Spoilers for Green Arrow #28 –
Man, how do you move from one bombshell to the next? After a while the constant stream of reveals should be desensitized as a shock factor meant to generate hype, increase sales, or both. If I were a logical reader, I would be cynical and jaded. But in the end, I’m not. Why? Because bombshells can be dropped all the time if bombshells are dropped in an inherently interesting fashion and are built up to, rather than coming out of nowhere. Lemire’s work on Green Arrow feels like it’s been nothing but bombshell reveals each issue, and although Green Arrow #28 is no exception to that rule, it still continues to do it in the way the series has been doing it i.e. building up to it issue by issue.
Looking back at it, I should’ve seen something like this coming. Anybody with any modicum of ability at analysis would have seen the things in this issue coming, especially since they use simplistic storytelling devices (heavy exposition, flashbacks, scenes made to illustrate just how serious a character is, and all of this is brilliantly illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino). What keeps this interesting though is that you have to go back and reread previous issues to see the context clues and get the full gist of what’s going on. Lemire has this story worked out issues in advance and it is quite expansive. Hell, he’s already using this arc to build up to the next arc (which, from interviews, sounds more influenced by Daredevil than the series current Iron Fist-influence). The reveals here run the gamut of Robert Queen orchestrating Ollie’s rise to Green Arrow, what Komodo does to Golgotha, and more. None of this would be interesting if it weren’t for the precision-honed writing.
As I’ve said elsewhere on the internet, Lemire explores an interesting character dynamic with Robert and Oliver as Oliver and Connor respectively. The wisened old hard-ass and his young, impressionable but brash son. Even Robert’s beard is meant to signify that he is like the Oliver of old. Additionally, this raises some questions. How did Robert get involved in the Outsiders in the first place? And with his name as it is, is Golgotha really dead? Golgotha may be an allusion to the story of Saint Longinus, the roman soldier who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance or spear (if you are religious or not) at a location called Golgotha. See the connections?
On the art end of the issue, Sorrentino and Maiolo continue to kill it as an art team. The sound effect fight scene with Kodiak as a two page spread was initially difficult to follow but proved conceptually great while Maiolo continues to use lighter shades of colors for flashbacks and moments of black and white for combat scenes. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said before other than that they continue to experiment and try new things every issue.
Final thoughts: the reveal of Onyx as the leader of the Fist Clan is cool although changing her ethnicity (coloring mistake?) definitely isn’t. And now that the “Outsiders War” is half over, I am wondering when we will get to the actual war itself? And I’m left wondering what the seventh clan is, and when they will be revealed. Green Arrow #28 is definitely a tease for all of this but it serves on its own as a good issue.
My score: 4/5