“Green Arrow” #0 takes everything long-term DC Comics readers know about the Emerald Archer and skews it slightly. Well, maybe more than slightly, but that skewing, especially in the case of Oliver Queen, has a purpose as this issue will almost certainly serve as not only a launching point for new readers to “Green Arrow,” but also as a point of entry for viewers of the upcoming “Arrow” television show set to premiere in October.
While Ann Nocenti is credited on the cover for writing this issue, the interior credit box attributes the story to Judd Winick. No stranger to the world of Oliver Queen, Winick slides in nicely and brings Freddie Williams II with him to form the fill-in team on this issue. As odd as it may seem to have both writer and penciler filling in on a critical issue of the series, the duo brings fresh energy to this series that hasn’t managed to hold my interest since rebooting.
Oliver Queen is still a privileged snot who has more material possessions than he deserves and treats people like those possessions, but the people around Queen make this story slightly more than forgettable. Winick’s story here, while flawed with the fact that the writer cannot even remember the name of the villain he introduces in this issue, is briskly paced and carries sensibilities aligned with the CW, where “Arrow” is set to premiere. That’s not to say this is the perfect book for a new generation of readers in their late teens, but it does find the vibe necessary to hold the interest of those potential readers while giving Queen motivation to pick up bow and arrow and fight the good fight.
Williams’ art is sketchy and loose, enhanced by Rob Hunter’s strong cross-hatch-filled inks. Their combined style layered under and over colors from Richard and Tanya Horie, steeps this story in energy and anxiety to the story while competently framing the story, delivering detail and defining characters. Oliver Queen at the end of this story, although changed and more physically developed is still recognizable from the first image in this adventure. Williams’ tendency to pack every sliver of every panel on every page with detail and texture borders on overwhelming, and would prove to be so as the monthly artist of this book, but for this story, he’s a great choice to deliver the intricate details of the beginning of Oliver Queen’s evolution.
The essence of this story is boiled down into one splash page at the end of “Green Arrow” #0. That doesn’t make everything else filler, but it certainly does serve as a nice statement for the Emerald Archer’s motivation and methods. “Green Arrow” is a title that’s never really grabbed me, no matter how hard I tried to like it. Winick and Williams almost rise above that challenge, but fall just short of providing me with a compulsion to come back for more regardless of the creative team aboard. I might be more interested if this duo returned, but this issue doesn’t close the deal to entice me to come back next month to an unknown quantity.