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Continuing this week’s look at DC’s Rebirth event, today I am looking at Green Arrow: Rebirth #1.

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I picked up the variant cover by Steve Skroce. By the time I got to my local shop on Wednesday, this was the only cover they still had available. Either way, I think I prefer this cover. It’s interesting to see Steve Skroce’s art again. I know he had a run on Spider-Man years ago, but my favorite work from him is his work on the Matrix. In the Art of the Matrix, Skroce’s storyboards and designs are featured. This art is amazing and helped the Wachowskis get the movie made. I kind of want to go flip through that book now, but if I do, I’ll never get this finished. I don’t know what he’s been doing in the interim, but I’m glad to see his work here.

Inside, we are shown that the homeless in Seattle are being abducted. I know that Green Arrow has a history with Seattle, but it seems strange that this new series isn’t set in his traditional home of Star City. Since that is the city he operates out of in the current Arrow tv show, it’s surprising that that isn’t the case here. As much as a lot of the forthcoming DC offerings revolve around DC properties in other media, and as much was stated, it stands out as an exception here. An argument could be made that the only reason Green Arrow is a launch title with Rebirth is due to his televised adventures.

Green Arrow attempts to rescue a homeless child who is being dragged off only to discover that the “assailant” is Black Canary trying to help the child. This plays as an introduction between the characters and apparently these versions have only met once before. Reestablishing the relationship between these characters is a good move. It’s something that has been missing since the New 52 started, and probably something longtime Green Arrow fans have been wanting. If done right, this can bring a unique dynamic to this book and restore one of the prominent relationships in the DC universe.

Later, at Oliver’s apartment, Black Canary chastises him for being a hypocrite and basically part of the 1%. Reasoning that Queen’s wealth insulates him from the problems of the everyman, and especially the poor.

Next up, the duo return the child to a homeless encampment called the Jungle. Ok, so what we are shown now is basically an Ewok village in the middle of a forest in Seattle. Now, I’ve never been to Seattle, but I think if that a homeless encampment of that size sprung up, the local government would probably do something about it. Plus, are they really homeless at this point? “Oh, here’s my fashionable, green, rent-free treehouse in Seattle.” Who are you kidding? Hipsters would flock to that in droves.

Again, this is another reason to set this series in the fictional Star City, where you could get away with something like that. In his series following Brightest Day, a star-shaped forest sprang up in the middle of Star City. Green Arrow defended this forest as a modern-day analogue of Robin Hood. Seems like that would be the perfect locale for a “Little Endor” neighborhood.

Suddenly, a group of creepy guys called the Underground Men appear and attack the camp. GA and BC fight them off and interrogate one. They learn of an auction where the homeless victims are being sold off for various purposes.

Sidenote: it is here in the book that we are given the Superman punching a kid ad that Bleeding Cool has popularized.

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This has to be the best use of an ad since:

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Back to the issue at hand. Black Canary and Green Arrow storm the auction and vow to stop the individuals who are perpetrating it. At the end of the story, now dawn, Oliver and Dinah finally reveal their real names to each other.

The issue was written by Benjamin Percy with art by Otto Schmidt. The story was good and sets itself apart from the New 52 run by bringing Black Canary back in. The art is good and energetic. Black Canary’s sonic cry is represented well visually with a little wilder look with more colors running through it, making it look more alive. Previously, it usually resembled Aquaman’s talking to fish effect.

This is a good issue that will probably please longtime Green Arrow and Black Canary fans. However, I probably won’t continue to get this series. I haven’t picked up a Green Arrow book on a regular basis since his Brightest Day run. Before that, the only other time I picked up G.A. monthly was the Kevin Smith into Brad Meltzer runs.

Back when I started collecting comics, Green Arrow’s then current volume was mature readers only. Therefore, I couldn’t even purchase it if I wanted to. In fact, a friend of mine tried to pick one up and the guy at the comic shop wouldn’t sell it to him and that’s when we found that out. A lot of my comic buying habits were established early on like that. That’s probably why I still don’t pick up too much Vertigo even today. Despite, knowing that there are some good comics there for me to read.

It will probably take some really positive critical buzz or a friend’s recommendation to get me to pick this book up again. I would imagine that hardcore Green Arrow fans will be just fine with it though.

Tomorrow: more Rebirth fun.

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