No, he’s gone. Say it ain’t so! I, of course, mean Juan Ferreyra. This is no offense to Otto Schmidt returning from earlier in the series titles, he is a great artist deserving of recognition. Yet, something about Ferreyra’s work with the Green Arrow Rebirth series gave me something personal to enjoy about the art being used. He will be missed in the books but at least he’s still doing masterful covers. The twenty fifth issue of this series was an extended forty pager that took the masterful story of the previous arc and all the consequences that came with its ending and set up for things to come.
The issue itself was properly named Broken Arrow because that is exactly what has happened to both Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow. With the downfall of his company, the destruction of his name and image, the personal loss of friends and the woman he loves most, it seems that nothing can further bring down the Emerald Archer. Yet on the other side of this tragedy the stage is set up for a new era. Star City, as it is now dubbed, has hardly been freed from the influence of the Ninth Circle, chaos and corruption still hang heavy in the air as what remains of Team Green Arrow struggle on their own to put out what fires remain. A change is coming.
The last time we saw Ollie he was on a personal quest to finally take on the leadership of the Ninth Circle as Cyrus Broderick tries to convince him to join them like all the Queens before him. As he travels deeper into the tunnels of Seattle, Emi, Dinah, and Roy take on the Four Horsemen. By the end of the book Oliver finally has it with Cyrus and the fight ends with him being engulfed in flames. As the fight back on the surface comes to a close, Oliver realizes that he can no longer fight for his city in the shadows, only in the light. He returns as Oliver Queen, disgraced and believed dead and is arrested on sight.
The Quivered Arrow
Of course, this issue starts off exactly where it last left off, with Oliver’s incarceration. With being in prison it’s very hard for Ollie to know exactly what’s going on in the outside world so he is trying to focus on what he can, his case. The police force still reeling from the events the happened with the Vice Squad, the government is trying to set an example of Oliver. They need redemption from what was a serious fail on the SPD’s part and the loss of a very well beloved sheriff and the case against Oliver will be their ace in the hole. In a way Oliver does partly agree with them, faith needs to be restored in what the acting police force can do themselves to stop the influence of the Ninth Circle, but he’s going to convince them of it by legally clearing his own name. He believes it so fiercely that even when Emi tries to break him out he refuses the help.
Oliver’s attorney is another mystery that’s waiting to see itself revealed. It seems she understands his plight but also has a hidden agenda of her own. Considering she is taking the case pro bono for now, Oliver wonders what’s in it for her. He uncovers that she has a son but also that she is broke. Seems that if Oliver’s name is cleared he will reclaim the Queen fortune and owe her a big debt for risking her and her son’s life to bring a hero back into Star City. Somehow she gets the money to make his ridiculously expensive bail, perhaps it was a well-wisher or maybe the Ninth Circle had a hand in it. It’s another mystery that needs to be solved.
Upon his release he discovers that Henry is still alive and to our great surprise he does let him know that he went over to Cyrus and Queen Industries purely for the money. He is still willing to be Oliver’s inside man but for an eventual payment. He does also mention the obvious. The way things were left between Oliver and Dinah, he has got to get her back.
What Remains of Star City
The plot behind this was perfect for a longer issue. On one end of it we have what Ollie is doing about his present situation. We also get a look at how Star City is reeling from the physical and emotional trauma it just endured. Mayor Domini is still a puppet to Cyrus who survived his ordeal with Oliver in the previous issue. Star City is now completely running on corporate sponsorship, ignoring the regulations on big business set by the laws of the United States. Apparently this has caused a great economic growth with the lowest unemployment in history. Tell that to the people in Pennytown who are living in shacks with no food or money and still being abducted by the ghouls of the Ninth circle, just as in the first issue of this series. It seems that this only the start of something greater. With all the plays they implemented Cyrus has only just begun his beta run with Star City. His goal is to turn the whole United States into a constellation of Star Cities.
FINALLY I SAY. Remember way back when Diggle pistol whipped Ollie to save Malcolm Merlyn? Well Percy finally decided to come back to this and not a moment too soon. Seems that he took Malcolm somewhere to recover, he owed him one and he’s coming through with it. While we are still in the dark about what Diggle is really up to we can see that he really isn’t a true friend to the Magician. Yet, at least we see that something is in the works here, for better or worse.
On the other side of Ollie’s relationships Dinah hasn’t let up on taking the fight to the Ninth Circle. She’s fighting for the little people in Pennytown who have somehow been forgotten by the rest of Star City thanks to a few pretty words by the just Mayor of Star City. Yet they are starving and dying and being abducted by the Ninth Circle. This parting was painful. If anyone knows anything about Green Arrow comics is that Oliver and Dinah always end up together. Sure they’ve had huge fights and even hated each other for some time but somehow they always returned.
With Dinah worried about Pennytown and Ollie worried about the country, he decides he needs to take on the Ninth Circle at their national scale. This means leaving Star City and the Canary just can’t do it, not with so many people who need help. Everyone but Dinah sees him off, even Henry gives him a loan to show his faith. It’s going to be a lonely journey for Oliver Queen but nothing is more heartbreaking than the silent goodbye he gets from Dinah. As if the ending couldn’t get worse in turns out that the Ninth Circle is on the rise, the Green Arrow is broken and no Queen is left to stand in their way, only one to help them. Moira Queen (who is supposed to be dead by the way).
I know I’m crying about Ferreyra being gone, considering he has fast become one of my absolute favorite artists, but I don’t want to take away from Otto Schmidt. He was the appeal of the Green Arrow Rebirth series to me with his great artwork in the first few issue of the series and is as much a part of the best staff as anyone. While his art is slightly more cartoonish than what we’ve seen lately it has a charm of its very own. He’s able to portray an emotional depth better than most can and truly has you feeling for the characters in a way that matters. So to Otto, welcome back and I look forward to what you have in store for us. Though, I do hope that Ferrerya stays on for the covers because wow, they always seem to blow me away.
This was a great prelude for things to come for the future of Green Arrow. It’s an emotional ride full of suspense and intrigue and load of mysteries to be solved. By the end of it we feel the duality of having a new start fill us with hope and such bitter defeats that leave us so demoralized and hollow that the light of day just seems so far away. In the end sacrifices must always be made for what is really important and Ollie has shown us this in three different ways by sacrificing his reputation, holding on to the hope that those we trust will always be there for us, and that sometimes the ones we love can’t always be with us…even when we need them most. Oliver Queen’s journey has begun a new and with it will come new struggles and defeats, but he will be the greater for it when he rises to the challenge.
Final Score: 9/10
Green Arrow Rebirth #25 Credits
Story: Benjamin Percy
Art & Color: Otto Schmidt
Lettering: Nate Piekos
Cover: Juan Ferreyra