COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Green Arrow: Harrow
I’m now finding that I’ve made my way through a lot of series and am finally starting to get a feel for characters as a whole. Sometimes, however, it’s made difficult if you have an idea of a character but you’ve not read the source material. The ultimate example for me is Green Arrow. I was introduced to the Arrow tv series before the Green Arrow comic books and it almost skewed my perception of the character. That being said, I was ready to read the third novel in the New 52 series!
‘Harrow’ is essentially a novel that consists of three Green Arrow stories. The first story is a crossover with Savage Hawkman, which sees Oliver help Hawkman rescue his friend, Emma, and then take on a Thanagarian hit-squad. Even though he’s broke and has very few resources left to his name, he still does his best to aid his new ally. The second story, which in my opinion, is more of a grounded tale, tells of Green Arrow going up against a local gangster in Seattle named Harrow. I know, what a weird name right? Harrow is feeling guns out of a port in the city and when Oliver gets involved, Harrow places a hit out on him to bring him down. But there appears to a bit of dissent even within Harrow’s own squad and one of his goons, a kid named Pike takes it upon himself to stop Harrow by attempting to blow up the entire complex, as well as himself. Green Arrow, however, seeing the kid attempts to talk him out of killing himself and finding another way to get justice. Speaking of justice, the final part of the story sees Oliver trying to convince the Justice League that they should recruit him. Naturally, this doesn’t prove an easy task, but Green Arrow is persistent. Can he convince the League that he belongs amongst them? Or will a more lucrative opportunity present itself?
I thought that this was a fairly balanced novel. It starts with a decent team-up that sees the character have to deal with more than usual. The progression onto the second story then sees Green Arrow return to his strong suit and more street-level crime. In that sense, I think it’s a good novel to read for anyone that wants to get a real feel for the character. I thought there was a decent amount of character development and that compared to many comic book characters, I think Oliver is one of the most authentic characters around. I think going forward, it would be nice to see the series develop his local team a little more. Team-ups with other heroes are all well and good but I want to see more of Roy Harper or Black Canary. Not sure how much they exist in Oliver’s life at this point though.
The artwork was one area that potentially lets the novel down a little bit. It seems quite messy to me and I like my artwork crisp and clean usually. The covers were also a tad disappointing, but overall, this novel was a good one and definitely better than the first two novels! Finally, the Green Arrow turns up!
Panels like this make me wonder if Green Arrow is a more effective team player than Batman.
It’s obviously Oliver Queen. You get a lot more of his character shown in this novel and despite his showy shenanigans, he’s got a good heart!
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 16/20