The Green Arrow franchise had one of the biggest question marks around it at the end of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Oliver Queen was seemingly still dead after taking a fatal blow from Pariah at the beginning of DC Comics’ biggest event. But it looks like Oliver Queen’s death won’t be permanent. Instead, he is returning in some form for the newest Green Arrow series. Based on the cover it appears that Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse’s cover for Green Arrow #1 it looks like the entire Arrow Family will be involved in this new series. Let’s find out how it all begins with Green Arrow #1.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Colorist: Tomulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Unknown to anyone Oliver Queen is lost somewhere in the Multiverse
Meanwhile, Dinah Lance, Roy Harper, and Connor Hawke work together to track down Lian Harper, who has been operating as Cheshire Cat in Gotham City. The emotional reunion is cut short when Lian mentions Amanda Waller’s name she and Connor are mysteriously teleported away.
Lian is teleported to an unknown planet and immediately attacked by a Manhunter. Oliver in a makeshift Green Arrow costume saves Lian from the Manhunter
Oliver then shows Lian a teleporter he found and destroys it immediately. Oliver reveals to a shocked Lian that they can never go home. End of issue.
Green Arrow #1 is a comic book that tries to do too many things at once. For one, it is a follow-up to how Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths ended four months ago. Second, because of how scattered the Green Arrow Family is there is continuity prior to Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths that is addressed. Then there is the whole mystery around how this series is incorporating the Multiverse with Green Arrow as the lead of the story. It’s all a lot to deal with and that is something that is clear when you feel when finishing Green Arrow #1.
In terms of the initial set-up, it’s certainly intriguing to find out what is going on with Oliver Queen being lost somewhere in the Multiverse. The opening pages visually create a sense that we are about to go on an epic cosmic journey with his latest volume of Green Arrow. Sean Izaakse’s artwork for this opening, and the entirety of Green Arrow #1, was on point with capturing the grand scope of what is going on. The change from being a grounded superhero to one dealing with things on a cosmic scale is certainly unfamiliar territory with Green Arrow. But we’ve seen Batman similarly deal with the Multiverse story so there is no reason Williamson, who has a firm grasp of utilizing the Multiverse, can do the same for Green Arrow.
It’s beyond this opening where Green Arrow #1 runs into a major struggle. Because we are presented with the idea that Oliver is isolated somewhere on his own. But you would not get that with how Williamson pushes Oliver as the narrator of the majority of Green Arrow #1. Williamson is so in your face about every little detail from who every character is to the status quo that he quickly loses Oliver’s voice in the narration. It quickly begins to feel like you are reading your teacher’s lecture notes about the Green Arrow franchise. It just becomes not fun.
This is a shame because when you simply follow the story by reading the character dialogue and Izaakse’s great artwork there is a strong story here. Unfortunately, all of the character narration Williamson writes Oliver to have gets in the way of enjoying what is going on. It gets to the point where it just seems like Williamson wants to impress the reader with his knowledge of the Green Arrow franchise rather than trusting his dialogue writing and Izaakse’s art abilities.
Now that is not to say the story of Green Arrow #1 is boring. In fact, the story in Green Arrow #1 is at its best once Williamson drops all of the Oliver narration to focus on Dinah Lance, Roy Harper, and Connor Hawke’s reunion with Lian Harper. This is by far the best content in Green Arrow #1. It’s been something that has long been in development since Lian returned in 2020’s Catwoman #25 during the Joker War event.
The significance of Lian’s journey as Cheshire Cat will likely be lost on everyone who hasn’t been reading Catwoman during the Infinite Frontier Era. That said, Williamson is able to make sure the reader isn’t focused on that history. Instead, the focus is on Roy using the memories he and Lian share to reconnect with his long-lost daughter. Everything Roy says made Lian dropping her Cheshire Cat persona and hugging her dad the highlight of Green Arrow #1.
Lian and Connor Hawke’s sudden disappearance just as soon as they are together with Roy and Dinah lays the foundation for the greater mystery Green Arrow is tackling. Lian telling Roy and Dinah to find Amanda Waller does point to Green Arrow being an important series to the entire DC Universe. With Williamson in charge, we could likely see elements from Amanda Waller’s meeting with The Light at the end of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #7. That would certainly add an interesting wrinkle to the story as we could get some political intrigue along with the cosmic stuff involving the Multiverse.
This gets us to the ending of Green Arrow #1. The ending with Green Arrow destroying the teleporter in front of Lian certainly drives home how the Multiverse will be a key part to this series. Given Oliver’s state as Green Arrow when Lian runs into him there has been some time that has passed. What exactly Oliver has learned that made him destroy a way for him and Lian to return home is an interesting mystery. It’s one that the second issue hopefully elaborates on to strengthen the foundation of the story.
Green Arrow #1 is a continuity-heavy first issue. Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse certainly do their best to try to make this a new reader-friendly first issue. That proves easier said than done. The big family reunion certainly lifts up what would’ve otherwise been a story that struggled with how to get over the Green Arrow franchise now dealing with the Multiverse. The second issue will need to do a lot of work to strengthen the foundation created by Green Arrow #1.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10