Saturday, September 01, 2012

Book Review, Graphic Novel: GREEN ARROW, VOLUME 1: THE MIDAS TOUCH

Even though I enjoy the character of Green Arrow, I can’t say I’ve really been a big fan of Oliver Queen and his Green Arrow disguise. A lot of what I originally know and read of Green Lantern came from the 1970s team up of Green Arrow and Green Lantern as they traversed the good ole’ U.S.A. bringing down criminals and starting a personal war on drugs. Despite not being as familiar with the character as I am with Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and Flash, I have always liked Green Arrow.

Like all of the DC characters, Green Arrow has gotten a complete reboot with the New 52. GREEN ARROW, VOL. 1: THE MIDAS TOUCH collects the first six issues of the new Green Arrow. At the start of the series, Green Arrow is already established as Oliver Queen’s night time vigilante alter-ego. Stealing a page from the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, he’s been fighting crime for a long time now and uses a division of his own company to research and fund his crime fighting. The first part of THE MIDAS TOUCH storyline has Queen facing off against a gang of street thugs who record all of their criminal activities and post them to cyberspace. They aren’t all that difficult to fight, but the general premise is an interesting one. What begins as a subplot but then becomes the main focus of this volume is Green Arrow’s confrontation between a decomposing monster of rotting flesh that calls himself Midas and his lady love, an assassin named Blood Rose who has a personal vendetta against Oliver Queen.

As far as comic stories go, GREEN ARROW, VOL. 1: THE MIDAS TOUCH is average. Queen/Green Arrow are likeable enough, but too much of his character seems copied from more updated versions of Batman. Green Arrow and Batman share somewhat similar backgrounds, but the characters are not alike. The similarities between Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Bruce Wayne/Batman are too many in this volume and take away from the overall character of Green Arrow. For instance, Green Arrow operates with his own version of Batman’s Oracle. Oracle works for Batman because Batman is a detective. It really doesn’t for Green Arrow because he’s not first and foremost a detective.

The other thing I disliked about the storyline is that it really doesn’t conclude. For example, it’s never explained why Blood Rose wants revenge on Oliver Queen. There is no sense of resolution. I realize that monthly comics have usually been written that way, but it doesn’t seem much sense to drag out a storyline beyond 6-8 issues anymore; readers (particularly younger readers) just don’t have the patience for it.

I did like the new look of Queen in this series and I liked the hints of the Justice League, which Queen just learns of for the first time.

Longtime fans of Green Arrow will probably be disappointed by GREEN ARROW, VOL. 1: THE MIDAS TOUCH. New readers might enjoy it and even though there isn’t anything all that extraordinary about the collection, there are enough tidbits to keep those newer readers interested in the further adventures of Green Arrow.

No comments: