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Green Arrow #22 - Shados, Part 1 of 2 Review

5

Green Arrow heads to Vlatava and Count Vertigo makes his debut in The New 52!

The Good

Writer Jeff Lemire pulls Ollie out of the somewhat formulaic plot he was previously in and throws him into a whole new world where the sky is the limit when it comes to plot potential. While he does make strong strides with the narrative, my favorite part of his writing has to be the chemistry he creates between Ollie, Fyff and Naomi. There's some great playful banter between the bunch and a friendly rivalry which generated a few remarks that made me pop a smile. Additionally, Count Vertigo isn't the only new character to appear in this issue. Lemire also tasks himself with reintroducing Clock King and Shado. The former undergoes a massive physical change (for the better, of course) and Shado's connection to Oliver is set in a whole new direction. Both obviously play quite a big role in the narrative Lemire has been fleshing out big time since the last issue.

I can't get over how good Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo's visuals are -- it's stunning. The two nail it on literally every crazy plot point Lemire could throw their way. All of Ollie's trick arrows are put use in a magnificent manner (green fire is gorgeous) and there's an amazing panel which will, for a lack of better words, blow your mind -- you'll definitely know it when you see it. Even if it's a motionless scene in a hotel room, the duo makes it rock with fantastic work on the characters and conveys beyond fitting expressions from each one.

Seeing as I'm a sucker for battles and character stats, I was totally blown away by the opening sequence. Green Arrow has been somewhat lacking in feats and this one scene completely changes that. It's a huge boost in his effectiveness as a combatant and was really impressive. That, or the mercs were useless fools. I think it's fair to believe it's a little bit of both.

The Bad

I can't help but get frustrated when I see a hero run from a clearly stunned and/or vulnerable villain. Ollie, take him down when you have the chance, dammit! Aside from that, no major complaints.

The Verdict

Remember that time Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino made GREEN ARROW really good? Well, they're still doing that! The two are a match made in heaven for Oliver Queen and this issue proves yet again it's quickly becoming one of the top books The New 52 has to offer. Lemire's writing continues to impress by delivering a fair balance of levity, thrilling action and huge plot developments. And Sorrentino's art? The man continues to outdo himself with jaw-droppingly good work. Seriously, go buy this book.