he was, considering Lex Luthor is not a part of the Justice League, but the story centered more as a team up with Luthor than it did Superman, which isn’t a bad thing. He’s still very much a part of this issue but at the core of the mystery shrouding this story it’s more a battle of wits than of feats of strength. Keeping at the tradition of social commentary this issue also tackles a dual-faced issue.

Corporations are always a subject in politics, but more than anything they are still made up of average people—everyday workers who many times remain to their superiors nameless and faceless bodies who simply do all the grunt work. On the other side, they are of course incredibly human, keeping their own secrets and putting on a public face to hide anything that may shame them. Between having little to no distinguishing qualities, to their superiors to having their entire most private thoughts put on for all to see, a change in such polarity could of course be catastrophic.

The last time we saw Ollie, he was heading to Washington D.C. with Barry Allen to uncover more of the Ninth Circles mischief. They came across the massacre of a Lobbyist office and Green Arrow takes on burned man, alongside of Wonder Woman, who brilliantly infiltrated a US military arms conference in the guise of one of their manned armored suits that the late general deemed too expensive and overkill. As Diana tried to reprimand Ollie for his brutal interrogation tactics, they uncovered a plot that will use an already-tested attack on a national symbol. By the end of the comic, the duo stopped a missile attack on the Washington Monument and saved a politician (who was in the Ninth Circle’s pocket), and Ollie gave a grand speech about what the US should stand for. With the close, we found out that the attack on the lobbyists could be traced back to Metropolis, specifically, Lexcorp.

Metropolis vs Mass Hysteria

The issue begins with Lex Luthor getting an uninvited guest in the form of Green Arrow, who quickly throws out accusations that Lex is working for the Ninth Circle. While not completely innocent of corruption, Lex does admit that he was approached by them but refused to conform to their ideology. Whether or not Ollie believes him, things get interesting as Lex shows off his super powers of observation, deducing all the hardships that Oliver has recently been put through.

Lets see how long this hold up lasts

As they discuss the fate of Star City and what might be in store for Metropolis, some of the workers in Lexcorp are suddenly full of despair. In a very vague scene, we get a clip of something out of The Happening, and one of the employees gasps and jumps out the window until…dun dun dun! He is saved by Superman. Yet, before the man of steel can figure out why this man tried to commit suicide, dozens of other employee’s begin to plummet off the building’s roof. This is actually pretty dark for a Green Arrow comic and we’ve seen darkness previously.

As Superman works to save the multitude of attempted suicides, Ollie and Lex discuss the pointlessness in the Green Arrow’s bleeding heart morality and the fact that these corporations are made up of people. Even though they don’t see eye to eye, Oliver believes that Lexcorp is the Ninth Circle’s next target. Keeping up with Lex’s ego, he assures Ollie that the Lex name could not be tarnished; he and his companies name were untouchable. That’s when it all becomes clear: the Ninth Circle isn’t after Lex, it’s going to bring Lexcorp down from its foundation, the people. In a mix of public shaming and ruin along with a dose of subliminal messaging spread through an advertising algorithm that directly attacks anxiety and terror, the Ninth Circle spreads this cyber attack like a wild fire.

This looks familiar

It was a nice triple effort between these three as they work to stop the attack and save the rest of the people affected. By the end of the comic, Superman has a pretty inspiring conversation about Oliver’s personal growth over the past few months. With kind words from the two previous partners, Barry and Diana, Oliver gets some reassurance that he’s doing the right thing. At the end of the day, I believe that is something we all need to hear from time to time. In order to repay Oliver for helping save Lexcorp, Lex offers some intelligence on the Ninth Circle: their next target will be in a dark city where the richest of the rich are far beyond corrupt, Gotham City.

On The Hunt

While the first issue of this arc gave us a lot in terms of Dinah and Emi’s personal quest to hunt down the Auctioneer, an elusive figure still praying on Star City’s vulnerable population, the last two have kept us mostly sated with just enough with their adventure. This time around Dinah and Emi catch up with Henry who is still playing the mole in Queen Industries. In a short piece Dinah gives him a tablet she recovered from the last issue, asking him to break its encryption. Emi does get to speak with Ollie after all this time but it seems there’s still a really sad distance between Oliver and Dinah, which I wish would end already. It’s depressing to see them with such a severance but I’m sure they’ll be okay…soon.

Do the right thing, Henry

The Art

He’s back! Excuse me while I try to hold back my pure excitement. Though it may be only for the next few issues it was at a perfect time with how exciting this arc is. Juan Ferreyra soars past expectations with this issue. His use of such detailed and wonderfully shaded colors along with outstanding and realistic action and pace this issue is wonderful. Further, the use of his depth adds an amount of expression that flares along with each page; it is always a pleasure to see this master of his craft at work.

Final Thoughts

Maybe it’s because I’m not really a big fan of Superman, but this issue wasn’t my favorite of the three current ones in this storyline. Not that I’m saying this was a bad issue—far from it—but it just was the least interesting to me. The social commentary was on point as always, and the story was solid. While the Ninth Circle didn’t real make a huge appearance in this one like the previous two, their influence was certainly in the air, and it is going to interesting to see what kind of challenge Oliver is going to face in Gotham.

Final Score: 8/10

Green Arrow Rebirth #28 Credits

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Art & Colors: Juan Ferreyra

Lettering:  Nate Piekos

All Images Courtesy of DC

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