by The Masked Bookwyrm

Green Lantern (& Green Arrow) Reviews Page 1 of 3

Click Here for a complete listing of reviews

"Chosen above all other earthmen by the Guardians of the Universe...Hal Jordan, a man born without fear, now wields the mighty power ring -- which turns his will power toward the fight for justice..." (Yeah, these are mainly HAL JORDAN stories -- as opposed to other GLs -- at least, so far)

Green Lantern Published by DC Comics

Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold 2001(SC TPB) 144 pgs.

cover by Barry KitsonWritten by Mark Waid, Tom Peyer. Illustrated by Barry Kitson, Tom Grindberg.
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski. Letters: Ken Lopez. Editor: Peter Tomasi, L.A. Williams.

Reprinting: the six issue 1999-2000 mini-series (with covers)

Rating: * * * * 1/2 (out of 5)

Number of readings: 2

Whenever comics folks instigate major, "shocking" changes into the mythos -- they often seem to forget that today's fan can become tomorrow's professional. And nostalgia is a powerful motive. So even though, when this mini-series was first published, DC had "irrevocably" killed off the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen) and had corrupted and then killed off the Silver Age Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), writers like Mark Waid and Tom Peyer weren't quite prepared to give up on them and produced this nostalgia tinged retro series. Of course, nothing is ever really permanent in comics, no matter what one writer or editorial regime says, because regimes change, and "hot" writers rise up through the ranks with a burning affection for their childhood heroes, supplanting the previous "hot" writer. Both Hal and Barry have since returned to life in the DCU. But, as I say, when this was published, they were both dead -- and it was assumed forever -- and this was an affectionate throwback: a tribute to a past era(s).

Originally published as a six issue mini-series, it presents six adventures chronicling the friendship between the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, and the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan -- a friendship that had been introduced in the old comics and was part of the mythos.

Co-writer Mark Waid has played the nostalgia card often, such as 1998s JLA: Year One mini-series which he co-wrote with Brian Augustyn and 2000s The Silver Age mini-series, in which Waid was a driving force among a number of writers. Both projects were of mixed success. Here, Waid re-teams with frequent collaborator, artist Barry Kitson, and they are joined by co-writer Tom Peyer.

The result? A fantastic success.

Waid & Peyer do a nice job of couching the character stuff in plots, recognizing that character is best demonstrated in the context of surrounding events -- and vice versa (rather than ten pages of characters explaining their motives and emotions followed by ten pages of mindless fighting). The plots are, for the most part, interesting, briskly paced and presenting the characters with tricky situations that require a bit of thinking their way through (and frequently drawing upon their combined skills, making it a true "team up"), and stories that unfold, with twists and turns -- stories that actually are stories. It borrows the better elements from Silver Age writers like John Broome and Gardner Fox, but spruced up with modern character exploration, and a healthy dose of wit and humour as well. Sure, the desire to work some emotional subtext into the tales can, at times, border on hokey, but it allows each tale to feel richer and deeper than the average, each issue functioning simultaneously as a plot, where we're excited to see how the danger is thwarted...and as a character drama.

It's the ideal homage -- evoking the spirit of days gone by, while gently keeping it in step with modern, arguably sophisticated expectations. Even Waid's tendency to write these ostensibly adult, professional characters occasionally like they're immature teenagers didn't grate as much as it had in JLA: Year One or The Silver Age. And that's more in the early issues anyway, as though Waid & Peyer are trying to convey a sense of the characters maturing over the course of the stories. And Waid doesn't fall into the trap of certain other post-Crisis GL writers whose desire to turn Hal into a womanizing super stud can border on misogynistic. Indeed, the whole sub-text here, that Hal's personal life is constantly teetering on the edge, is a nice contrast with the modern take on him as the super confident alpha dog (and is more reflective of the character in the Silver and Bronze Age).

The stories alternate between earth-based and space oriented adventures, all deliberately evoking specific periods in the characters' history (particularly demonstrated by Hal's job and love interest changing from story to contrast with Barry's more stable private life). The first two issues conjure up a sense of old Broome or Fox style stories, with #1 steeped in a nice sci-fi idea, and #2 throwing Kid Flash into the mix (as stories from that period often did) and a couple of super-villains just being, well, super-villains. While #5 nicely feels like a Bronze Age tale (ie: late 1970s).

