“Green Arrow” #38 brings the titular hero and Green Lantern together for the first time since 2011 to take on the shared threat of John King’s forces in a tale titled “Public Enemy.” Written by Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski (from the “Arrow” television show) and drawn by Daniel Sampere, this comic features quick action and an interesting cross-section of the DC Universe. With Jonathan Glapion inking Sampere’s pencils, the creative team is rounded out by colorist Gabe Eltaeb and letterer Rob Leigh under a cover from Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair.
To be specific, the Green Lantern who shows up in “Green Arrow” #38 is Hal Jordan, and he immediately flies in to fight alongside Oliver Queen as though there was never any reboot nor multiple Justice Leagues. The writers make it clear rather quickly that the two emerald-clad adventures have a mutual respect for one another, but not necessarily the deep-rooted friendship their namesakes shared in the 1970s. Hal is only around for this issue, quite clearly and undeniably, and his appearance — while fun — feels like a simple matter of convenience.
Hal Jordan is not the only established DC character to happen into the pages of “Green Arrow” #38. Kreisberg and Sokolowski keep the spotlight tight on Oliver Queen and Green Arrow but manage to fit in one of Arrow’s teammates from the Justice League of America. With so many characters shifting about, trading fisticuffs and blending into one another’s story, readers might lose sight of the cast and could even find themselves struggling to identify a character or two as the writers create something that feels larger than a single issue story. That becomes even more evident by the end of the issue as Green Arrow’s status slips out from underneath him.
As should be standard issue with comic books featuring a Lantern, Eltaeb pours in gorgeous color work, making Hal’s every appearance glow. The coloring works quite nicely in both paper and digital formats, but just pops a bit more in the latter as it becomes underscored by the very light it is intended to imitate. The art under that color is solid and even encouraged me to scramble for the creator credit box upon Jordan’s first full appearance. That single panel broadcasts echoes of Doug Mahnke and Ethan Van Sciver, but it is all Sampere, with strong ink work from Glapion. There are some odd storytelling choices that are clearly conscribed by the script and would be much cooler in moving media, such as the camera following Jordan’s extended, ring-bearing fist or trailing three shot arrows, but the main thrust of the adventure is clean and sharp.
“Green Arrow” #38 is a nice team-up issue that is certain to bring a smile to fans of either character in virtually any incarnation. There is enough pathos from the “Arrow” television show present and plenty of character bits from years of comic book history to keep readers locked in and enjoying the team-up, even if so many of the story elements are measured out for maximum dramatic effect, like Jordan’s departure before the big finale. That said, this is an enjoyable comic that offers TV viewers a nice chance to explore the DC Universe they see teased in “Arrow” every week, and more seasoned readers are provided the opportunity to absorb some of the connections Oliver Queen has established throughout that same universe.