Spoilers ahead for Green Arrow #25
This issue is supposed to be the start of a new arc for Green Arrow, but it feels more like a transitional period. Up until this point, a year into Rebirth, Oliver Queen has been isolated from the rest of the DC Universe. He has a small connection to them through Canary, who is a member of two different teams, but that’s about it. He’s been stuck in his corner of Washington, trying to stem the chaos overtaking Seattle.
This is also a double-sized issue, but so much happened and at such a quick pace, that I didn’t even notice. There was just so much to cover as Benjamin Percy sets Oliver Queen up for the road trip depicted on the cover. First things first, he needs to get out of prison, and Percy brings in the perfect character to make that happen: Kate Spencer! Manhunter has been missing in action for a long time, but Percy brings her back to serve as Oliver’s lawyer. There’s no indication that she’s already in possession of her vigilante alter-ego, but I’d be excited to watch her character development. I know this comic isn’t called Manhunter, but come on… it’d still be cool.
The opening scene with Ollie being interrogated had some great visuals I wanted to quickly call attention to. Since this is a transitional piece, it was great to see wisps of Ollie’s memories playing out in the smoke, giving the readers a clear indication of his thoughts even as he refuses to speak. Otto Schmidt is back, and this reflective opening immediately sets the tone for the arc. Like the title says, Oliver is broken, and he’s not going to fix himself by staying in a broken city he couldn’t save.
We also get to see the brief return of John Diggle, who we see just long enough to learn a bit more about his connection to Malcolm Merlyn. There are so many little moments between characters like John and Malcolm, Henry and Oliver, or Henry and Emi, that it’s impossible to cover them all in detail. But every one of them showed just how far these characters have come. Emi’s still insisting she go by Red Arrow, and Henry finally calls Oliver out for how he was treated while still making it clear that they’re on the same side.
But, since so much of Rebirth has revolved around their relationship, Dinah and Oliver’s breakup does deserve special attention. It’s certainly not the end for them, but it was sad nonetheless. However, I must say I love how maturely it was handled. Yes, they’re both furious at each other, and for good reason, but they still love and respect each other. Oliver trusts Dinah enough to leave his sister and his city in her care, and that means something.
It was strange that almost immediately after telling Emi that he needed to publicly clear his name, a quick conversation with Henry leads Oliver to skip bail. I can overlook that since it means Green Arrow is finally branching out into new locations with new characters, like the teased team-up with Hal Jordan that I’m incredibly excited about! And who is that mystery archer in the shadows…? Connor Hawke, Tommy Merlyn, or someone new?
Of course, there is that last minute twist… which I haven’t decided how I feel about. Moira being alive could have some interesting ramifications for Emi while Oliver’s away, but I wonder just how much we’ll see of her while her son’s away?
Overall this is a great tease for Green Arrow’s future. With a year tucked away, Percy still manages to make each issue exciting and fresh, so I have no doubt all of the questions raised in this issue will pay off in big ways.
*Images taken from DC’s Green Arrow #25