Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Green Arrow #4 Review


Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Sean Izaakse
Colors by: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Cover art by: Sean Izaakse
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 26, 2023

Green Arrow #4 continues the Queen family separation on multiple fronts. Dinah and Roy enlist help to find Waller, Lian and Connor argue semantics with the Legion, and Ollie gives Parallax a right hook.
Is Green Arrow #4 Good?

I don't know. Joshua Williamson is doing his level best to build intrigue surrounding the Queen family's split. In Green Arrow #4, you get new/old character appearances, a teeny bit of nostalgia, and excellent art (except for the awful costume redesigns). All the pieces are there for what should be an engaging superhero family mystery except for one thing - the heart of the mystery. Williamson makes the family interesting but not the mystery, so the net result is a comic with people you like on a boring, frustrating journey.

When last we left the Queen family (before Williamson's disastrous Knight Terrors hiatus), Lian and Connor were picked up by the Legion in the distant future, Roy fought Peacemaker for the right to question Count Vertigo, and Ollie bumped into a future version of Parallax.

Now, Dinah and Roy's intel turned out to be a dud, so they try a different source of information - Jade. The Legion knows what's going on but won't intervene because Time Travel is illegal(???), creating a philosophical argument with Connor and Lian. Meanwhile, Ollie pushes Parallax for answers because a future version of Ollie was the person who made the deal with Parallax that created this mess in the first place.

In other words, everyone knows what's going on except the Queen family. All we know is that bringing the family back together is somehow responsible for the destruction of Star City which, in and of itself, is an unlikely pill to swallow. The Queens would never purposefully destroy the city, so there's an external factor we haven't seen that's responsible for the destruction. Therein lies the problem.

Williamson is relying on the specter of a cataclysmic event when you know darn well the Queens won't be the destroyers. It's a tired bait-and-switch trope that relies on the parties involved not communicating with each other, so Williamson dreamed up oddball scenarios to keep the family apart. By taking this approach, Williamson keeps the focus on the family instead of the mystery, so the mystery takes a backseat and becomes uninteresting.

At the risk of script doctoring, it would have been different if each family group discovered a piece of the puzzle in their investigations, but that's not happening here. A mystery without clues is just a point of frustration, and frustration about an event you know isn't true is just plain boring.

What's great about Green Arrow #4? Williamson leans on a few nostalgia bits to give readers a wow factor. Jade shows up. Parallax steps through a brief montage of Hal Jordan's relationship highlights with Ollie. And a visit with the Legion is always welcome.

What's not so great about Green Arrow #4? As described above, the mystery is annoying and boring. When your entire arc is founded on a mystery that's not interesting, you're in trouble.

How's the art? Izaakse and Fajardo Jr. put together a fantastic-looking book. The lines are clean and strong. Ollie's fistfight with Parallax/Hal looks great, and the overall visual appearance is pleasing. That said, Izaakse overdesigned the heck out of the costumes, and it looks tacky. The only thing missing from Izaakse's costume redesigns are mullets and an overabundance of pouches.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Green Arrow #4 gives readers excellent art (except for the costume redesigns), cool character moments, and a cathartic fight. That said, the plot centers around a mystery with no clues and no believability, so the entire journey is just plain boring.


1 comment:

  1. When the best part of a story is a scene featuring the Bendis Legion, you’re in trouble. This book is spluttering on one cylinder; you’re right, the mystery at the heart of this is a bit rubbish, and I love continuity porn. Sometime you don’t need a long ‘getting the gang back together’ storyline - just plonk ‘em down in the middle of Star City and have fun. Even Middleton/Parallax admits no one can follow Ollie’s continuity.