GREEN ARROW #17 set Oliver Queen, a.k.a. Green Arrow, on a new and very exciting path. Writer Jeff Lemire not only focused on Ollie's development, but he also took major steps to flesh out his mythos and expand the group of heroes and villains that populate the Emerald Archer's world. That alone made the comic worth checking out, but artist Andrea Sorrentino and colorist Marcelo Maiolo complimented the writer's script with some absolutely brilliant pages. Unfortunately, GREEN ARROW: FUTURES END #1 marked the end of this creative team's time with the series. They'll be an incredibly tough act to follow, but instead of looking forward, we thought it would be fun to reflect on this terrific run. The issues are overflowing with awesome moments and we're going to celebrate the run by highlighting some of especially cool moments.
Obviously, everyone's favorite scene won't be here, so if that's the case, visit the comments section and share your top moment with the world in there. Now, let's go ahead and take a wonderful trip down memory lane. Oh, and there's obviously ahead.
Count Vertigo blows your mind
Count Vertigo's role gave Sorrentino and Maiolo the opportunity to create some truly stunning visuals. From the villain causing all kinds of havoc on the streets of Seattle to getting a ridiculously detailed look at the kind of damage his attack does to Oliver's head, picking just one example of the Count in action was a very, very difficult choice. Considering just how staggeringly impressive the above piece of artwork is, we couldn't help but side with that one. Their first encounter had quite a few creative pieces of artwork, but the above moment is just so magnificent, isn't it? Don't worry, Oliver later gets some sweet, sweet revenge on the fiend.
"Richard Dragon" makes his debut
As Green Arrow worried about the Outsiders, a new threat was taking Seattle by storm. Going by the name "Richard Dragon," this foe had one heck of an amazing debut as he swiftly took out goons and looked insanely formidable as he grabbed a man by the throat. It's a delightfully intense page which brings the city to life and makes this new bad guy look every bit as formidable as he should. This was a great way to build the hype for the Broken storyline, too.
The sword is mightier than the fist
The Outsiders War forced clans to take sides and the clash which followed was quite epic. This battle consisted of a tense encounter with Oliver's family and Komodo, but the showdown between Katana and Onyx was seriously cool. Can the head of the Fist Clan disarm the head of the Sword Clan and dish out a proper beatdown? Well, it turns out the answer is a clear no and what follows is a scene that would make George Lucas smile. It's a glorious moment for us and not-so-pleasant moment for the head of the Fist Clan.
Hey there, son
Wait, what?! Like we said in the intro, Lemire focused on expanding Oliver Queen's mythos and the writer instilled some huge changes in his origin story. One of these changes is the role his father, Robert Queen, played in his life. When you have an immortal shapeshifter named Magus in your story, it's pretty easy to give someone a fake death and that's exactly what they did with Robert. Not only was Green Arrow's father alive, but he viciously trained Ollie on the island and played a critical role in the events which followed. Sadly, his return didn't last very long. The villainous Komodo fired an arrow at Emiko Queen and Robert jumped in the way of the projectile to protect her. It's unfortunate he "returned from the dead" only to die for real, but at least he had an honorable demise.
Downtime with Diggle
If you watch Arrow, you likely know one of the most appealing parts of the show is Oliver's teammate, John Diggle. Seeing as so many fans love the character, Lemire and Sorrentino brought him into The New 52 and gave him plenty of history with the archer. The creative team gave him a rough time as he bumped into the likes of Killer Moth and Richard Dragon, but his dynamic with the hero was entertaining and it was great seeing them get a little bit of downtime during an elevator ride before absolutely obliterating Dragon's goons. It was a nice bit of levity in a story that's loaded with drama and intensity.
Komodo does his best Deathstroke impression
The fights between Green Arrow and Komodo were gripping and shockingly brutal. From their first battle in GREEN ARROW #17 to his death at the end of The Outsiders War, the conflict these two had was both exciting and totally engrossing. However, it was their brawl in the graveyard which left a particularly powerful impression. From the heavy rainfall to the high level of ferocity as these two duked it out, it was a memorable melee and the ending was a real jaw-dropper. Stabbing Komodo in the eye was swift and ruthless turn of events, but the splash page Sorrentino and Maiolo created for it was beyond fantastic. It's an image that's sure to linger in your memory.
Say "hello" to the Longbow Hunters
Junior Diaz, a.k.a. Richard Dragon, is intimidating enough on his own, but if he's going to control an entire city, he's going to need an army. His army: the Longbow Hunters! As you can clearly see above, the evil team made a mighty fine debut. This badass splash page was, of course, saved for a cliffhanger and it had us beyond thrilled to see what came next. As expected, what came next was a whole lot of amusing action. Poor Brick...
The Emerald Duo
GREEN ARROW's action scenes often took place in dark environments and this complimented the tone well. From a rainy graveyard to fighting under a full moon, Oliver's conflicts often had a foreboding atmosphere. But the creative team decided to conclude their final issue with the primary ongoing on a bright and optimistic note. We've had so many praiseworthy panels of these characters striking a pose at night, but with this one, it was far more fitting to have them bombarded by the sun's light. Emiko and Oliver are side by side and prepared for whatever the future may have in store for them. The captions blatantly spell that out for us, but honestly, you don't even need those to understand the message this page is sending. Broken was a violent and harsh story, so this was a surprisingly nice way to wrap it up. Let's just hope Oliver and Emiko will indeed have a bright future in The New 52.
Emiko Arrow & Naomi Dart
Emiko Queen is such a lovable character and Naomi Singh was showing impressive signs of bravery at the end of Broken, so it's awesome to see these two step up and protect their city in DC's latest big story, Futures End. GREEN ARROW: THE FUTURES END #1 showed us why this is such a fun team-up right on the very first page. Seeing as Naomi previously used Red Dart's gauntlet to save the day and she has an emphasis on technology, having her slip into that character's mantle and use it for good feels appropriate. Here's hoping these two stick around when the new creative team takes over.
Green Arrow Vol 4: The Kill Machine is current available and Green Arrow Vol 5: The Outsiders War will go on sale October 14.