March 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Green Arrow

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Brad Meltzer, Kevin Smith
genre
Fiction
We gave it an A-

For the next year, director Kevin Smith — whose movies from Clerks onward attest to his love of comic books — will serve as writer for the relaunch of Green Arrow, the bow-and-arrow superhero. GA‘s history is uniquely schizophrenic — both goofy (how’d he ever get that clunky boxing-glove arrow into his quiver?) and socially conscious (his former partner, Speedy, shot heroin in a famous ’70s story line). Smith plays it down the middle, but doesn’t play it safe. The first issue pins you to the wall with artist Phil Hester’s elegantly elongated figures and unpredictably shaped panels, while Smith succeeds in boiling down the Arrow mythos — once he was millionaire Oliver Queen; until now, he was thought dead — to a final, exhilarating image: a risen-from-the-grave, raggedy Oliver, aiming a beer-can-tipped arrow at an evildoer. Bull’s-eye revisionism.

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