On Wednesday (July 19th) the newest issue of GREEN ARROW – issue twenty-eight – hit shelves at local comic shops near you, and we got the third part of the “Hard Traveling Hero” arc that’s been one of the better arcs I’ve read of any comic, lately.
This issue showed us DC’s Socialist (Oliver Queen) come face-to-face with its Capitalist (Lex Luthor.) I loved this concept. It’s also very fitting to the current political climate as we’re seeing both an increase in Socialism views being introduced into the public eye through Bernie Sanders, and at the same time, the downfall to a Socialist country in Venezuela. Benjamin Percy (writer) thus far has done a splendid job at capturing Oliver’s Socialistic qualities, and to have him come to his essential polar opposite in a time when a very heavy Capitalistic President sits in the Oval Office, it plays nicely on real life events.
Also to note and point out, I don’t know if it was actually in the script to have a photo of Luthor and President Donald Trump sitting on Luthor’s desk (lower right corner of below panel,) but it was the PERFECT touch to this issue.
Like since the beginning of GREEN ARROW’s run that kicked off with DC REBIRTH, the Ninth Circle is this antagonist that Ollie and Luthor are forced to deal with. The Ninth Circle being an evil organization hell-bent on forcing the world’s “one-percenters” to join or bow in their quest for “domination.”
Right out of the gate we get a heated verbal scuffle between Ollie and Luthor, and it doesn’t take long for us to see the effects of the Ninth Circle at work, as we see one of Luthor’s employees taking a swan dive out of the… well, lets just say a REALLY high up floor, because it was high. This also is the trigger for our introduction to “Big Blue” in this issue, as Superman takes to action in order to save the man attempting suicide since he believes he’s incapable of overcoming whatever the Ninth Circle has leaked on him.
Again, Benjamin has seamlessly placed two massive characters – Superman and Lex Luthor – in this issue without them feeling forced. Normally when big characters “cameo” in an issue of a comic that isn’t their own, it’s pretty obvious they were added to boost sales and to push the story along in a lazy manner, BUT not here. Benjamin was able to give us a story where Superman plays a small role, though important, and Luthor is an organically pivotal role in furthering the larger storyline that’s been going on since GREEN ARROW #1. That takes great comprehension for story telling, and Benjamin nailed it.
From the second that Superman saves the LexCorp employee, we become aware of how the Ninth Circle is coming for Luthor’s head, and that being through his name. They – Ninth Circle – ingeniously come after his employees by putting their dirty laundry out for everyone to see from affairs to gambling, and even prostitution. Now normally that wouldn’t accomplish very much, except for what had occurred with his employees attempting suicide by which Superman nearly stops solo, but here their showing the world of how “morally bad” those who work for Luthor are directly sends a shockwave through the stock market, and thus plummeting LexCorp’s stocks and Luthor via end result.
There are plenty of writers out there who wouldn’t be able to wrap up such a simple, but yet complicated, plot this issue had in a nice bow like how Benjamin did. He put every character out to shine. Allowing Superman to do what the “Man of Steel” does best, which is saving those in need when it’s clear no one else could. Continuing Ollie’s journey to ultimately bring the Ninth Circle to an end. And lastly but not least, showcasing Luthor’s intelligence (which Geoff Johns – COO of DC Comics – has confirmed Luthor to be the most intelligent human in the DCU) by having him singlehandedly stop the virus that was systematically digging through every LexCorp employee’s life, and dragging the skeletons out of their closets for everyone to see.
Another factor that had helped sell this amazing issue was the always wonderful art of Juan Ferreyra. Between Juan and Otto Schmidt, who are the series regular artists and swap drawing duties every few issues, they know how to capture the “Emerald Archer” and the usual cast of characters that surround him. That was on level-10 in this issue, as Juan not only captured Ollie with ease, but also Luthor and Superman. His way of coming up with perfect panels to not only accurately tell Benjamin’s story, but to also breathe life into it, which allowed us readers to connect with the story on a much higher level than other comics. Not all artists can give you pages that push the story to the next gear, and Juan excels at that.
Make sure to pick up GREEN ARROW #29 when it hits shelves at a comic shop nearest you on August 16th, with Ollie riding into Gotham City!