Review: Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest trade paperback (DC Comics)

I was only so-so about Julie and Shawna Benson's run on Birds of Prey so I wasn't quite sure how I'd like their Green Arrow. As it turns out, they're only on for a volume anyway, Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest, which mainly just involves continuity-keeping between Green Arrow, Scott Snyder's Justice League, and Heroes in Crisis. There was not much here that I thought suggested a new direction or paradigm for the Green Arrow franchise, perhaps intentionally, but the Bensons' is a familiar but effective story. The characters are on point (so to speak) and Citizen's Arrest is never boring, and it addresses what it needs to such to reaffirm that Green Arrow takes place alongside the rest of the DC Universe.

[Review contains spoilers]

Citizen's Arrest sees Green Arrow and Black Canary up against what is essentially an Anarky-like figure (complete with similar costume), kidnapping and killing perceived corporate criminals — with his sights set on Oliver Queen. We have definitely, definitely seen this "average person votes for execution on social media" kind of plot before, but the Bensons pull it off well with some startling death traps and the potential for gore, and also the temporary intimation that Oliver might've unknowingly killed someone in his youth. All of that — plus Heroes in Crisis' mid-book interruption — keeps this six-chapter volume (including the Green Arrow Annual #2) moving along well.

The bigger joy of this book is seeing Green Arrow so central to the major events of the DC Universe, even if tragic. First, the annual is set during the events of Justice League: No Justice; we learn here nothing we didn't already know, but it's fun to see Oliver infiltrating the Happy Harbor of Steve Orlando's Justice League of America, for instance. Then, Superman comes calling to let Oliver know that Arsenal Roy Harper died in Heroes in Crisis. At Roy's funeral, storylines converge when Oliver threatens to use the mysterious box given to him by Martian Manhunter in No Justice against the League in retaliation for their perceived negligence in Crisis.

It is clear that the Bensons are only working with the crumbs of these stories. As much as is made of the "Justice League takedown box" McGuffin in this book, the Bensons never reveal what's in it, because of course it was Snyder's domino to set up and his to knock down. At Roy's funeral, despite a number of Titans there, there's no mention of Wally West's death, as might be logical, either because the writers didn't know or couldn't say.

A further demonstration of the difficulty is that Gnarrk is seemingly present at the funeral when he actually died with Roy — though, while I like Javier Fernandez's art overall, in the funeral scene it's nearly impossible to tell who's who, from strangers in the background to a nondescript man that turns out to be Hal Jordan. Still, I'm a sucker for these kinds of books that distill the disparate events in the DC Universe into a cohesive whole — taking Scott Snyder's book on one hand and Tom King's on the other and showing where they converge.

This is to an extent a cliche by now, but I appreciated that the Bensons tied the story into Green Arrow's "social justice" roots. In essence, as we've seen before, the villainous Citizen takes liberalism to an extreme end and Green Arrow has to challenge the right reasons, wrong methods (though I'm not sure we ever get a motivation for Citizen besides that corporate corruption is unfair). The final Arrowplane "when they go low, we go high" kicker is a goofy-funny nod to the Green Arrow character's political leanings of the day.

Support Collected Editions -- Purchase Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest

Television's Arrow is ending, and with the volume after Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest, so is the Green Arrow comic. The comic was slow out of the gate to attach itself to Arrow and, even once it did in fits and starts, never quite seemed to benefit from Arrow's success. For as popular as Arrow is, one might've thought DC would place Green Arrow at the center of the DC Universe, but he's remained a second-tier character throughout. So it goes; I've no doubt there will be a Green Arrow comic one day again, and I'm curious what DC imagines different for the character that a hiatus will accomplish.

[Includes original and variant covers]

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Green Arrow Vol. 7: Citizen's Arrest
Author Rating
3.75 (scale of 1 to 5)


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