Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer of CW’s “Arrow” television show, joins the comic book adventures of Oliver Queen in the pages of “Green Arrow” #35. Ben Sokolowski joins him, receiving credit for the script while the art team of penciler Daniel Sampere, inker Jonathan Glapion, colorist Gabe Eltaeb and letterer Rob Leigh also make their first contributions with this issue, following the critically acclaimed run of writer Jeff Lemire, artist Andrea Sorrentino and colorist Marcelo Maiolo.
Kreisberg asserts the television continuity a little more strongly than Lemire did. Fans of the show will appreciate Diggle and the New 52 debut of another character (at least in name) from the show with pre-New 52 ties to Firestorm. Kreisberg and Sokolowski do not stop there, as the writing duo takes several liberties within this first issue to investigate the connections Oliver Queen and Green Arrow have across the DC Universe with appearances from Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne. That six-page interchange is the most enjoyable and entertaining part of “Green Arrow” #35 as it provides definition to Oliver Queen and his concept of right and wrong.
The heroic aspects of “Green Arrow” #35 are somewhat cliched, as the issue opens with non-descript thugs on the receiving end of a buttkicking from Arrow. Following that, the writers deliver a by-the-numbers conversation between Queen and his patchwork physician, Doctor Cross. The conversation between three of the DC Universe’s richest men marks the halfway point and the issue closes out with a crescendo-worthy cliffhanger.
Sampere plays with cinematic storytelling throughout the issue, using Green Arrow’s arrows as the camera for readers to follow the drama through the book. It makes for a very strong opening scene that cuts right to the action of the story, but when used a second time in that scene, the gimmick falls flat. Sampere and company have the challenge that has always faced Green Arrow artists, which is to make long-range weaponry exciting and immediate. Arrows flying through the air just aren’t as gripping as a well-choreographed fight. That said, there are some good concepts set forth in “Green Arrow” #35, but I’m curious to see what other storytelling tricks Sampere employs.
Jonathan Glapion is a solid choice to ink this story as Kreisberg and Sokolowski are clearly trying to capitalize on the shadowy aspects of the CW show. In conjunction with Eltaeb, Glapion does a nice job of shading the story without overshadowing anything. Leigh works through the story nicely, surrounding the artwork, but keeping the storytelling clean. There is a distinct lack of variety in the word balloons from characters present in “Green Arrow” #35, but Leigh clearly would have been able to handle whatever his writers sent to him.
“Green Arrow” #35 is a solid opening story, but it doesn’t completely define Green Arrow enough to make him interesting beyond this issue. Kreisberg and Sokolowski clearly are trying to align the Oliver Queen of television and comics, but the comic book version needs to stretch a little bit more to hold readers’ interest. Now that they have carved out their foundation, hopefully this team will further define the direction for “Green Arrow” to fly.