cover image Green Arrow: The Archer's Quest Vol 04

Green Arrow: The Archer's Quest Vol 04

Brad Meltzer. DC Comics, $14.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-0044-2

Green Arrow died. Then he came back to life. But in the meantime, the Shade dropped the ball on a job Green Arrow had asked him to take care of in the event of his death: gathering various artifacts to protect Green Arrow's identity (and, by extension, his family and friends). So the reborn superhero and his old sidekick, Speedy, now known as Arsenal, embark on ""The Archer's Quest,"" gathering those artifacts and taking several trips down memory lane. Crime novelist Meltzer (The Millionaires; The Zero Game) does a good job of giving the Emerald Archer some depth in this installment, but it isn't the quest structure that does it-it's Meltzer's tongue-in-cheek dialogue and the excellent rapport between Green Arrow and Arsenal that reveal more of the character than usually meets the eye in DC Comics' stories. If anything, the contrived search for various mementos of his career detracts from Meltzer's intimate depiction. For one thing, if Green Arrow is alive, why does he need to collect what he wanted destroyed in the event of his death? For another, most of the relics give no indication of his identity-so why were they to be destroyed in the first place? But Meltzer's humor almost makes up for it. Hester and Parks continue to give Green Arrow a fresh, cartoony feel that is just right for the kind of story Meltzer is telling: while it doesn't take itself too seriously, it's bold and exciting.