GREEN ARROW #29 by Benjamin Percy and Juan Ferreyra
GREEN ARROW #29 shows Green Arrow traveling to Gotham City to confront the Underground Men and the Court of Owls. There he teams up with Batman, who acts more like a rival than an ally to the Emerald Archer. The portrayal of these two billionaire vigilantes combined with Ferreyra's awesome art is what makes GREEN ARROW #29 another terrific issue by Benjamin Percy.
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Benjamin Percy has written a phenomenal new saga with DC Rebirth’s GREEN ARROW. He has totally erased the ill will that fans have had towards the character since the unlikeable portrayal of Oliver Queen (AKA Green Arrow) in the New 52. In GREEN ARROW #29, Oliver travels to the center of corruption and decadence in the DCU’s United States, Gotham City. There he faces off with old and new foes, as well as a reluctant ally in this fun issue.

GREEN ARROW #29 pages 9 and 10. Images courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This “Hard-Traveling Hero” arc isn’t as story-focused or involved as some of the earlier arcs in GREEN ARROW. The main focus of this arc is reintroducing Green Arrow to the wider DC universe. It’s all about Oliver Queen and his relationship to other major players in the comics. As a great character study and an enthralling piece of art by Juan Ferreyra, GREEN ARROW #29 absolutely delivers. Just don’t expect a plot-driven storyline.

Billionaire Vigilantes… Unite?

“Hard-Traveling Hero” has seen Green Arrow team up with the likes of the Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, and even Lex Luthor. Each character has realized that Green Arrow has changed since they last saw him. He’s a nobler, kinder person than he was before and they respect that about him. GREEN ARROW #29 shows that one person isn’t as quick to accept this new Oliver Queen. That, of course, is none other than Batman.

READ: Can’t get enough of the Dark Knight? Here’s our review of BATMAN #28!

Green Arrow and Batman have always had a lot of similarities. In fact, Green Arrow started off as an obvious rip-off of Batman with his own “Arrowcave” and “Arrowcar”. Yet at the center of both their characters was this underlying agitation at the state of their societies. Most of Batman’s wrath has been against mobsters and urban criminals who plague his city. Meanwhile, Arrow has a hatred of the rich and powerful who abuse the poor in Star City.

GREEN ARROW #29 pg. 15. Image Courtesy of DC Comics

Ironically, Oliver was from a rich and powerful family who did leech off the poor. He has always hated this part of him, instead wanting to be a man of the people rather than a man in his ivory tower. Bruce, on the other hand, was born from a family who helped the poor through philanthropy and urban development. He believes that the rich can use their power to help the needy of the world. So, Batman views Arrow’s rage as reckless and calls him a “one-man rebellion.” It’s classic Batman, to be so careful about who he trusts, especially when he thinks they have dangerous philosophies. This clash of characters is what makes GREEN ARROW #29 so great.

The Court of Owls and The Underground Men

Much of this comic takes place in the dark sewers under Gotham. One of the most powerful things this liberal-leaning book has done is depict the rich as a barbaric cult. We’ve seen this the most with the group known as the Underground Men. The Underground Men are a villainous cabal who believe that the poor hold no function in today’s society. So, they kidnap underprivileged and homeless people to auction them off to other wealthy people. It’s a shocking display of savagery, especially since this isn’t how we usually view the rich and powerful in our country.

Earlier in this issue, Oliver Queen attends a party full of Gotham’s elite. It’s a refined black-tie event where men gloat over their privilege. One man then invites Ollie to do something “rather decadent and naughty.” The man is then revealed to be a member of the Court of Owls, a criminal group of Gotham’s rich who seek to control their city’s business and society. The Owls head down to the sewers where they make sport out of hunting and killing the poor that the Underground Men find. To see a bunch of “civilized” men transform into monsters in a short span of time is an effective device that Percy uses.

LISTEN: The Court of Owls was a staple of Scott Snyder’s magnificent run on BATMAN. Here are our thoughts on his work!

Of course, Batman and Green Arrow stop the Owls from hurting too many people in the sewers of Gotham. The interesting thing is that Green Arrow is more interested in punishing the rich than saving the victims. He’s frustrated that he has to show restraint when dealing with the Owls when they show none while murdering the poor. Batman, always the voice of the moral high ground, reminds Arrow that, as heroes, they can’t be murderers. Batman serves as a reminder to Ollie that there are still honorable affluent people in the world.

Art in GREEN ARROW #29

Artist Juan Ferreyra did a wonderful job depicting the landscape and brightness of Metropolis in GREEN ARROW #28. Now in GREEN ARROW #29, he switches to the other extreme when drawing dark and murky Gotham. What I love about his coloring is it’s never homogeneous; he could have simply drawn Gotham in all blacks and grays but he shows such diversity in his colors. In the beginning of the comic, we see a lot of reds and oranges that highlight the decadent life of the elite. This is contrasted with the sewers, which are mostly depicted in greens representing greed, slime, and (of course) Green Arrow.

GREEN ARROW #29 pg 3 and 4. Image Courtesy of DC Comics

My favorite two panels in this issue both appear in the early part of this book. The first one depicts Batman’s reflection in a pool of blood from a dead homeless woman on the street. The second panel is Ollie’s reflection in a glass of red wine. There’s a parallel with the red coloring and liquids, but it also shows the differences in the two characters. “Batman” was born on the streets after his parents’ murder in crime alley. “Green Arrow” was born from Oliver’s self-loathing of the rich’s lavish and parasitical lifestyle. These two images show so much about the characters so subtly; absolute props to Ferreyra for having such skill to show these themes with his pen.

Final Thoughts

GREEN ARROW #29 is a peek into the life of the wealthy in DC through the lens of two of comics’ most famous billionaires. Their character interactions are truly what make this issue fascinating. If you’re expecting extremely intense action or a deep story, this might not be the comic for you. If you want an interesting examination of some of comics’ best characters, filled with captivating art and symbolism, this is definitely the comic for you!

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