Issue #4 is set amid the classic Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams socially relevant run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow, when he was teamed with Green Arrow, and it has the two greenies hooking up with the Flash (something that didn't happen in those old stories). There's a social issue to be examined (albeit in a fantastical way) and for that story regular artist Kitson hands the pencilling chores over to Tom Grindberg -- an artist with a style decidedly reminiscent of Neal Adams. Though not flawless (Waid & Peyer lift a few too many lines from O'Neil) the result seems eerily like a "lost" O'Neil/Adams story. There's also ambitious character stuff, in that an undercurrent to the story is that the Flash is jealous of GL's friendship with GA...but it's never fully articulated. You almost have to read between the lines.

Because the series goes the unusual route of being self-contained stories, it's worth picking up even if you can only find one or two issues. All are satisfying reads on their own. The third issue is a "character" issue, where the plot, and the adventure, is minimal. But Waid & Peyer pull it off well, making it still a light, entertaining read as Flash and GL go camping with their older, Golden Age counterparts on an alien world, encountering misadventures more than adventures.

After an initial reading, I felt the weakest was the final issue. Though even it was perfectly good. In my initially posted review I said it was a bit confusing but, I'll admit, after a second reading I saw less of that. Maybe I just read it in a better frame of mine now, or maybe I'm just more aware of the surrounding mythos than I had been (as it involves GL's old foe, Star Sapphire). But I liked it more the second time around. And one can admire the fact that, though reflecting the grittiness of later periods (it's set shortly after the death of the Flash's wife -- though didn't she come back eventually, too?) it still takes place long before the more contentious upheavals that soured the comics for some readers.

The beautiful art by Barry Kitson is of a nicely disciplined, realist variety that suits the stories well, though he maybe bulks up the characters a tad. Villain Sinestro looks more like a linebacker than the lean, mean, red-faced baddie I remember. Indeed, this may be some of the best work I've seen by Kitson -- maybe inking himself brings out extra nuance and moody texture to the lines. Or maybe he was just particularly enthusiastic about this project.

There are some missed opportunities: no guest appearance by another Flash buddy, The Elongated Man, and little use of fellow Green Lanterns (save in one story, and then only in passing). But they do appear, as do the Guardians, various familiar arch foes, and cameoes by one or two supporting characters from the different periods. And the issues range from good to very good, and that's more than one can say about six consecutive issues of, well, almost any title one might care to pick up. There's not a mediocre tale in the bunch.

Seeing these two as a team reminds you how well they looked together, with the simple-but-effective costume designs (some pundits have argued the Silver Age GL's costume, designed by Gil Kane, was one of the more aesthetically pleasing in comics history) and the dynamically contrasting colours: the Flash's (bright) red and yellow, and GL's (dark) green and black. And their powers complemented: GL who could do almost anything contrasted with The Flash who had only one power (but made the most of it). Heck, they both even used rings!

Whether at the time this fired modern readers with an interest in these then-dead Silver Age icons, it's hard to say. Ironically, even now, years later and with both Hal and Barry back appearing in comics, this run of issues can still make you nostalgic for an earlier era -- of clever, self-contained plots, and compassionate heroes, where mindless violence hasn't become a synonym for "adventure".

It's worth checking out just for the fun and the solid storytelling that is, frankly, missing from a lot of modern comics -- as each single issue provides a complete story of adventure, character arc, and thematic threads. For older fans, this is nostalgia done right, mixing the best of yesterday and today. You may not be able to go home again, but Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold comes pretty darn close.

Cover price: $21.95 CDN./$12.95 USA.

Green Arrow / Black Canary: For Better or for Worse 2007 (SC TPB) 200 pages

Written by Denny O'Neil, Elliott S! Maggin, Alan Moore, Mike Grell, Kevin Smith, Chuck Dixon, Brad Meltzer. Illustrated by Dick Dillin, Mike Grell, Phil Hester, Dick Giordano, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Klaus Janson, Rick Hoberg, Rodolfo Damaggio. Inks by various.
Colours/letters: various.

cover by Alex RossJustice League of America (1st series) #75, The Joker #4, Green Lantern (1970s series) #94-95, the Green Arrow back tales from Action Comics #428, 434, Detective Comics #549-550, and excerpts from Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1, Green Arrow (2nd series) #75, 101, Green Arrow (3rd series) #4-5, 12, 21 (1969-2003)

Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1

Additional notes: intro by Dennis O'Neil.

