Green Arrow #34
For most of his run, writer Benjamin Percy has had Green Arrow against the eight ball. From losing his company, his fortune and his friends, Oliver Queen hasn’t enjoyed a lot of victories in this series. This latest chapter of a Trial of Two Cities suggests Percy is ready to let his hero earn his most definitive win yet.
That’s not going to come easy since Oliver must decide if he can trust his scheming mother, Moira. Percy does a soft retcon to her backstory to explain why she got involved with The Ninth Circle and now why she wants Oliver’s help in taking them down. This interaction will no doubt feel somewhat familiar to longtime Arrow viewers.
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Percy does a good job creating some doubts with Moira’s motives. Can Oliver really trust her and what’s up her sleeve? That’s one of the better mysteries established in the series so far. And it was time for a new one with Diggle’s reason for helping Merlyn revealed. From a certain perspective that payoff wasn’t as major as I was hoping and potentially abrupt resolution makes it less meaningful.
Stephen Byrne returns to illustrate this issue. Byrne has an animated style that always looks great, but isn’t always the most effective at conveying the darker and grounded moments. It’s hard since Byrne makes everything look like a gorgeous Disney cartoon even though there’s no denying his talent.
But any issue that features even a little Green Arrow and Black Canary interaction is nearly a lock for at least one great moment. Percy is great with that dynamic and I wish he’d spend more time with DC’s colorful romantic vigilantes. That always tends to be the best aspect of his Green Arrow run. — Jeffrey Lyles
Rating: 8 out of 10