Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Green Arrow #34 Review

Flame Out

Written by: Ben Percy
Art by: Stephen Byrne and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 1, 2017

This issue of Green Arrow begins it's run as a monthly book and while that isn't the best thing that can happen, I am hoping the extra time helps Ben Percy give us a better story.  I want to like this book, but Percy's insistence on returning stories and characters is starting to really drain the fun out of it for me.  Just when I think we are getting somewhere, a character like Dante rears his ugly head to set the story back a few steps.  Sometimes I wonder if it's actually Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat doing some ghost writing.  Does this problem continue in this issue?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a scene that Ben Percy hasn't shown much in his run...a flashback of Oliver spending time with his Father.  I'd love to say it was a happy scene, but even if it started as one, it ends with a bit of family turmoil that continues in the present.

That turmoil is laid out as Oliver's mother, Moira, tells us a bit of her background from street urchin to Mrs. Robert Queen to Ninth Circle powerhouse.  While she talks a good game...altruism, giving to the needy...Oliver still can't trust her and neither can I!

The issue then goes off to a surprising place...Diggle's Bunker in the Olympic Mountains.  Yep, we finally get back to Diggle and while we see him still fixing up Merlyn, there's also a bit of forced flashbacks to show us Diggle's history.  I swear, the way Ben Percy lays out this issue, it really plays out like a clip show episode of a sitcom.  At least we get to see how Merlyn and Diggle met.

Back in the present (and in Star City) we find out that the Clock King has been messing with the automated time of the public works and if it wasn't for Black Canary (and a cringe worthy Meghan Trainor reference), a bunch of people would be dead.  Oliver takes down Tockman and then we get a bunch of time related sayings as Oliver goes away to prepare for his upcoming trial.

We then jump around and see some of the Star City Police aren't on the up and up, Merlyn and Diggle arguing and more, Wendy Poole still not looking like she will be able to help out and finally, Ollie goes to his mom for help.  Well, it's more like a you scratch my back situation, but you get the point.

Ben Percy gives us a bit of background to his characters, but this issue still feels like it's taking a breather before then race is really underway.  He jumps around way too much and force feeds his plot points as if the reader is too dumb to figure things out for themselves or he is too impatient to set things up any other way.  All that and he once again regurgitates things I didn't care much for the first time they were in this book and by the middle of the issue, I was looking for the exit.  I did really like Stephen Byrne's art, but it couldn't keep me from checking out from boredom.

Bits and Pieces:

Ben Percy seems to be relying on past plot points and characters to tell his story, but it all feels unearned and uninteresting.  I liked the art in this issue, but this book needs to move on to something more interesting...stat!


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