Julia and Shawna Benson kick off their Green Arrow run by introducing a new vigilante to Emerald City; however, a little birdie told me this new “citizen” tends to take things a bit too far. You’ll never guess which billionaire is next on his hit list. Let’s strap in and find out!
WRITTEN BY: Julie and Shawna Benson
ART BY: Javi Fernandez
COLORS: John Kalisz
LETTERS: Deron Bennett
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
GREEN ARROW #38 SPOILERS TOO!
The Benson’s open this issue by introducing Jabal Slade, who is blowing up buildings to put up new homes. Lucky for the tenants, Green Arrow and Arsenal are there to save them right before it blows!
Next, readers find out that Oliver’s going bankrupt and getting sued by thousands because his Qphones and Qpads all blew up during GREEN ARROW ANNUAL #2. And, just as things are looking up for Green Arrow, a new villain/ vigilante emerges on the scene.
The Citizen arrives to fix this city using Social Media Social Justice. He captures Jabal Slade and posts a Live video online to have the web vote to see if he lives or dies. It turns out, the city votes for him to die and they kill him. The issue ends with Citizen announcing his next target; Oliver Queen.
Been There Done That
This feels like it’s been done before. The premise of a villain/ vigilante using the internet to have everyone vote to see who lives and who dies has been something tossed around in the media, films, and TV since at least 2008 with the movie UNTRACEABLE. Granted, that movie was just a straight up killer trying to show how sick and twisted society is where the Benson’s took it one step further and made it a “call to action.”
The idea of looking at humanity under a microscope to see their true colors was even done in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES when Joker made the two ferry boats decide who would live and who would die. Point is: I’m disappointed that Benson’s first shot at Green Arrow turned into plots of movies and possibly TV shows that have been done before. They had an opportunity, like most new creative teams on books, to move in any direction they wanted with new ideas and new directions for the characters. This issue felt more of the same Social Justice angle with plots of movies readers have seen before sprinkled in.
I enjoyed the Benson’s continuing the Oliver Queen chili snob connection. It’s a small, silly thing that’s fun and lite-hearted but I love it! However, I’m getting a bit tired of Sanctuary being name-dropped in random issues throughout the DCU. I feel DC is trying hard to push the idea that Sanctuary has always been there by sprinkling it in random issues across their line. It’s kind of like a gradual retcon, and it’s exhausting.
I also loved that Roy is the person Oliver chooses to trust with the box that Martian Manhunter gave him in case he dies. This was where I wanted the Benson’s to take the story. Readers will want to know what’s in that dang box and how it can be used to stop the Justice League. If you have been reading JUSTICE LEAGUE currently, we have seen how easy it is for our heroes to lose control, be taken advantage of, or just manipulated by outside forces. Point is: the Benson’s could explore this angle while fighting villains along the way. I would be all in on that story arc!
Javi Fernandez does a fantastic job showing facial emotions and expressions in his art. However, his style throughout the issue isn’t as detailed and realistic as I would like. I enjoy more texture and weight to my art, and that isn’t Fernandez’ style. Don’t get me wrong; nothing that Fernandez drew looks bad at all. Readers can tell exactly what they are looking at with little confusion. His layout of panels and flow through the issue makes it easy to follow, but the pages just aren’t very dynamic. Fernandez’ art doesn’t draw me into the story, but it also isn’t taking anything away from it either.
Should you buy this issue?
I’m on the fence with that answer. The premise feels like it’s been done before and the art is just fine but nothing that leaps off the page to grab my attention. So, currently, I would have to say no. My hope is that the story picks up and becomes more interesting, especially if the focus switches to the box!
Should you add this to your pull list?
Here is where I say yes. Each creative team deserves an arc to show what they can do and where they’re going. I will be reading the first Benson arc to give it a more accurate review of what they have in store for readers, and I feel everyone should do the same. A one issue snapshot for a writer and art team is not fair to give a stamp of approval or disapproval. So for now, I’m still in for the first arc.