Green Arrow and Black Canary began as unconnected, second string characters who were eventually made members of the Justice League of America in the 1960s. From there, the idea of romantically pairing them arose: it proved a long, volatile relationship (comics writer Mike Barr once remarked in an editorial they were the only comic book characters of their day he believed had a sex life!) The two appearing together in various Green Arrow titled back up stories, though sometimes it was the Canary who had a series. But as DC's fictional universe became increasingly continuity heavy, they broke up, Green Arrow got killed off, then came back to life and, eventually, the two became a couple again. (And, of course, DC's entire universe was reinvented a time or two, so that, in essence, the characters in the early stories reprinted here aren't really the same as in the later stories!)

So should a Green Arrow/Black Canary collection be a grab bag of tales? Or a primer on their convoluted history?

This TPB can be broken into two distinct sections. The first section presents a smattering of their Silver Age/Bronze Age appearances:

The collection begins with their first major pairing from Justice League of America #75 (1969) -- a story which seemed to mark the transition of Green Arrow from playboy to pauper, and has the League battling evil dopplegangers of themselves. It's enjoyable enough for its era. This is followed by a couple of short tales, "The Plot to Kill Black Canary" and "Zatanna's Double Identity" -- the former nothing special (despite having been included in a Green Arrow "best of" digest decades earlier), while the latter is enjoyable with enough of a puzzle to sustain its 7 pages.

Batman's arch foe, The Joker, had his own short-lived comic in the 1970s (though still a homicidal villain, he wasn't quite as brutally violent as writers today like to write), where the "guest star" super heroes were the de facto stars of the various issues (one wonders if the series was intended as a kind of try out for heroes without their own monthly comic). The fourth issue has the Joker going up against Green Arrow after the villain becomes infatuated with Dinah Lance (the Canary). Beautifully drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, it's an enjoyable, breezy romp and is one of the very few feature-length (18 pages) solo Green Arrow comics until the early 1980s!

There's a two-parter from the pages of Green Lantern (when Green Arrow shared co-starring credit), an entertaining tale of GA being roped into an assassination plot while Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan (and secondary GL, John Stewart) faces a separate ordeal in space. Though once again, the Canary is just there to be rescued. It's drawn by Mike Grell who would later write GA's 1980s comic.

The final selection from this part of the collection is a two-part back up story that one assumes was included because it was written by soon-to-be comics legend Alan Moore (and drawn by Klaus Janson). I had earlier read it in Across the Universe and though I enjoyed it more this time, it remains a slight, insignificant tale.

There were better, more character significant tales that could've been included. And they could've shown some balance by presenting a tale where Black Canary takes the lead.

And though the inclusion of works by seminal forces on GA like O'Neil, Maggin, and Grell are valid, an artist like Trevor von Eeden and, to a lesser extent, writer Mike Barr were also major influences on the characters and their work might've warranted representation. (Neal Adams' classic GL/GA run was probably left out because those issues have been reprinted so often over the years)

The second half of this collection shifts to being the "primer" idea to which I alluded. Starting from the late 1980s (DC's re-booted reality) the intent here is to chronicle the changes in the characters and their relationships, so instead of getting full issues, there are excerpts from longer adventures -- scenes heavy on character and continuity development. So we get a few pages from Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters showing the couple moving in together, and a few pages from Green Arrow #75, showing how a brief temptation toward infidelity on GA's part led to them breaking up. We get GA's death, and others' reaction to the news, likewise his return and reuniting with the Canary. etc.

As comics become increasingly tangled up in continuity, the idea of a collection which basically provides a reader's digest version of the highlights isn't such a bad idea. On the other hand, as a collection picked up merely for some stories to read, you aren't really getting that. Sure, there's some decent character stuff, some cute quips (or, alternately, sober scenes), and some excerpts are reasonably lengthy...but it's still a bit unsatisfying

And for all the "dramatic" changes, their romantic status quo is re-established by the end. In other words, it's not like you really need to read these scenes to understand the characters' later adventures.

So although I didn't dislike reading those excerpts, for all their pretensions to greater sophistication over the 1970s tales...if I were re-reading this collection, it'd be the 1970s reprints I'd be more likely to re-visit.

