Review: GREEN ARROW #21

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino
Release Date: June 5, 2013

GA-Cv21-ds-be4c9The world of Green Arrow gets a much deeper back story as part of the mystery surrounding The Island is revealed…

Jeff Lemire has turned this series around and taken Green Arrow from being a lower-tier book to a monthly must-read in just a few simple issues. Green Arrow #21 is a great example of what he is doing right in this series, building this character into a hero with some baggage, a fierce amount of tenacity, and some good old fashioned mysticism for flavour. This issue had a very strong Immortal Iron Fist vibe for me, which is one of the highest compliments I can give a comic as that was one of my favourite series of all time. There are mystical elements throughout the issue but Lemire does a fantastic job of keeping them grounded in reality. This isn’t a fantasy title or a Constantine-style book – Green Arrow is still a guy with a bow…and some odd side characters. Fantasy elements in a non-fantasy book is a very tough line to walk, but Lemire dances on the tightrope very well in this issue. The mystery he is unfolding in Green Arrow is coming at an excellent pace and his dialogue throughout issue #21 is extremely strong. Brash young Oliver is juxtaposed by the exceptionally cryptic Magus, with some humour thrown in by other characters for flavour. Lemire is cooking with fire in Green Arrow and issue #21 is no exception.

With Lemire’s strong scripting comes dynamic, stylized and downright trippy (at times) art from Andrea Sorrentino. In this issue it feels like Sorrentino has been given a lot of room to work, and the issue is much stronger for it. The design elements in play are a huge part of why I got the Iron Fist feel, and Sorrentino nails the mystic elements of the story. Much like Swamp Thing and Animal Man shocked readers with their unique looks at the outset of the New 52, Sorrentino is infusing an immense amount of style and energy into Green Arrow and he has revamped this series completely. The artwork in issue #21 is some of the strongest yet, and the layouts in this comic are fantastic. I hope to see him continue on Green Arrow for a long time, as I feel this is his book, much in the way Greg Capullo has defined Batman in the New 52.

Issue #21 of Green Arrow is yet another strong issue in what has been a series redefining run from Lemire and Sorrentino. The mystery is unfolding and becoming more interesting as we go, and you definitely want to be reading Green Arrow.

Verdict: 8.5/10


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