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Comics Today's Date:

THE NEW 52, Week 2:
Green Arrow #1

Just look at the cover to Green Arrow #1, and for many, everything has already been summed up. As a marketing move, it makes perfect sense. Even as relatively low-rated a show as Smallville was (being on the CW and all), actor Justin Hartley's take on Oliver Queen is known by far more people than have read an actual Green Arrow book in a decade or so.

Thus… it's the TV Green Arrow, with a very slight tweak to the costume. Except it's not.

Written by J.T. Krul, who carried Oliver Queen through the last odd year or so in the old continuity, this Oliver Queen has that young hunkiness of Hartley plus a different supporting cast that utilizes ideas from Geoff Johns' Flashpoint universe, where Green Arrow was an industry, not just a man.

Not just a billionaire industrialist playboy, this Oliver Queen gets to borrow from Iron Man, too, with a technical support team reminiscent of Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts, except more overtly smart and clever on their own. Oh, DC, someday Warner Brothers will make good movies out of your properties, and you can cannibalize your own instead of Marvel's movies.

That's a little too glib, perhaps, even though Green Arrow also seems poised to steal some thunder from Marvel's next hero to hit the screen – Hawkeye. Like the Ultimate Comics version of Hawkeye, now Oliver Queen has mastered all weaponry; he just prefers the crossbow and arrow. (Again, to be fair, the Smallville version also had mechanized his bow.)

Nothing in this book feels particularly fresh, but again, for new readers, it broadens the scope of Green Arrow's adventures because an artist isn't limited by television budget concerns. Oliver Queen tackles bad guys in international waters, making this almost a spy comic. Again, to the new reader, it has the requisite action and suspense.

It just doesn't stick. After reading, no characters stand out. It's a comfort book, with yeoman work from Dan Jurgens inked by George Perez (?!?). Though you can see traces of both artists in it, it feels like a Dick Giordano book, perfect to be consumed for a few minutes while waiting to do something else – thus perhaps perfect to read on your iPad on the bus or train or something, but not particularly complex in storytelling.

It's not a bad book, but nothing left me dying to know what happens next.

Derek McCaw

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