GREEN ARROW #39 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcio Takara, and Marcelo Maiolo begins “The Children Of Vakhar” storyline. Oliver Queen (AKA Green Arrow) has come to a war-torn country to right some wrongs. He finds the situation much worse than he thought it would be, as well as a deadly new enemy that’s going to be hard to stop. Warning, there are potential spoilers below!

GREEN ARROW #39
GREEN ARROW #39 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Justice In Rhapastan

The issue begins with Oliver Queen visiting the fictional, Middle Eastern country of Rhapastan. We learn that Deathstroke recently came through and started a Civil War which has left the country in shambles. Oliver feels guilty because he could have prevented this, monologuing to himself how he could have stopped Deathstroke before coming to the country. So Oliver arrives with supplies for the city of Vakhar. Someone blows Oliver’s helicopter out of the sky, killing his friend and stranding him in this unfamiliar territory. Deciding he can do more good as Green Arrow, he puts on his costume and ventures out. Oliver finds the locals are very cold to his arrival and distrustful of someone in their homeland. Furthermore, a new terrorist group, led by the villainous Nothing, are threatening them. After a brief fight with the enemy, Green Arrow discovers out the enemy group is the children of Vakhar!

GREEN ARROW #39
GREEN ARROW #39 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Continuity In GREEN ARROW #39

The first aspect of this issue I really enjoyed was the use of continuity. The fact the writers referenced an event in DEATHSTROKE ANNUAL #2 to further explore is what gives comic books a sense of community. Usually whenever one comic ties into another it’s surrounding some massive crossover but, with this issue, you don’t need to read the DEATHSTROKE to appreciate the setting. It’s a minute detail, but one that comics don’t do as much anymore.

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War is Hell

This issue is rough. I do mean that in the best way possible, as it brings up many mature topics and themes. An American hero arriving in a different country hoping to help but finding out his aid isn’t wanted or needed could be seen as a metaphor for American involvement in the Middle East. The fact that the main enemy presented in the issue is a boy leading a group of child soldiers is another reflection of some of the world’s more uglier problems. The questions raised in the book aren’t easily answered ones. I’m curious about the outcome of the dilemmas presented in the issue.

GREEN ARROW #39
GREEN ARROW #39 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Earlier stories of GREEN ARROW during the 70’s and 80’s featured the character dealing with social issues in America, so having him in this landscape almost feels like a natural growth of that idea. There’s a fight scene in this book, for instance, and it’s not a typical superhero brawl either. Green Arrow fighting Nothing and his gang isn’t an easy one to watch as Ollie know’s he’s battling children, but he also has to ensure they don’t murder him. Every time we see a boxing arrow hit someone it feels a little painful watching a child suffer.

Artistic Elements

Marcio Takara has a unique style in this installment. The best way I can describe it is “sketchy,” but it works for this story. It might not be as refined as others but, considering the rough nature of the plot, it fits. The landscapes look perfect, really painting a picture of what this city has endured. Marcelo Maiolo’s colors work in tandem with the overall art. In almost every scene there’s a dark mix of red and orange, colors that remind me of APOCALYPSE NOW. Contrasted with the Green of the main character creates a dynamic look for the issue.

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Not The End

GREEN ARROW #39 presents some hard questions to both the main character and audience that don’t have simple answers.  Questions regarding involvement, morality, and aftermath are all present in this issue. The art reflects the violent and moody setting that the script provides. Green Arrow faces not just a hard external threat but one of his conscience as well. GREEN ARROW #39 is a great start with some really interesting questions still left to answer.

GREEN ARROW #39 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcio Takara, and Marcelo Maiolo
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
GREEN ARROW #39 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Marcio Takara, and Marcelo Maiolo features the main character trying to help a Middle Eastern country ravaged by war. There Oliver discovers bigger threats, including a gang of children that have taken over the area.
88 %
Bold and Thought Provoking

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