The final phase of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s epic The Outsiders War arc has finally begun. In the past few issues, we saw how Oliver learned about the mysteries of his heritage and what it means to be Green Arrow as part of a legacy that has existed for countless centuries. He came face-to-face with a startling truth about his family that totally changed his thinking, and then he went up against some of his toughest villains to date. All packed up really nicely in great story and great art by the duo above. It is largely because of their work that I’ve come to love Green Arrow so much.
In issues #29 and #30, they take things even further and begin the countdown to the end of the arc as Oliver and his new allies deal with Komodo, Onyx and their armies of Arrow and Spear clans. And on the flipside, we see how his other allies, such as Diggle and Naomi and others are dealing with their own problems involving the newest mafioso in town, Richard Dragon. Even as Jeff Lemire’s writing continues to be excellent, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo’s artwork continues to blow everything else out of the water.
In issue #29 we see how Komodo has corrupted the mind of his daughter Emiko against her mother Shado. And we already know that Emiko isn’t really Komodo’s daughter, she is Oliver’s half-sister actually, since her father is Robert Queen in actuality. So there’s a lot of wonderful mind-games process going on. Komodo considers Emiko his daughter and he will do everything he can to make sure that she believes it. A large part of this issue is spent detailing how he has corrupted her, through various flashbacks form Emiko’s childhood, and they were some of the most characterful moments in the issue. But, at the same time, we also got to see Ollie go up against the Spear Clan in some of the most awesomely choreographed fight sequences. True to form, Jeff Lemire keeps things really interesting, especially at the end when he comes up face-to-face with Komodo and the others.
In issue #30 we see the fallout of the previous issue’s ending, and how Oliver and his allies get the one-up on their enemies, although at great cost. This was a tortuous issue, partly because of how intensely emotional it is. Jeff Lemire sets up a very blistering pace for the reader, moving very quickly through the entire cast and he never slows down. Which is just how I liked it. The focus is on the story and the characters and not any kind of ridiculousness. We see how well-matched Oliver’s allies are against Komodo’s allies, and the free-for-all in the middle of the issue is just too much fun all the way through. I wish that Jeff Lemire had spent some more time on it, because I loved it, and wanted to see more.
But at the same time, I have to say that in both the issues he hasn’t disappointed in any way. The best part of his stories has always been the plotting and it is no different in these issues. The way that he develops the various mysteries and the resulting twists and turns, the way he develops his characters, and the way that he keeps the reader guessing what is going to happen next, it is masterful. And to think, there was a time when I was really apprehensive about picking up this title because of all the bad stuff I’d heard about the creative team!
I say this again and again, and I never get tired of this: Jeff Lemire and Co. have made this title for me. They’ve gotten me invested in the title enough to anticipate each issue like it is going to be the best thing ever (which they always are!) and they’ve gotten me to care about all the characters. Even the “minor” characters like Emiko and Shado and Diggle and Ollie’s posse.
For the art, I have no further words to add. I mean, the team of Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo is just that damn good, man. Superbly crafted panels, great layouts, great action, great colours, everything you could want is here. I honestly don’t have a single criticism about either issue. I loved both of them.
So yeah, that’s issues #29 and #30 of Green Arrow for you! One hell of a knockout punch that you want to take to the face.