Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Comics Review: Green Arrow: Quiver & Sounds of Violence

Titles: Green Arrow: Quiver (DC Comics, DC Comics Database, Amazon, Wikipedia) and Green Arrow: Sounds of Violence (DC Comics, Amazon)

Green Arrow: Quiver and Sounds of Violence are two graphic novels that collect the first two story arcs of the current Green Arrow series, both written by Kevin Smith (View Askew Productions, Twitter, MySpace, IMDB, Wikipedia) and penciled by Phil Hester (Wikipedia). I had originally planned on reviewing Quiver yesterday but I ran out of time in the morning and the proceeded to plow through Sounds of Violence at work last night, hence the double review.

Quiver is the story of Green Arrow’s, i.e. Oliver Queen, return from the dead and search for answers to why the world is different than he remembers, why people keep thinking he is dead, and what exactly happened to him (I could say more but I don’t want to give away too many details). Sounds of Violence picks up where Quiver leaves off and delves into Queen’s relationship with his son, his ex, and his would-be new partner.

What makes these graphic novels so incredible is the outstanding writing by Kevin Smith and the top notch artwork by Phil Hester. Smith’s knowledge of the DC Universe and these characters is so extensive that it borders on scary but combine that and his skills with a pen and you have some of the best comic book stories that I have ever read. And while I am relatively new to the character of Green Arrow, I think it is safe to say that he has knocked Captain Marvel out of the # 2 slot on my list of favorite all-time superheroes. He is witty, smart, and an honest to goodness classical liberal (and yes the fact that many of the character’s political view mirror my own does make me like him that much more). The other thing that makes Oliver Queen such a great character is his flaws. He makes very real and very human mistakes and often has a very hard time dealing with them. Why is this appealing? Because often in the costumed world of villains and heroes one expects things to be clack and white, good and evil, right and wrong, and to see a character like Queen struggle with the day-to-day relationships of life while at the same time relentlessly fighting evil and standing up for the little guy, makes his character that much more real and to some extent, admirable.

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