As soon as Green Arrow" #24 opens, it's clear how much thought and care Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino put into this comic series. The comic begins with a one-page recap of the series in general, but especially their run on the title (which more or less wiped the slate clean and started over). It's almost as if they knew that the previous issue might have proven to be a good jumping-on point for readers -- oh wait, that's because it was, thanks to an excellent spotlight on Count Vertigo. And here -- surprise, surprise -- that excellence continues.
Lemire's narration of "Green Arrow" is smooth and inviting, the sort that can give exposition without making it feel like a lecture. That's a real pleasure, something that's rare in comics these days. Instead it lulls you into a sense of enjoyment, as Oliver Queen tells you where everything's going even as it all falls to pieces as Count Vertigo attacks Seattle.
"Green Arrow" #24 has Lemire juggling a few plot threads at once -- Count Vertigo, Shado, Dragon, and a surprise face at the end of the comic -- and all of them feel like they get equal footing. It would have been easy to focus on just a single character, but this feels like a natural shuffling through a large supporting cast, and that's part of what I appreciate so much about "Green Arrow" these days.
Sorrentino's art looks great from start to finish; that initial image of Count Vertigo's powers spiraling out of his head is both dizzying and entrancing. The shift between colors, the careful pattern created to showcase those inversions, the way that Vertigo himself is almost a silhouette in the background -- it's a visual show-stopper, and that's the sort of care he brings to the comic these days.
The best part of this issue, though, is the confrontation between Green Arrow and Count Vertigo. Lemire and Sorrentino collaborate wonderfully here, the art and story meshing to create a unified whole where it's greater than the sum of its parts. I love watching the panels just shatter away from Vertigo and Green Arrow, creating a visual dissonance that tells the story in a way that only comics can truly tackle. It's a strange representation of order and chaos, and as your eyes track away from the center and then get pulled back in, you understand exactly how Green Arrow's able to defeat Count Vertigo, all via the language of comics. Great stuff.
If you haven't been reading "Green Arrow," this issue is a perfect example of the inventiveness that's on display here. Take a look, but then be prepared to buy the back issues. This is a creative team who honestly should have been on the book since day one, but they've made up for lost time quite admirably.