“Green Arrow” #32 continues Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s wildly successful run on the title, picking up right where “The Outsiders War” left off. And true to form, the duo pick up plot threads from the previous storyline, even as they launch them into a spot where a new reader could jump on board with no problem. It’s dramatic, it’s beautifully drawn, and it’s entrancing.
Using a newscast voiceover to establish the scene in media res is almost a cliche these days, but it works well in “Green Arrow” #32. Lemire doesn’t overuse the technique here, instead giving us just enough information on that first page to then let us hit the ground running. From there, it’s attacks, explosions, and a healthy dose of exposition. Lemire shuffles from one to the next, never letting the reader have time to even think about becoming bored.
Lemire handles the D-list of villains well here, playing off of their slightly ludicrous nature by giving them a certain amount of punch once they get rolling. Your defenses are lowered, just in time for them to give a good walloping that doesn’t go against anything we’ve seen from them up until now. I also appreciate that as the main villain reveals his overall plans, it’s never overwhelming or too heavy. Instead, the creative team gives just enough information to move the story along, dipping into other scenes before coming back for a bit more information.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Sorrentino’s art for those flashback sections is entrancing. He strips the art down here, removing a lot of the detail for a sequence that uses mostly outlines and a beautiful old school, zip-a-tone pattern onto those silhouettes. With big bold primary colors from Marcelo Maiolo, those scenes are iconic and visually arresting from start to finish. Here’s the especially great thing about them, though: it does more than just separates the past from the present. It has a greater meaning, one about memories as well as revelations that show up later in the issue. It’s a clever way to mask some facts from the reader, and it’s another reminder that Lemire and Sorrentino understand the language of comics perfectly. They’re using all of the advantages of the medium here, and I’m more of a fan than ever of their work on this title. (And that’s even before everything I’ve come to expect from Sorrentino: great layouts, sharp focuses using panel insets and an overall strong level of detail on all of the characters.)
“Green Arrow” #32 is, once again, a huge success — and that’s even factoring in the new Green Arrow’s debut, or the return of Diggle to the forefront in the comic. Lemire and Sorrentino have been on this title since “Green Arrow” #17 and they’re not just my favorite creative team on the book — Lemire and Sorrentino’s work on “Green Arrow” is one for the history books. Their collaboration here simply cannot be missed.