A Writer’s Redemption – A Green Arrow: The Midas Touch Review
TITLE: Green Arrow: The Midas Touch
AUTHOR: J.T. Krul, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens
PENCILLER: Dan Jurgens, Ignacio Calero
COLLECTS: Green Arrow #1-6
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2012
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
Few characters got a bigger overhaul via the New 52 than Green Arrow. And as much as I enjoyed the old version of the character, he needed it. Let’s take a look at just how much baggage our old buddy Oliver Queen had picked up in the years prior to the reboot…
- Became mayor of Star City, only to be removed a short time later.
- Married and divorced Black Canary.
- Killed a supervillain for murdering Roy Harper’s young daughter, and destroying much of Star City.
- Unmasked by a corrupt police chief after being arrested for said murder.
- Moved into a forest that suddenly grew in the middle of the city, and started living with a guy named Galahad who thought he was a knight.
In Oliver Queen’s case the reboot was certainly justified, and I’m a big fan of what DC has done with this character.
In the world of the New 52, Oliver Queen is the owner of Queen Industries, which is a global leader in “energy, transportation, infrastructure — virtually every aspect of civilized life.” Most notable is Q-Core, the company’s technology division and seemingly this world’s equivalent of Apple. Instead of iPads and iPods, this world has Q-Pads and Q-Pods. Little do (most of) the folks at Queen Industries know that Oliver uses Q-Core technology in his career as Green Arrow, Seattle’s bow-wielding superhero. In this book we see GA take on a gang of murderous internet celebrities, and a duo consisting of a deadly female ninja and a human toxic waste dump. Not a bad way to make your redebut!
I really dig the “What if Steve Jobs was Green Arrow” approach here. The talk about Q-Pads and what not gives readers an immediate correlation between Oliver Queen and a real world figure. Thus, we get an idea of just how important Oliver is in this fictional world. It provides some nice tangible imagery that we don’t always have with say, Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises.
J.T. Krul didn’t do Green Arrow any favors in books like Rise and Fall and Into The Woods. But with this fresh start, he excels. He only writes the first half of the book, but with those issues he does a wonderful job of establishing who Oliver Queen is, both as a businessman and a superhero. Like the old Green Arrow, this version cares more about social justice than anything else. He’s not afraid to let you hear about it either, as we learn in issue #3. Krul also gave GA a compelling supporting cast right off the bat, with tech wizards Jax and Naomi (the latter of whom looks a lot like Rihanna to me) helping him out at Q-Core, his assistant Adrien helping him out on the business end, and the ever-frustrated CEO of Queen Industries, Emerson. The club of internet killers were also a nice choice for GA’s first opponents, as their modus operandi strongly lends itself to what’s obviously meant to be a modern day reinterpretation of the character.
Keith Giffen tends to be the guy DC calls when somebody suddenly leaves, or to clean up a mess, i.e. his work on The Outsiders and The Authority. So when I saw him attached to Green Arrow as a co-plotter, I panicked. But the transition is fairly smooth. Ignacio Calero jumps in as penciller for issue #6, which proves to be a bit rockier. But not so much that the book gets thrown off course. The villains we get for the second half, Blood Rose and Midas, aren’t as compelling as their predecessors, but they do okay.
I walked away from this book with renewed enthusiasm for Green Arrow, as well as JT Krul’s writing. It also gave me a new appreciation for Dan Jurgens’ art, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Midas Touch loses some momentum in its second half, and the creative shakeups hurt it a bit. But from a conceptual standpoint, I think it’s one of the most fun relaunches the New 52 has produced.
Front page image from 52review.blogspot.com. Image 1 from 4thletter.net. Image 2 from scans-daily.dreamwidth.org.