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The ghost of Justin Hartley looms large: Graeme goes green from 7/11.

Graeme McMillan

Is it that wrong of me that I couldn’t stop thinking of Smallville as I read GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE #1? It’s not just the high concept “Superheroes before they were superheroes” aspect that reminded me of the show, but the execution of same – the wooden expositionary dialogue, the repurposing of the character as an EXTREME THRILLSEEKER, DOOD, the weird villain as security guard to rich boy thing… This first issue curiously captured the feel of the Smallville show much better than the Smallville comic did, which is even more unexpected considering that it’s by the Losers’ creative team of Andy Diggle and Jock.

It’s tempting to say that neither of their hearts are in the book, but I’m not really sure that that’s the case; Diggle’s script, while featuring some show-stopping moments of clunkiness (The villain’s speech when confronting Ollie towards the end of the book is stunning in its laying out not only the character of Ollie as the book starts, but of the signposting of what’s going to happen to him during the course of this series: “Look at yourself. You’re not Robin Hood. You’re Peter Pan. You’re the boy who never grew up – – because you never had to. You don’t value anything, because you never had to earn it. You don’t think the rules apply to you, because you’ve always been able to buy yourself out of trouble. And you don’t give a damn about anyone but yourself – – Because you’re still the same spoiled selfish little brat you were when your parents died… Because there’s never been anyone there to say no.” You kind of have to wonder if Diggle finished writing that and thought, “You know, I’m kind of done.”), still has some nice moments, and Jock’s art here seems a lot less rushed than his Faker, last week (His cover is beautiful, if entirely destroyed by the barcode and credits – Look at the naked version on the DC Nation page, and see how good the art itself is). Perhaps it’s that there was some kind of editorial guidance pushing them towards the Smallville gene, or perhaps presenting heroes as self-centered teenagers (or whatever age Ollie is meant to be here – early 20s, I think…?) is the way to go when trying to reach a new market.

Despite all that, this isn’t actually that bad an opener – Everything gets set up easily enough, even taking into account the signposted dialogue, and if everything feels somewhat tensionless, the fact that this is almost intended to be the least exciting part of the story has to be taken somewhat into account. An Okay opener, then, and here’s hoping that it picks up the further we get into the story.

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