"Zero Year" targets Oliver Queen and his supporting cast in "Green Arrow" #25. Spinning out of the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo-driven megastory in "Batman," writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino send Oliver Queen to Gotham City.
Lemire provides a valid and, quite frankly, admirable reason for Oliver Queen to be in Gotham City: his mother is there assisting in the relief efforts for those afflicted by the results of the Riddler's attacks. Lemire's construction of Oliver Queen's formative choices is solid and enjoyable. The writer doesn't discard everything that has been established, but builds new developments, referencing older plots and subplots when necessary. Despite the fact that this is a crossover participant in the "Zero Year" event, I was a bit surprised to find an appearance by a certain caped crusader in these pages. Lemire handles that confrontation in an entertaining fashion, with both heroes clearly still finding their way through their current situations. Lemire's ability to balance the tie-in with continued character development makes "Green Arrow" #25 a more substantial comic book than simply being a Red Skies-level event.
Andrea Sorrentino's shadowy, gritty, realistic art is fitting for the state of Gotham City during this story. In the midst of a power outage caused by the rogue Riddler, Gotham is putting its underbelly on full display, bringing out more of the worst in denizens of the Dark Knight's turf. As has been the case all along, Sorrentino's artwork grounds Oliver Queen and cast in a world that is understandably real. Colorist Marcelo Maiolo works well with Sorrentino as the two continue to showcase their unorthodox style throughout the story. Occasionally, a panel or two fall short on detail and off-center on placement, but those are rarities. Rob Leigh and Andrea Sorrentino need to coordinate bit more. The explosive, page-conquering sound effects are magnificent, but when Batman and, subsequently, Green Arrow arrive on the scene, the tails for their word balloons don't jibe with the angles of the action. The pacing of the action and the boldness of the artwork quickly erases the wonky point of origins for that pair of balloons, focusing instead on the adventure and excitement in "Green Arrow" #25.
Rounded out with a backup tale featuring art from the impressively gritty tandem of comic legends Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, "Green Arrow" #25 provides a nice companion for readers who may be checking this out due to the successful television show. Building on the developments in the lead tale, "New Tricks" expounds on the formative days of the relationship between Oliver Queen and John Diggle. This gives readers and newcomers just enough to tie this comic book and "Arrow" together, without handcuffing one to the other.
"Green Arrow" #25 hits the bull's-eye, so to speak, giving readers a solid story that builds onto the origins of Oliver Queen's hooded heroic identity. The most impressive aspect of this issue, however, is the fact that Lemire ties "Green Arrow" tighter into the DC Universe through this crossover opportunity, but at no point does this title feel like it needs anything else to be successful and entertaining. "Green Arrow" #25 stands on its own quite nicely.