Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s “Green Arrow” run officially comes to a close with “Green Arrow: Futures End” #1. But while there’s a small amount of epilogue to what they did on the title over the last couple of years, it’s primarily a “Futures End” tie-in through-and-through, following on from the revelations in the latest issue of that weekly series.
Set mostly before “The New 52: Futures End” #1, “Green Arrow: Futures End” fills in a lot of the information on what Ollie Queen was up before his violent death at the hands of Deathstroke. This ends up working rather well in that regard; what felt like a bit of a throw-away death to start a body count instead has much more impact. It ties into Lemire and Sorrentino’s Outsiders saga, as well as showing us how the new Green Arrow and her partner Dart are working at as the protectors of Seattle.
More importantly, we see just how the surprise at the end of “New 52: Futures End” #18 can work; it’s actually well-rooted in “Green Arrow” history, and once you connect the dots it turns an out-of-character moment from a few months ago into a clever little, “gotcha!” moment. That said, it does mean that you don’t mistake “Green Arrow: Futures End” #1 for “Green Arrow” #35. People who have only been reading “Green Arrow” and not “New 52: Futures End” won’t get quite as much out of this issue, even if they will no doubt enjoy one final Lemire/Sorrentino collaboration. This isn’t an issue that works very well on its own, and that’s a bit of a shame.
The art is good, although not quite as intricate and amazing as past Sorrentino issues. A lot of his visual hallmarks are here — dropping down to black white and red for specific panels, or specially colored panel-insets to focus your eyes on a specific piece of action — and it’s great to get one final dosage. But the battle against the Vertigo Cult feels a little messy and not quite up to Sorrentino’s normally exacting standards, and likewise the rehash of Green Arrow’s death at the hands of Deathstroke isn’t as energetic as you might otherwise expect. Still, the entire Prague sequence looks great, from the Cathedral to the return of the Outsiders clan leaders, so there’s enough to bring a smile to your face.
“Green Arrow: Futures End” #1 makes me happy to get a little more Sorrentino art, and it also makes me wish that he and Lemire were going to be on the main series for some time to come. This is an issue that will ultimately please those who are already reading “New 52: Futures End” though, not for casual readers. Not bad, but also not up to par with everything else these creators did with Ollie Queen. In the end, an average quality book from a normally above-average duo.