My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For me, this has got to be the best stuff Kevin Smith has done in terms of comics. I’m not a big Green Arrow guy (or “Arrow” fan for that matter), I’ve really only enjoyed 2 other “resurrection” stories (Red Hood and Winter Soldier), and I’m not a die-hard Kevin Smith fanatic. That said, this is good stuff. Kevin was tasked with successfully resurrecting the original Green Arrow after he had been dead for a few years. Not really an easy gig. Well, he did a bitchin’ job.
First off, I like Smith’s dialogue. It sounds like real people talking. He’s also pretty good with character’s interactions. I buy into the emotions. Oliver reconnecting with Dinah (Black Canary) was genuinely heartfelt and didn’t come off as cheesy. At least to me.
I also liked the way Kevin paced the book. He takes his time getting to the point of fully explaining Ollie’s return from the grave. It was a story that deserved 10 issue run. The last 5 issues that made up an epilogue of sorts were alright, but Ollie’s return was what really rocked.
Next I appreciated the old school spiritual nature of the resurrection. I’m fine with the “Lazarus Pit” or the being “secretly kidnapped by Russia and frozen for years” options too, but this was sorta different. Smith clearly has no issues including religion in any of his work. He actually made the trip to heaven fun. Is that Chris Farley over there?
And how about all those guest appearances? Oliver’s been gone for a minute and he’s got a lot of catching up to do. Eventually he gets reacquainted with all his old friends. Smith really nails Batman for me here. He got the “voice” down. And Bruce’s first moments with the newly returned Ollie are classic. Oliver’s run in with Arthur (Aquaman) is pretty fun too. The rest of the JLA, JSA, Etrigan, Deadman, and a couple of other guest stars all join in the fun as well. Good stuff.
Kevin also manages to include his trademark sense of humor in this one. Statements like “rod handling”, “My nipples are all kindsa hard”, and the “you got some balls on you” made me giggle like a moron. There’s a little cunnilingus action in there too. And who doesn’t appreciate that.
Phil Hester and Ande Park’s art was solid. Really sparkles on these over-sized pages. I like the thick, dark line work and it might be the best stuff I’ve seen from these guys. Head nod to Matt Wagner for his ass-kicking covers too.
That said, this one joins my short list of Green Arrow stuff (along with some of Winnick’s run and Diggle’s Year One stuff was pretty bangin’) that I would recommend to any comic reader. If you’re a Green Arrow fan, this is probably a must read.