Thursday, 26 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas - Best SFF Characters of 2013 - Day #1: Green Arrow

Inspired by fellow Founding Fields reviewer Abhinav (Shadowhawk), I thought I'd run down twelve of my favourite characters in SFF that I have either discovered or become more invested in (for example, see this post) during the course of 2013. And we're kicking off this list with Oliver Queen, Green Arrow.


Before this year, I was never a big fan of Green Arrow as I am now. I was enjoying the TV series sure, but this was back in the early days of Arrow, when the characters - whilst still strong, were not as awesome as they are in Season 2. And my only experience with Green Arrow in the comics was Green Arrow #1 which was pretty poor. However, once Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino started turning the tables around on the comic series from #17 (February) onwards and with Arrow taking a massive leap in improvement around episodes thirteen and fourteen onwards, 2013 really was a great year to be a Green Arrow fan. Jeff Lemire and Sorrentino have made the book from one of the worst of The New 52 and Stephen Amell and company have helped make the Oliver Queen of the TV series a pretty awesome character right now. 

In the comics and under the reign of Lemire and Sorrentino, we've seen Oliver Queen in several arcs. The opening arc was The Kill Machine, which tore Ollie down and rebuilt him from the ground up, delivering an interesting new dynamic in the series that made it accessible to newcomers. Then we were given the stint with Count Vertigo - who was explored in more depth in the Villain's Month tie-in issue, and we also got to witness the introduction of John Diggle into the comics verse, a breakout character from the TV show getting his first full-issue appearance in #25 after a teaser at the end of #24. Over the year Lemire has been giving us one excellent storyline after another and with The Outsiders War on the way, things are set to get very interesting indeed. Also, Andrea Sorrentino's artwork is just amazing. He's probably my favourite artist at DC right now and whatever title he's going to be doing artistic duties for I'm going to be reading it. Every panel he draws is fantastic and I really can't wait to see where he takes us next. 

And of course, if you've been keeping up with the TV show, then you'll know that Arrow is the comic book show that you need to be watching right now, simply put. It's just brilliant. The good form started arguably with The Odyssey back in Season 1 (episode 14) and despite a few weak spots involving The Huntress, Arrow really delivered a stunning season finale with one of the most emotional deaths that I've ever seen on a TV series, before delivering even more emotional moments in Season 2 that were pulled off with a bang, such as Detective Lance discovering the identity of Black Canary. To top it all off, we have Barry Allen involved in the show as well, proving that Arrow's success is getting DC to start expanding TV series in more depth and with shows like Flash, Hourman, Constantine, Gotham and more on the way, this is a really promising time to be a DC fan. I certainly can't wait until these shows hit, and all the while they'll be led by the fantastic Arrow. This is really must watch TV for any superhero fan. 

So as things stand right now, Oliver Queen is leading the way for the comics industry as far as I'm concerned. A great comics series with two excellent talents and Stephen Amell is doing the character justice having improved considerably with his acting talents along with the script itself on the screen, with Arrow itself leading the way for DC on the small screen. 

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