Green Arrow: Sounds of Violence
Kevin Smith is better known for his work on movies, having written and directed Clerks, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He's slightly less famous for being a huge fan of comics and even owns his own comic store. So its little surprise that his two interests should meet and this is a bonus for the rest of us.
Green Arrow is one of the more sensible of superheroes, lacking any special powers. Instead, he has an uncanny ability with a bow and arrow. However, having been a part of the Justice League of America (a team of top ranking DC universe superheroes including Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman), he remains inextricably tied to the core superhero mythos. Smith hasn't shied away from this, including Hawkman and long-term girlfriend Black Canary amongst the key characters frequenting this book.
Depsite this, the comic is dialogue driven, much like Smith's films. There's no lack of action or plot, but it shouts out its author's heritage with its wit and its down-to-earth sub-plots. You're as likely to see the Green Arrow talking to his son about girls as you are notching an arrow and piercing a villain. It's also violent though - the Riddler turning up through a hole in the wall harks back to Adam West's television Batman, but there's another villain in store who's more likely to shoot you in the face than construct a conundrum.
The art is clean and crisp, with an eye for visual action that also harks back to moving pictures, and the characters have the air of animation about them. There's also no reluctance to spend several panels on minimal movements like the change in a person's expression or the movement of their head. This offers the art a certain cinematic dynamism and fluidity of movement that keeps the story flowing smoothly.
Fans of Smith are bound to relish this as it has his stamp all over it. If anything, it's on the verge of being a little too fanboy for our tastes, though Smith's wonderful dialogue makes up for any reliance on intimate knowledge of the characters. And if you aren't all that familiar with the Green Arrow's background, the 'Who is Green Arrow?' section of this Green Arrow fansite should help.
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