“Green Arrow” #14 may not deserve as much attention and publicity as the character has lately received, thanks to the announcement of Jeff Lemire’s upcoming stint as ongoing writer or even the success of the CW’s “Arrow,” but it does feature a pivotal chapter in the “Hawkman: Wanted” crossover.
Regular “Green Arrow” readers will be a little miffed, considering the Emerald Archer takes a back seat in a big way throughout the first third of this issue. Hawkman takes center stage as he is being pursued by Warhawks, glimpsed on the final page of “Savage Hawkman” #13 and given more space and attention in this issue. As a matter of fact, it appears the Warhawks’ entire story occurs in this issue — and no, that’s not really a spoiler — which is certain to disappoint loyal “Savage Hawkman” readers.
The Green Arrow bits Ann Nocenti inserts into this issue feel shoehorned in. Those scenes are cutaways and disjointed asides that do nothing to advance the plot of the Hawkman story and simply are not given enough time to become interesting. Tack on third person caption boxes progressing the action and stilted, over-written dialog and “Green Arrow” #14 becomes a challenge to read, especially as the art and story try to work with one another, but just don’t align.
Freddie Williams II’s art is detailed and crisp, resplendent with detail and grit and more than a little reminiscent of Pat Broderick’s work at the senior artist’s peak. Unfortunately, his storytelling choices leave a little to be desired as Hawkman is hit by a jet (an occurrence described in a caption box as opposed to being clear in art) and Green Arrow’s galpal Suzie Ming apparently has to retreat to the mountaintops to place a call on her cellphone. Richard and Tanya Horie do a nice job providing classic coloring to Williams’ work, but sometimes the layouts just need to be a little clearer.
In short, this issue is a twenty-page collection of disappointment. “Hawkman: Wanted” originally seemed positioned to give the Winged Warrior a larger profile in the DC Universe, but following this issue, I’m fearful it may lead to a quicker exile. I was hoping Rob Liefeld’s departure from DC might provide a jumpstart to the story of Carter Hall/Katar Hol, but oddly enough, it has had the opposite effect — for both “Savage Hawkman” and “Green Arrow.” It’s a shame DC can never seem to get franchises synchronized from comic to other media quite right and “Green Arrow” #14 is a stunning example of those shortcomings.