Jeff Lemire opens “Green Arrow” #31 up with Oliver Queen standing over his father, Robert, as the elder Queen gives up his place in the land of the living. Artist Andrea Sorrentino captures the moment with colorist Marcelo Maiolo adding smoky emotion to the scene that plays out over the first page.
Lemire goes about the business of buttoning things up, dealing out revenge and putting the chaos of “Green Arrow” #31 into order before closing out “The Outsiders War.” This final chapter, dubbed “Spoils of War,” deals with the repercussions of the actions from the warring clans as the prominent players all attempt to come to grips with their destinies and legacies. Plot drives “Green Arrow” #31 more than character development, but there is simply no denying the developments from that plot will be driving these characters forward long after the next arc is complete.
The story is more wide-ranging and layered that anything from Green Arrow ever before. There have been some memorable creators and epic runs on the adventures of the Emerald Archer, but Lemire is building worlds and blending incarnations of Oliver Queen with ridiculous ease, making it almost seem irreverent, save for the fact that the legacy being built is larger and more capable of sustaining itself than has ever before. No longer does Oliver Queen only have a couple foes driven by gimmicks. He escapes “The Outsiders War” with another faction of foes waiting in the wings to give him a run for his life.
Sorrentino and Maiolo provide plenty of the jarring, action-centric imagery they have made so integral to this run of “Green Arrow.” The minimal use of color, but the intensity of that color, really drives the critical junctures of this story off the page and into the readers’ faces. Occasionally, the duo get in their own way, sometimes making characters too rigid or zooming in too tightly on the action, but those moments are less common than the bright, impactful panels. Rob Leigh’s word balloons and sound effects cooperate wonderfully with Sorrentino and Maiolo, keeping “Green Arrow” #31 clean and different. While the art team is known for their impactful style, the most striking image of this comic book is not in the duo’s standard signature. The panel of Oliver and one of his comrades over the fallen form of Komodo is directly opposite to what the art crew has been doing to emphasize action and, therefore, immensely more powerful.
“Green Arrow” #31 is a fitting homage, tribute and contribution to the legacy of the Green Arrow brand. Now that “The Outsiders War” has drawn to a close, with Tockman and Richard Dragon sniffing around in Seattle, it appears that Lemire and company are going to continue to build the legacy and lineage of this character, making “Green Arrow” a comic book brimming with potential.