Yeah, I Think I Would Take Bullets Over Arrows Still
Grifter continues strong without missing a step despite a rather random guest appearance by one of DC's top heroes. It's an issue that picks up the pace and shows that it can do action as well as the best of them when it wants to as Green Arrow complicates Grifter's plans against the Daemonites.
While I have to give credit to DC for not going the typical route of having Batman guest appear, I really do wonder why Green Arrow was chosen for this. Did DC originally think the new Oliver Queen would be one of the hits of the New 52. I really hope that's not that case, because it would imply some severe cluelessness on DC's part. I've made it clear before that I consider the Green Arrow relaunch to be one of the biggest failures of the New 52, reducing previously unique and relevant DC character into one that is all Apple references, trick arrows and Tony Stark-lite. I don't really think this Green Arrow adds the star-power to this issue that DC was hoping for.
That said, Green Arrow certainly doesn't detract from this issue either. He gives the issue a good excuse to pull off a pretty nicely choreographed action scene between the two characters. It's a great change of pace for the series. Now, I'm not saying the series hasn't had its share of action, but this is the first issue to really devote a large chunk of a story to an action scene. As great as the book has been so far, it's even better to see how it can bring its A-game to action scenes when it chooses to go that route.
While the all of the action does limit how much plot progression we get here, Nathan Edmondson does give us just enough developments in the ongoing story to make it feel like we are still moving forward with the ongoing story. Grifter unexpectedly finds himself an ally while some of the books side characters find themselves being drawn deeper into his conflict with the Daemonites.
Scott Clark manages to take over the art chores without it feeling like a jarring change for the book. As far as I'm concerned, consistency is key when it comes to a series' art. If an artist must be changed, I always prefer the new artist to be able to pull off a similar, or at least not vastly different, style. You know, except when I hate the art in the first place. Then by all means, change the hell out of it.
The story seems to set up more to come from Green Arrow when it comes to Grifter and the Daemonites, making me wonder if there was a crossover planned between the two books that has since been scrapped due to the creative changes happening in Green Arrow. It doesn't seem like a great fit for Green Arrow anyway. Given the story's science fiction slant, I would think Mr. Terrific would have been a more fitting choice.
As far as I'm concerned, Grifter is the best of the Wildstorm migrations into the new DC Universe. Green Arrow's appearance does at least add to the feeling that Grifter is now truly a part of the shared universe, and the book shows off that it can do action just as well as it does its usual tense thrillers.