So if you're an obsessive fan, desperate to read pivotal scenes that might be missing from your collection, this can provide some of that. But if you're just a casual reader looking for a nice collection of Green Arrow and Black Canary adventures, a lot of the collection will seem kind of frustrating -- like watching one of those budget-saving episodes of a TV series comprised of flashbacks to earlier episodes.

DC might've been better to release two TPBs. One, just a "Best of..." collection of self-contained stories (maybe with a few giving the Canary equal time), and a second comprised of more extensive excerpts that could be fashioned into a kind of graphic novel.

Cover price: $__ CDN./$14.99 USA

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters 1988 (SC TPB) 150 pages

cover cover by GrellWritten and illustrated by Mike Grell (with assist from Lurene Haines).
Colours: Julia Lacqement. Letters: Ken Bruzenak. Editor: Mike Gold.

Reprinting: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1-3 (1987)

Suggested for mature readers

Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1

Green Arrow had been around for decades, but other than sharing co-billing for a run of Green Lantern comics, and starring in an entertaining 1983 mini-series, he had never had his own comic until the late 1980s. Originally published as a prestige format mini-series, The Longbow Hunters was intended to serve multiple purposes: kick start a Green Arrow monthly series, re-invent the character as part of DC's "post-Crisis" reality when it was overhauling many of its characters, and to present a "dark n' gritty, mature readers" take on the character in the vein of Batman: The Dark Knight.

Though I say "re-invent", this wasn't a complete re-imagining of the character, but follows from the character's established adventures. Approaching middle age, Green Arrow relocates to Seattle with girlfriend, fellow crime fighter Black Canary, and becomes involved in a search for two (yes, two!) separate serial killers, which leads to connections to organized crime and government skulduggery.

I knew this was supposed to transform the swaggering, hot headed, gimmick arrow firing GA into a more sombre, more vicious, pointy arrow firing character. And I assumed the story would show the transformation. Instead, writer-artist Mike Grell basically just jettisons the old for the new right off the bat, as Green Arrow gives some muddled rationale for how he has to take things more seriously, and dumps his old costume and non-lethal weapons without so much as a by-your-leave.

I'll admit, I kind of avoided this series for a long while, because I didn't really like what Grell did to Green Arrow, nor do I necessarily agree with the "vicious is better" school of super heroes. But time passes, I mellow, and have watched so many characters get so messed with over the years, that I can no longer take it that personally. But even with that laissez-faire attitude on my part, The Longbow Hunters is a fairly pedestrian effort.

Though Grell did an entertaining job as writer on his Warlord series -- slight, breezy plots but with a particularly well realized protagonist -- I've often had mixed feelings toward some of his other writings. In transforming GA as a personality, he basically robs the character of who he was, without really substituting anything in its stead. The result is a kind of blandly defined, generic hero -- and one that doesn't really bear much resemblance to the then-established personality (reading his dialogue, does this really "sound" like the guy who'd been popping up in comics for the previous twenty years?). And where Grell would kind of write long talky scenes...that isn't really that interesting talk. In one five page scene where GA talks with a cop, there are no less than three times the cop tells GA he doesn't like super heroes and GA better watch his step. Three times in one conversation! There's another scene where the villains have almost the exact same conversation they had earlier (to be fair, serialized over three issues, such repetition might be justified to recap info for the reader)

And the problem with the whole "dark n' gritty" movement is that it often seemed to be selling itself as more "realistic"...when there's very little that's realistic in a series like this. It's still full of unrealistic events (a serial killer who lives, not in suburbia, but the sewers), a simplistic -- even simple-minded -- plot, and a 150 page saga in which most of the characters are barely defined beyond the needs of the scene. It's drenched in the kind of macho, "real men don't play by rules" mindset, where GA breaks guys fingers and, as mentioned, starts brandishing pointy arrows, assuring us that only guys who don't play by gentlemen's rules can get anything done -- a kind of odd thesis when part of the villainy involves self-justifying rogue operatives who don't play by the rules. In other words, the very philosophy Green Arrow (and Grell) seem to endorse, is the very philosophy the villains embrace!

In the story, Grell has GA dismiss his trick arrows as a crutch, implying the better bowman uses real arrows -- but the point of the trick arrows was 'cause GA wasn't trying to hurt anyone (much). It doesn't require being a "damn good" bowman if you don't care if you cripple or even kill your opponent.

