Green Arrow’s journey through the Multiverse has had its fair share of ups and downs. The latest development with Oliver Queen running into an older version of himself is prime with potential. At the same time, this Multiverse story seems to have run its course. Getting Oliver back to the regular DC Universe would be great for the character. Specifically, Oliver will be able to interact with other characters that are not himself. Hopefully, we get there sooner rather than later. Let’s see where things go next with Green Arrow #5.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Sean Izaakse, Phil Hester, and Andre Parks
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letterer: Troy Peteri
“PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OLIVER QUEENS COLLIDE! Past, present, and future Oliver Queens fight for who gets to return home! But at what cost?! Arsenal and Black Canary are joined by an unlikely ally in their hunt for Amanda Waller, and they uncover a large piece of the Dawn of DC puzzle!” – DC Comics
The length of this Multiverse story starring Green Arrow is starting to be felt. There are points in Green Arrow #5 where it seems as though Oliver Queen is going around in circles. Luckily, there are scenes without Oliver that help keep these moments from getting the story to not hit the point it’s running in circles.
The good thing about the direction of the story is that Joshua Williamson spends most of Green Arrow #5 on the fun side of the adventure. Seeing Oliver teaming with an Old Man Green Arrow version of himself is a cool way to use the Multiverse. Particularly, we see the post-apocalypse setting used to give this type of story a more fun tone.
Making the direction better was the fact that Oliver revealed he was playing into his Old Man Green Arrow plan. Oliver knew something was going on but did not reveal his hand. This shows that Oliver is not one to be easily tricked. While he is mostly a street-level hero Oliver has been around for a long time. He knows the things to pick on when he is falling into a trick, especially one as obvious as what Old Man Green Arrow was doing. With that in mind, Oliver waited for the right opportunity to make his move so he didn’t simply fall for what Old Man Green Arrow was planning.
It worked well to set up the big ending of Green Arrow #5 with Oliver facing off against all the different Multiverse versions of himself. It was certainly a kick-ass visual to end the issue. Each version captured the distinct look of that era of Green Arrow.
All that said, it is disappointing that we don’t see the other Multiverse elements we got earlier with the Legion of Super-Heroes and Lian Harper get much time. They are given one page and just forgotten. Lian Harper in particular seems to be a wasted opportunity. Oliver and Lian had good chemistry in the one issue they were together. But that chemistry continuing to be explored is just gone. It’s too bad because we haven’t gotten a chance to see Oliver in the mentor role very much so it’s untapped potential just sitting there.
On a similar note, we don’t get a lot from what Black Canary, Arsenal, and Cheshire are doing. What we do get certainly maximizes the screen time they are given. It’s just enough time to drive home how these scenes without Oliver are just as compelling, if not more so. Roy and Cheshire’s dynamic shines as the divorced parents. They certainly have a unique relationship with Lian’s situation driving them to deal with one another. Black Canary being the one to try to get them on the same page worked really well.
However, it is odd that there has been almost no progression to the Amanda Waller connection to the story. A big selling point for this first arc of Green Arrow has been around the hunt for Amanda Waller. We are no closer to five issues into the story than we were in the first issue. It seems like Williamson just gave Black Canary and Arsenal busy work so they weren’t just sitting around doing nothing. That is not how this major part of Green Arrow’s first story should feel like.
With Green Arrow #5 continuing the Multiverse story having multiple artists is something that can work. Especially with how this issue is planned out as Sean Izaakse, Phil Hester, and Andre Parks have their own specific segments. The transition between artist works to help drive the big Multiverse adventure through different locations.
Green Arrow #5 is a solid issue that delivers some strong character work for Oliver Queen. Oliver tackles his Multiverse journey that stays with the type of character he is. Though the limitations placed on the other characters involved not named Oliver Queen is a mixed bag. While some like Black Canary and Arsenal maximize their screen time others are just forgotten. Having a better balance with other characters’ involvement would improve the story of this series.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10