By: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Marcelo Maiolo (colors)

The Story: Two Green Arrows are too many for one town to handle.

The Review: Now this one, I have high hopes for. Not only does Green Arrow get to keep its usual creative team for its Futures End tie-in, Lemire is one of the architects of the Big Event itself. Basically, the title has every advantage to turn out a decent tie-in, and if it doesn’t deliver, we should all throw up our hands and give up on the month right now—which is not as horrible as it sounds, considering the financial savings you’d get. But anyway, Green Arrow delivers, so keep your wallets open.

Lemire starts on the right foot by wasting no time in setting up the current status quo for Ollie’s world, five years later: Emiko has taken over the Green Arrow name; Naomi, in the guise as Dart,* is her sidekick—or accomplice, shall we say, since “sidekick” is a toxic term around Emiko; and while the two of them have been keeping Seattle safe against the likes of the Cult of Vertigo, Ollie has been off on his own, uncovering big secrets, reminiscent of the work he did for Steve Trevor in his JLA days.

[Spoiler alert!] Obviously, that Ollie is alive and sort-of-well will throw off anyone reading Futures End, since his untimely death was a major backbone of several of its storylines. Lemire carefully constructs his chain of events so that it comes together fairly neatly, using the immortal, shapeshifting Magus to sell Ollie’s resurrection. He can’t quite massage all the facts; if Deathstroke killed Ollie in a sudden attack on live TV—and Ollie intended as such—why would he use the Justice League signal at all and how would it have made a difference if Firestorm responded or not? Keeping in mind I haven’t read Futures End in a while, this revelation seems to undermine the basis of the whole Firestorm plotline, no?

Anyway, Ollie’s faked death allows him to pursue another major Futures End storyline: the entrapment of Earth-2’s superheroes on Cadmus Island. It’s a clever way to build interest in the Event (or, in my case, rebuild interest); you’d very much like to see him carry out his plans to use his island to stage an attack on Cadmus with the Outsiders in tow. Sounds like a pretty good time to me.

And speaking of the Outsiders, the fact that Lemire can use this tie-in to bring back his biggest and most promising contribution to the Green Arrow mythos is pretty remarkable. Even better, he’s finally given them a clear objective, in contrast to their earlier appearances: resist any government that gets too big for its britches, which suits Ollie’s political leanings just fine. It’s still not clear whether these developments five years into the supposed future will stick to continuity, but it does give us a sense of which direction Lemire hopes the Outsiders
will go.

But since I’ve gotten into the habit of identifying the one thing from each of these tie-ins most likely to have real impact on the series, for Green Arrow I’ll say that it’s the growth of Ollie and Emiko’s relationship. It’s kind of a surprise to see them still working together at all, much less see how close they’ve become, with Emiko insisting she’ll take any risk with him and Ollie counting on her to follow even after telling her not to. We don’t get to see how their actual dynamic has changed during the intervening years, but it’s nice to see Ollie’s independent spirit reined in by a strong family attachment.

If nothing else, this issue provides an opportunity for people to be exposed to Sorrentino’s work, which is in fine form here. The action, limited as it is, looks sharp and wild thanks to his trademark inset panels with their uncolored figures and flat backgrounds. And while Sorrentino’s characters have a rather narrow range of expression, his fine, etched lines and Marcelo’s ghostly colors carry enough gravity to sell the scenes.

Conclusion: One of the few tie-in issues that actually encourage you to keep reading the series after the month is over.

Grade: B+

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: * In a very unflattering costume, I might add.