In DC Comics’ Rebirth event, what dies must become reborn. So is the case with Green Arrow, who died at the hands of someone he cared about in Green Arrow #1.
Please note that the following contains a few spoilers from Green Arrow #2.
But can Green Arrow really die in his own comic book? Of course, that’s not the case, but the man known as Oliver Queen does experience a kind of death at the end of Green Arrow #2.
The idea behind Rebirth is to start some of the most beloved comic book characters from scratch and that’s exactly what’s going on in Green Arrow #2. Oliver gets left for dead, his body dumped in the ocean. The second issue, though, explains that he isn’t really dead, but that everything he knows and loves is now gone. So, figuratively, he really is dead.
Oliver is left penniless, without a home, without any friends and without a name or reputation. And so begins his new journey as the Green Arrow, the only thing that Oliver has left.
The writing by Benjamin Percy shows Oliver at his most desolate, but this is a good place for the superhero to end up, especially with the build-up of Green Arrow: Rebirth and Green Arrow #1. It’s interesting that those first two issues saw Black Canary constantly hounding Oliver about how he can’t use money to solve every problem in Seattle, and now, he’s going to have to figure out how to keep helping the city without any resources. This is the end of that particular story line and the beginning of a new one: the rebirth of Green Arrow.
It’s kind of interesting that of all the Rebirth titles from DC, this is the one that literally has a character dying (sort of) and becoming a new creation. This is a complete reset of who and what Oliver Queen is, and offers a good example of what TV’s Arrow should take a note from.
The artwork by Otto Schmidt is also really good, particularly in showing Oliver’s despair when something dear to him gets blown to bits. There’s a lot of emotion in the artwork that makes the reader sympathize with just how much Oliver has lost. The last few pages also do a good job of illustrating an Oliver who is alone in the world, and that loneliness is palpable in the final panel, although it also offers a glimmer of hope.
Green Arrow #2 is available now everywhere comic books are sold and online.