Saturday, 26 September 2015

Arrow, Volume 1 Review (Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg)


I must’ve been sleep-requesting on Netgalley because I have no idea why I’d say I wanted to read this book - I don’t watch the Arrow TV show and I’m not even that big a fan of Green Arrow as a character! Anyways, I said I’d review it, so here goes. 

The format of this volume is 19 short stories roughly ten pages in length collected together - given that length they were probably digitally released originally. There’s no arc connecting them, they’re just random shorts featuring Arrow/Ollie Queen and various characters. Also, while Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Mike Grell are credited on the cover, there are a few dozen writers/artists contributing work here. 

The stories are instantly forgettable and throwaway: Ollie defeats corrupt businessmen and stops various suicide bombers from detonating (yup, there’s more than one here - imagination!). I think the idea of the comic is to read this in conjunction with the TV series and that’s why a number of them went over my head. There’s the origin story of an Asian girl with white hair (no clue who she is), as well as the origin of Diggle, a former soldier, who I know is a character on the show, but that’s all I know about him. 

There’s a cop character that I’m guessing is a big part of the show as we see his daughters deal with bullying at school. That’s another thing: the overall grimness of the book! Right from the start people are getting shot in the head and the stories revolve around murder, drugs, corruption, prostitution, terminal illness, war, child exploitation, and nihilism. The usual cheerful material from DC! 

Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress, goes from being Ollie’s lover in one short to his enemy in another - I’m guessing the switch was covered in some episodes of the show? And Ollie’s mum is shady or something too. Meh. I’m not sure if fans of the show will find these comics enthralling, because they aren’t anyway, but they’re especially not for anyone who doesn’t watch it. 

Then there’s Arrow himself who doesn’t wear a mask, just a hood. You can clearly see his face throughout but the characters all have a hard time distinguishing his features. “Who is the mysterious vigilante?” is the unconvincing and idiotic question asked throughout. Is stubble really that great a disguise? Where’s the domino mask?! Oh and this (Green) Arrow kills people with his weapons! Eesh. 

Uninspired writing and artwork make up this entire volume. These are some terrible, terrible comics - definitely not recommended to anyone, even to those masochists who’re watching the show!

Arrow, Volume 1

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