Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Green Arrow, Volume 1: Quiver Review (Kevin Smith, Phil Hester)


Snootchie motherlovin’ bootchies, what a fucking shitshow the first volume of Silent Bob’s Green Arrow was!

Ollie Queen’s dead, he’s not dead, he’s sorta dead, there’s another Green Arrow, there’s still another one – who can fucking follow, let alone care?! In TEN absurdly overwritten issues it takes Kevin Smith an age to get around to producing anything resembling a story and when he does it’s somehow even more boring than the meandering nothing that preceded it.

I grew up in the ‘90s so I remember Smith being talked about in the same breath as other auteur writer/directors like Quentin Tarantino whose scripts were notable for their snappy dialogue. I even thought that was an apt comparison though I don’t know whether Smith’s movies like Mallrats or Dogma stand up today as well as the timeless Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction do – I suppose the fact that I’ve been repeatedly drawn back to, and continued to enjoy, Tarantino over the years and become completely indifferent to Smith from my late teens on is an indication that they won’t.

It looks like the DC editors also believed the press about Smith’s sparkling banter because he’s been allowed to go hog-wild with the dialogue here though none of it is worth reading. The pages are overflowing with waffly chatter, little of it interesting, remotely funny, clever, or relevant to what’s happening in the scene. My heart sank every time I turned the page to be confronted with yet another mass of tedious text-filled word balloons to fruitlessly slog through.

Smith has more interest in cramming in dreary references to convoluted DC canon, shit jokes and tired pop culture bon mots than advance any kind of semi-compelling plotline which makes for a frustratingly static and dull read – unless you find Smith’s dated ‘90s-style of writing wildly entertaining, which, unfortunately, I don’t anymore. But the feeble story is as badly-dated as Smith’s writing and Phil Hester’s unappealing blocky art. Unless you’re already familiar with this era of DC history, you’re likely to be lost in the weeds as to why Ollie’s return is a Big Deal in the first place, let alone how and when he died, why Aquaman’s got a hook-hand or what Hal Jordan’s doing as The Spectre (not to mention Superman’s horrendous mullet!).

It’s basically one big pointless sprawling nostalgia trip for Smith as he recounts dull, obscure DC history. Considering how fairly straightforward the story turns out to be, the sheer number of gratuitous subplots was especially convoluted and laborious. The instantly forgettable villain does the clich├ęd villain trope of monologuing his entire life story and motivations at the end before the underwhelming finale puts a grateful kibosh to the misery.

A boring comic to struggle through from baffling beginning to thankful end, Green Arrow, Volume 1: Quiver is a horrendous read that completely fails to hit the target of anything resembling a decent comic. You’ll wish Ollie had stayed dead long before you reach the last page!

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