Half a year into this new “Green Arrow” series, the most intriguing part of the series isn’t Green Arrow at all. From issue to issue, this series offers a lot of promise, but frequently fails to deliver on the teases about the mysterious power that created and invigorates the Star City Forest. The Forest has garnered speculation of a return of Swamp Thing, it has also been a key location to several subplots throughout “Brightest Day,” but little has actually been revealed about it, save for the rejuvenating pond that spared Oliver Queen from certain demise a few issues ago.
“Me. This forest. Galahad. It’s all happening for a reason. But what is it?” That’s what I’d like to know and I’d like to find out real soon.
I’m of the mind that this story would be much more interesting if the story didn’t try to slow itself down by haphazardly jumping between plots. Krul uses the mystery of the forest as a tease, circling back to it whenever his other stories seem to need a breather. The end result is that nothing of substance has happened so far in this series. Sure, Ollie got shot in the head by an arrow, but he got better. Galahad appeared out of nowhere and seems to be a total nutjob, but he floats in and out of the story offering little contribution. Ollie’s galpal who was strung up and threatened by Nix in the previous issue has all but disappeared in the span of a month, another plot thread that has faded until she’s necessary to advance a story.
Neves’ art is at its lowest point in this issue, offering detail for detail’s sake, but frequently copping out to simply colored backgrounds. The overly-gory visuals of close-quarters combat continue to stream through this issue, with a single punch sending a pint of blood spewing forth from Green Arrow’s mouth, a deed Arrow reciprocates with a broken elbow that explodes blood from the inside of his opponents’ arm like a popped zit. Neves’ talent is not in question here, but the visuals – shock in place of substance – have made me quite weary.
This issue was a breezy quick read, but less than satisfying, kind of like trying to nibble a substantial meal from the morsels that stick to a wish bone four hours after the Thanksgiving Day turkey has been carved. I’ve stuck with this series, sensing that it could turn a corner soon. I’ve had visions of great stories, interesting plot twists, and shocking revelations to come, but after six issues, my dedication to this lost cause is almost as misguided as the faith of the fans who show up at Ford Field in Detroit each and every Thanksgiving to cheer the Detroit Lions on against a gridiron foe who is more than a match for the Leos. I’ve given it time, I’ve been let down, and I’m certain I’ll find other spots for my $2.99.