Framed for murder and left for dead by the criminal syndicate known as The Ninth Circle, Oliver Queen has lost everything. His fortune. His good name. Perhaps even his relationship with fellow vigilante Dinah Lance (a.k.a. Black Canary), who disapproved of his efforts to reclaim what The Ninth Circle took from him while simultaneously fighting a battle to save his home town of Seattle from their machinations.
Now Seattle has become Star City – the world’s first corporate-owned municipality and a shining beacon for the idea that big business can save America. At least, that’s the party line touted by the politicians The Ninth Circle has bought and paid for. In truth, the city has become fertile ground for The Ninth Circle’s human trafficking operation.
As Black Canary and Oliver’s half-sister Emiko (who is using the name Red Arrow over Ollie’s objections) fight to save the city’s homeless population from becoming inventory, Oliver Queen has hit the road to fight The Ninth Circle’s expansion into other cities. His journey has led him to Metropolis, where Ollie plans to confront the fattest fat cat in town – Lex Luthor! But is Lex working with The Ninth Circle? And who will Superman side with when he discovers the black sheep of the vigilante community threatening his greatest enemy?
Juan Ferreyra returns to the book with this issue and it’s good to have him back. I say this not to slight the excellent Stephen Byrne or Jamal Campbell but because Ferreyra has been as much a part of Green Arrow‘s spiritual rebirth as writer Benjamin Percy. There’s something about his style that just seems to encapsulate the spirit of Oliver Queen and I predict that in ages of comic history yet undreamed of we will speak of Percy and Ferreyra in the same breath as O’Neil and Adams.
I’m not sure how far in advance Benjamin Percy writes his Green Arrow scripts. The past few issues have prove unusually timely, given reports of human trafficking being on the rise and high-ranking politicians being complicit in it. In any case, Green Arrow is more politically relevant than it has been at any time since the now-legendary Mike Grell run.
Ignoring politics, this book is still a top-notch thriller and Percy’s take on the characters is pitch-perfect. I particularly enjoyed Lex Luthor’s Sherlockian analysis of Green Arrow and Superman’s assessment of Oliver Queen. “They tell me you’ve changed,” Superman says referring to The Flash and Woner Woman, “and I can see for myself. It’s true. You’re still a disagreeable, sarcastic, loose cannon… but I’m proud of you.”
So are Green Arrow fans everywhere. And we wouldn’t have him any other way.