“Dinah lost faith in me. Everyone’s gone. Emi, Broderick, Henry…even Oliver Queen. Who’s left to believe in?”
“No one but Green Arrow.”
NOTE: This review covers Green Arrow issues #1-#5 and can be purchased in a trade paperback under the name: Green Arrow vol. 1 – The Death and Life of Oliver Queen (Rebirth)
Betrayed by his inner circle, Oliver Queen’s Rebirth series kicks off with the Green Arrow left for dead in Puget Sound, his boat drifting aimlessly with drugs, alcohol, and blood found in it. Blamed for the murder of his secretary, Oliver is also framed for workplace bullying, the use of misappropriated funds, and philandering. The very people Green Arrow used to bribe are now on the hunt for him, handcuffs and a prison cell waiting for him.
In Abu Dhabi, John Diggle (now an owner of a private security force) is busy transporting a client called Arnab Kanoot out of a war zone, when the man is killed, burned to a crisp with two spiral-inscribed coins resting on his eyes. His only clue: a group called The Burned.
The Ninth Circle, a private powerhouse of offshore accounts and the largest bank for villains, is responsible for the attempt on Oliver’s life, blowing up his house, and infiltrating his business – using Queen Industries to funnel their corporate ventures into seedy undergrounds.
There’s a new character, Emiko, on the scene who is taken under Oliver’s his wing – a deadly assassin and ninja herself. Oliver also just got out of a difficult relationship with the Black Canary who is secretly plagued by her continual bad luck since everyone who gets close to her seemingly end up in the cross-hairs of death. After their brief break up it’s during this time Oliver goes missing and his death makes headlines. Black Canary decides to launch her own investigation into Ollie’s attempted murder, harassing dockworkers and ship captains alike in her search for answers. It turns out that The Burned are an organization that transport women and children with severe third-degree burns, as if they were marked, on board their massive battleship. The Canary comes face-to-face with Emi who turns out not to be dead at all – as everyone had initially thought, but in league with these people until she undergoes a change of heart moments before Dinah (the Black Canary) is to suffer through a physical transformation that would put her as a pawn for the villain Dante.
It’s a back-to-back adventurous romp, all right. The artwork is a bit of a let-down since it hasn’t really improved from its New 52, which if you’re in it for the pretty pictures you’re probably better off checking something else out. Story-wise though the Rebirth series brings everything with a really fresh take on a lot of details, concepts, and the characters themselves. Oliver Queen is in the thick of it already, Green Arrow suit and weapons rigged out to the max and feet kicking butt. You know there’s going to be a lot of ‘Oh wow’ going on with new origin stories and new characters – and if you’re like me you’ll be keeping your eyes peeled for any of the villains as they crawl onto the pages.
In the end it’s hugs and kisses for everyone as Black Canary delivers a stupid line about ‘I let people go but it’s your job not to let go.’ and Oliver finds himself on an abandoned island. I’ll feign my surprise to see if it actually is abandoned but knowing the Green Arrow universe, it won’t be. Here’s to hoping Deathstroke makes an appearance soon to liven things up a little.
As for me, I see why the Justice League hasn’t let Green Arrow stay on as a permanent member.
Disclaimer: I received a free version of this from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.