And, as mentioned, the story is pretty thin, and only barely holds together logic-wise. Ironically, in the 1983 mini-series, there was an interesting playing-against-type idea of having GA try to unravel a mystery...and there was some interesting plotting (and humour) from having the non-detective GA try to puzzle a mystery. Here, again GA is faced with a mystery which he seems wholly ill-equipped to deal with -- but, in this case, Grell doesn't seem to see the irony. So although we know there's a mystery, Green Arrow makes no attempt to actually investigate it, he only "solves" it because it's explained to him in the end.

As an artist, Grell has always been uneven, but is generally one I kind of like, and there's an appeal to his work here (particularly faces) -- Grell wrote, but didn't draw, the subsequent monthly series. Although he maybe experiments a bit with the panel arrangement a few times -- not altogether successfully, where I had to read over some pages a couple of times to figure out how it was meant to be read!

As mentioned, this was a "mature readers" comic, with some gritty violence, profanity, mature subject matter, and some (brief) nudity. Black Canary is particularly poorly treated in the series, ending up captured and tortured by some villains, in the story's perhaps most notorious sequence.

For fans of the subsequent series, this, of course, kick started it all, and introduced the recurring character of Shado. But for those unfamiliar with the 1990s series, the character has undergone one or two "revisions" over the years since then, so that I'm not sure this is especially relevant from a "continuity" point of view (which is why I went into it judging it more just from a story point of view).

All in all, I'll admit, I can't really say I liked The Longbow Hunters -- even ignoring any philosophical qualms, it's a kind of thinly plotted, not especially exciting effort. Yet, conversely, there's a certain breeziness to it, that means it trundles along and doesn't get too turgid or tedious.

This is a review of the story as it was originally serialized in the mini-series

Cover price: $__ CDN./ $14.95 USA.

Green Arrow: Quiver 2002 (HC & SC TPB) 232 pages

hardcover cover by Matt WagnerWritten by Kevin Smith. Pencils by Phil Hester. Inks by Ande Parks.
Colours: Guy Major. Letters: Sean Konot. Editor: Bob Schreck.

Reprinting: Green Arrow (2001 series) #1-10

Additional notes: intro by Kevin Smith; cover gallery (squeezed into three pages!); creator bios.

Mild mature readers caution

Rating: * * * 1/2 (out of 5)

Number of readings: 1

This chronicled the return of Oliver Queen a.k.a. Green Arrow. It was a kind of unexpected comeback in that after having been around since the 1940s, and undergoing various changes in costume, temperament, and even armament, the character was killed off in the 1990s...paving the way for his son to assume the mantle. One assumes junior proved less than successful, because now Ollie's back. And the man behind the return is filmmaker -- and long time comics fan -- Kevin Smith (who had previously reaped accolades for a brief stint on Marvel's Daredevil).

Quiver was a critical and commercial success -- not too shabby for a character generally regarded as a second stringer. But that might have had as much to do with Smith's established fandom as it does with the work itself.

This story has Oliver Queen mysteriously re-appearing in his old stomping grounds of Star City -- not only unaware he's supposed to be dead, but having forgotten the personal traumas he endured later in life. In his mind, he's still the hot-headed, trick arrow firing, urban revolutionary he used to be. He acquires a couple of new side-kicks -- an ageing millionaire and a teenage ex-prostitute -- and eventually hooks up with some of his old super hero buddies, leading him to investigate how and why he's back, taking him to heaven and battles with demons.

The story, as Smith proudly admits in his introduction, is heavily mired in continuity -- not only referencing past GA stories, but there are plenty of guest appearances -- including Hal Jordan a.k.a. Green Lantern a.k.a. the modern Spectre (not yet Green Lantern again) -- and references, from a scene where a character sees a white-skinned man trapped in a bottle (from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman #1) to the obscure DC Comics' property, Stanley and his Monster (confusing given that GA's benefactor is also named Stanley). To Smith's credit, much of this is either explained as you go or you don't really need to know it to understand what's happening. Still, this isn't really meant to be a jumping on point for those utterly unfamiliar with GA. Smith also brags about how he wanted to write a 10 issue story that had 20 issues worth of dialogue. Fair enough, and it isn't too wordy or bogged down in dialogue. But what he fails to mention is that he may have 20 issues worth of dialogue...but what seems more like five issues worth of plot. Early on we are introduced to two main questions -- how did GA return from the dead, and who is the serial killer of children that is plaguing Star City? But those remain the main questions for the entire story! Worse, Smith throws in some red herrings that turn out to be pretty blatantly that...and when we finally learn why the villain was doing what he was doing (killing kids) it seems pretty dodgy at best. Nor does Smith pad things out with episodic adventures -- GA hooks up with Aquaman to battle the Black Mantis (uh, when did he become green???), but it's more just an extended fight scene, rather than a "story" per se.

