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Green Arrow #23 - Shados, Conclusion

5

Can Green Arrow and Shado escape Count Vertigo and his forces? Plus, Shado's new origin is revealed!

The Good

There's plenty of books out there with talented artists, but to me, GREEN ARROW is the undisputed champion. The last issue literally delivered a mind-blowing panel or two, and this one proves that when it comes to hitting us with truly phenomenal pages, artist Andrea Sorrentino and colorist Marcelo Maiolo aren't even close to done. Everything looks fantastic and yet again we're treated to even more signature boxes highlighting where arrows tag unlucky individuals. The bold coloring and focus on the injury makes them especially brutal and sometimes even cringeworthy. I didn't think it was possible, but they also created yet another terrific panel illustrating the damage Count Vertigo can dish out. Just like the previous one, it's beautifully twisted.

It's all the good stuff you've come to expect from Sorrentino and Maiolo by now, but they did something particularly brilliant: they made exposition exciting. I don't know about you, but sometimes I groan before a character dives into a back story. It takes you out of the moment and is far too often a totally bland experience -- one which aims to throw as many facts your way in as little time as possible. However, in this issue, the talented duo makes it feel like you're learning the history while looking through an ancient scroll. It still has Sorrentino's signature style, but the emphasis on shading on darker colors makes it an absolutely stunning and unique example of visual storytelling.

As for Jeff Lemire, his script remains strong as usual and there's some great bits of dialogue scattered throughout. Lemire clearly gives the artists plenty of thrilling moments to work with and they don't waste the opportunities one bit. I really dig how he's hugely expanding the Green Arrow universe and it's more than transparent he has some great ideas for Oliver's future. Plus, the reintroduction of a certain character (I won't say who just in case people avoid solicitations) is sure to get some people VERY pumped.

The Bad

The situation between Henry and Naomi is a bit too cliche. I can't blame either of them for having those feelings, but I really hope it doesn't go down a super formulaic road and have him purposely try to screw over Ollie just because he's jealous.

Count Vertigo was easily defeated (and understandably so due to the circumstances), but I seriously hope the guy undergoes an upgrade of some kind. Otherwise, what's stopping Ollie from making short work of him with a single EMP arrow every time?

The Verdict

Alright, it's official: GREEN ARROW has become my favorite DC title. Month after month, Lemire/Sorrentino/Maiolo blow me away. The story moves at a strong pace and is full of excitement, solid dialogue and massive potential. Meanwhile, Sorrentino and Maiolo create pages that leave me speechless. Overall, it's a great looking book with a great writer. What more could you honestly ask for?