“Green Arrow” #4 is made up of two halves that seemingly have nothing to do with one another besides location and the title character appearing in both. More than that, it’s like two different stories were crammed together with all of the meaningful and interesting parts left out. Context and content? Who needs those! Certainly not this comic where events happen without any reason that’s apparent. It’s a perfect example of the “Yeah. And. So. What?” comic where that’s the response you have after reading it. Yes, I read “Green Arrow” #4, but so what? Where was the reason why anyone should?
The first half of the comic has the Martian Manhunter arrive in the Star City forest for some nonsensical reason that’s never properly explained, lose control of himself, attach himself to a tree with a White Lantern symbol on it, and proceed to kill the forest somehow. Green Arrow stops him, takes him out of the forest, they both go, “Wow, that was really weird!” and J’onn flies away. What we’re supposed to take out of this is that the White Lantern tree is special, because a tree with a glowing White Lantern symbol on it doesn’t scream ‘future plot point’ on its own, it needs build up that tells us nothing except that, yes, this tree is special and what it means will be demonstrated at some unspecified point in the future.
Maybe if there was any follow-up, the first half of the comic wouldn’t come off so poorly, but there’s not. The comic shifts gears to Green Arrow getting involved in a scene out of 1968 Chicago with a demonstration/protest getting busted up, leading Ollie to helping out Mary, the main agitator and fighting the Man. Again, what’s missing here is context and follow-through. This scene doesn’t flow from what came before at all. It’s like Ollie is just wandering around Star City, getting involved in whatever is going down and moving on without much thought. There is, at least, the laughable idea that Oliver Queen’s main bad guy is a woman called the Queen.
Diogenes Neves’ art veers wildly between cluttered, overcomplicated panel compositions and finely detailed figures that look nice but are incredibly static. Worse than that, much of the time, figures are completely divorced from their backgrounds, looking placed onto the art without any thought of how they actually fit into their surroundings. When Neves is on and Ulises Arreola’s colors work, the pages look quite stunning. The use of green as the centerpiece of the comic is effective and Neves is good at putting Ollie in the right spot in his compositions so that the art revolves around him. Green Arrow often looks very good, but other characters look oddly formed or less polished at times.
Given the proper focus or time, the plots in “Green Arrow” #4 could possibly be engaging and interesting, but neither are given the chance. They’re fragments of nonsense where even the characters shrug and wonder what just happened before walking away, content that the mystery will solve itself some day. Not the best way to create interest or interesting, good comics.