Yet, with all that being said, it remains a reasonably enjoyable read -- I never found myself bored, or losing the impetus to turn to the next chapter. It benefits from a sprightly tempo, the humour, and its emphasis on familiar characters interacting.

But for all the metaphysical heaven and hell stuff, it never quite makes the leap up to actually being profound or relevant. And Smith's handling of characters is uneven. Being a writer best known for comedies, he brings a light-heartedness to some of the proceedings, but like a lot of modern comic writers, sometimes the characters are made to do and say things for the sake of a joke, rather than because it's in character. Admittedly, I'm speaking from the point of view of an older reader, with his own notions of who these people are, and maybe I'm just out of step with DC Comics' current visions of its heroes. But grim Aquaman goofing off whilst introducing the revived GA to fellow Justice League members? Wonder Woman -- the emissary of peace -- musing how she's tempted to cut off his other hand for making her wait? There's a sense Smith is having too much fun with these characters.

Other times, though, Smith does seem to have a sense for what makes the characters tick. Although at one point Green Arrow suggests he can't stand Batman, later, when the two hook up for a few issues, Smith does a decent job portraying the uneasy but genuine camaraderie that used to mark their team ups in The Brave & the Bold.

And, to be fair, the humour does sometimes work well -- out of character or not. Particularly the humour derived from GA's amnesia, like seeing a cell phone and assuming it's a super-villain's hi-tech device, or treating Wally (the Flash) West as though he's still a kid.

Curiously, Smith seems a bit unsure of Green Arrow himself -- a character who, admittedly, has changeed over the years. He wants to cast him as the loud- mouthed Anarchist rebel of the early 1970s -- even as he seems to dismiss GA's political harangues as just fodder for jokes. Which might explain why there's a decided lack of a socio-political edge. When Smith throws in the teenage prostitute, one at first thinks -- ah hah! he's going to emulate earlier Green Arrow writers by exploring social dilemmas. But then the girl simply becomes a perky, wisecracking sidekick. Gosh, and here we all thought being molested as a kid, and turning tricks on the street, would leave you emotionally scarred! Apparently not in Smith's four-colour world. Smith's GA lacks the Jazz-loving, chilli-eating earthy passion of his seventies incarnation, while lacking the sober maturity that was -- I think -- the point of Mike Grell's late 1980s- 1990s version. He seems an echo of earlier writers' visions.

At least, I think that was supposed to be Grell's take on the character. The very few stories I read from Grell's dark n' gritty, macho-fied tenure struck me as, frankly, dully plotted, top-heavy with statistics, and with GA almost entirely sapped of personality!

Even the initial notion of returning GA to his pre-Grell 1970s persona turns out to be a non-starter. By the end of the saga he seems to have returned to his more recent nature, including implying he's going to once more dump his non-lethal arrows for the nastier pointed ones Grell gave him.

The art by Phil Hester is of the modern, somewhat cartoony school that often leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, it's energetic, and tells the story with reasonable clarity, on the other is kind of cartoony. Combined with Smith's script it can reduce the "human" element even more to caricature, where the story seems just about comicbook figures rather than real, flesh and blood people.

As a screenwriter, Smith has never met a four letter word he couldn't work into a sentence...repeatedly. Working in mainstream comics, he's kept on a tight leash, but there's still enough sexual innuendo and even some grisly bits that might warrant a slight "mature readers" caution. As well, the breaks between chapters aren't clearly marked -- but that's nitpicking.

Ultimately, Quiver is an enjoyable, readable story -- particularly fun for comic fans because Smith, himself, is a fanboy and doesn't mind who knows it. But as a saga exploring good and evil and the human condition, as a 220 page epic of adventure and darying do, it doesn't quite hit a bull's eye.

Harcover price: $40.95 CDN./ $24.95 USA.
Softcover: $32.95 CDN./ __ USA.

On to Green Lantern Reviews Page 2

Back to