- Writer: Benjamin Percy
- Artist: Otto Schmidt
- Colours by: Otto Schmidt
- Letterer: Nate Piekos
- Cover by: Juan Ferreyra
- Variant Cover by: Steve Skroce with Alex Sinclair
- Group Editor: Brian Cunningham
- Associate Editor: Harvey Richards
- Editor: Andy Khouri
In 2016, after the 2011 era of stories known as ‘The New 52’, DC once again revitalised it’s story telling and art with the newest era of comics known as ‘Rebirth’ in hopes of fixing some the mistakes they made with The New 52.
Rebrith saw the return of Oliver’s Dick Van Dyke goatee as well as bringing back some characters from the stories prior to Flashpoint such as Shado, which takes us back to the days of the Mike Grell run of the series.
The new Rebirth series may seem a little confusing as there may look to be two issue 1 books for each series but the truth is, Green Arrow Rebirth #1 and Green Arrow #1 of the rebirth franchise are two separate books. The one I am reviewing today is the Green Arrow Rebirth #1 which simply introduces us to the character again and gives us a glimpse at what the stories in this series will be like.
The story begins with a familiar topic for Oliver, one of politics. Oli was on a dinner date with the Republican Senator’s Daughter, but after their argument she storms out, leaving Oli to once again dine alone. Think of it as the opposite of Batman, instead of our hero leaving, he makes his dates leave instead.
After Oli leaves the restaurant he gives a poor woman and child some money, but the child accidently drops it when Oli leaves. The money blows down the street into a sewer and the mother of the child goes to retrieve it, but she never comes back. In narration, Oliver then explains that since his return home to Seattle, he has heard of multiple missing persons cases, most of them homeless, so to think that they are reported missing means that something is really going on in his city. It’s not long before Oli explains his double life where by day he is billionaire businessman Oliver Queen, but at night, he roams the streets as the hooded, arrow slinging vigilante known as Green Arrow.
Oliver is re-introduced to Dinah Lance a.k.a Black Canary, but unlike most Green Arrow/Black Canary stories, they aren’t helplessly in love in these beginnings, and they have only met once prior to this moment. Dinah was trying to help the young child whose mother was snatched in the beginning of the story, so Oliver helps them both by taking them back to his apartment to freshen up and heal any wounds they may have.
It is in the apartment where Dinah tells Oliver (and the reader) that the Justice League, as well as other hero teams, talk about Oli and not always in a good way. Oli has often claimed to be a Social Justice Warrior, but his outspoken characteristics leave many to call him a ‘Sanctimonious Jerk’. So far, Dinah doesn’t seem all to impressed with him and their relationship has started off rocky at best.
Dinah accuses Oliver of being neglectful to his city, even going as far as to say it’s “as neglected as that Heroin-addicted partner you used to have”, which is referring back to the controversial plot of a two-part anti-drug comic book story arc which appeared in Green Lantern/Green Arrow issues 85 and 86 in 1971.
Despite their current differences, Oli and Dinah learn a little more about each other and realise that no matter what, they are fighting on the same side. They save a village of street beggars and discover the underground hide out of the attackers, only to find that they are holding an auction to auction off the victims they’ve kidnapped to masked rich people.
Oliver explains that whilst the rest of the world may not care about these people, he does. He vows to find the masked rich people on the screens, and swears that he will make them pay in the worst ways for what they’ve done.
At the end of all this, there is a moment of peace as Oli and Dinah are back at his apartment, talking. In the end, Oli finally asks for her name and she introduces herself properly.
It has to be said that Otto Schmidt and Juan Ferreyra’s art for this Green Arrow series are my absolute favourites. Their designs are sleek and the colouring is close to, if not already, perfect.
The new costume design merges the usual tropes we’re used to for Green Arrow, with the mask and the hood, but also bring forth a sleeker frame for it instead of it feeling like a Robin Hood type costume.
The colours alternate between being bright and cheerful for his scenes as Oliver but change drastically for his night scenes as Green Arrow which adds to the drama of the plot, but whilst the backgrounds portray that effect, the characters stand out perfectly. Oli’s new costume is still a darker green than his previous one but not so much that he doesn’t pop out from the page. Even Dinah’s Black Canary costume stands out from the background as she rocks the leather jacket and fishnets with shorts look again.
Whilst I did enjoy Green Arrow in The New 52, I felt that his design was certainly off, so it’s nice to get a redesign that made him feel like the Oliver we know and love from the older comics. The story is genuinely gripping and I love seeing the relationship build between Dinah and Oli again from scratch, though it does feel a little rushed in places, but you also have to remember that these two are pretty much soul mates no matter what. They are without a doubt one of my favourite comic book couples and this new series will help portray exactly why they work so well together.