Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s run on “Green Arrow” has been excellent — to the point that it makes you wish they’d been on the book from day one — and “Green Arrow” #26 is no exception to that rule. Building on what’s been set up so far, Green Arrow and Shado head back to the island where Ollie was stranded all of those years, in search of a totem arrow to use as a bargaining chip against the deadly Outsiders. But of course, nothing is straightforward and simple.
A slightly cynical part of me feels like Ollie and Shado going to the island is an attempt to grab viewers who watch “Arrow” on the CW, what with it being such an integral part of that show’s mythology. But you know something? It fits in so well here, I don’t mind. If anything, this is how two different properties should feed into one another. Just getting that amazing three-quarter spread of the island from Sorrentino and colorist Marcelo Maiolo is worth it; it’s a wonderfully dramatic sight, one that you don’t normally get for an exterior approach to a landmass. But in the hands of Sorrentino, its sudden reveal is a little breathtaking, the bulk of the Pacific island rising up out of the water to green us.
Lemire and Sorrentino do a nice job of mixing in flashbacks to Ollie’s first time on the island with the present day narrative; it’s a good reminder on why Ollie wouldn’t want to be back there, and it also helps establish the island as a dangerous place. It doesn’t feel like the book slows down, either, something that can happen with too many flashbacks. There’s still a lot going on, and I appreciate that Lemire is not only addressing the upcoming war with the Outsiders, but also the Ollie/Naomi relationship (or lack thereof, so to speak).
Sorrentino does the heavy lifting this issue, though. The art from him and Maiolo is just amazing, page after page. That final two page spread as we see what’s beyond the hidden entrance is the sort of moment that should make readers gasp. The suspended rock bridge, the Roman statue looming up and over them, the trickle of sunlight through the foliage, the green/grey mists from down below… this is just incredible. Honestly, it looks more like a huge budget movie set than a comic page. And of course, with the only limitation being artistic skill, this is the sort of thing we should be getting in comics a little more often. Just fantastic, something you’ll need to see to believe.
If you aren’t reading “Green Arrow,” especially if you gave up one of the three different creative teams beforehand… well, I understand if you feel a little burnt. But trust me, Lemire and Sorrentino are doing amazing work on “Green Arrow” now, and this is as good a place as any to find out for yourself. Check it out.