At long last, we have the return of Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse’s Green Arrow! This book took a staggering break between the last issue and now, but finally it’s back and I’ve been champing at the bit to see the last issue followed up on.
To recap briefly, Ollie had just come face to face with the villainous identity of his best friend Hal Jordan: Parallax! This excited the absolute hell out of me last time, and for months now I’ve had time to ruminate on that cliffhanger. Williamson doesn’t waste any time getting into the meat of it, why Parallax is here, what he wants, or how he can exist – he jumps right in with the answers. The answer is actually quite simple: this Hal Jordan is actually the timeline duplicate version from aaaaaaaaaaallllllll the way back in Convergence, who had a brief stint poking around the New 52 universe before seemingly and unceremoniously vanishing from the universe all together. I. Adore. This. Idea. It also so happened to be my personal fan theory, so… nice to feel validated!
Genuinely, it was something I’d been wondering about for YEARS, every so often thinking “so, what happened to that other Hal anyway?” I’d just assumed he’d been quietly retconned or ignored, but nope! Williamson shows that same panache for continuity and deep cuts that characterized the last few issues, and all his prior DC work. Following up on such an obscure and forgotten plot point is utter brilliance, and I love it. I love it so much. Even after Ollie is on his own again, we’re hit with another whammy of a cliffhanger with a future Oliver Queen looking almost straight out of The Dark Knight Strikes Back. It’s definitely not THAT version, but I appreciate the visual homages.
This issue is a fantastic showcase of Williamson’s total grasp on these characters. Parallax Hal was such a specific take on the character, and he nails the voice here. His banter with Ollie, the self-serving attitude about redemption… it felt ripped straight out of the ’90s the same way this Ollie feels ripped straight out of the 2000s. It’s just super fun to see all these characters bounce off each other in interesting ways – Ollie and Hal, Lian and Conner with the Legion, even Dinah and Roy with Jade. There’s never a dull moment in this book, because everybody is has that classic Arrow Family piss and vigor that makes them fun to read about.
The art by Izaakse is just as good as the past few issues, and he renders every character in a very solid, recognizable way. By that I mean, his art just feels very… 2000s DC, if that makes sense. I like that for the story, again playing off what I’ve outlined in past reviews about this feeling like a spiritual continuation of that era of GA comics. I love the visuals Izaakse put into Parallax especially, his powers being depicted in that classic imaginative Green Lantern tradition, but also in how he blends aspects of the later “fear entity” take on the character seamlessly into the more 90s inspired vibe. It’s both a strong juxtaposition and a great marriage of the subtle body language of the two takes, I dig it a lot.
Need I even say that I loved this issue? This has been my favorite DC book – hell, my favorite Big Two book this entire year. Batman may be my number 1 favorite for life, but man, I just have such a huge soft spot for Oliver Queen. This book is just a perfect take on the character and forms an amazing story full of adventure and respect for the past and future of the character. I really can’t give a better endorsement than that, can I?
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Need I even say that I loved this issue? Read More