Green Arrow Vol 1. Midas Touch Breakdown and Review

Welcome back for another DC New 52 breakdown! Starting this week, we are taking a dive into the Justice League and Justice League member in Year One starting with Green Arrow. This volume encompasses issues #1-#6, but I have also added #0 for back story. We have seen Oliver already way back in the second breakdown I did with DC Comics: Year Zero (http://bit.ly/2YutUTx).

Starting out in the Issue #0, we have Oliver before his transformation into Green Arrow, when he was still a young and reckless teenager. His father, Robert Queen, has been fed up with his inability to take his jobs seriously and had sent him to work on an oil rig. In true Oliver fashion though this turned into a party which included his girlfriend Leena and his best friend Tommy Merlyn. The funny part of this is he is already showing an interest in archery but doesn’t yet have skill, not that he understands that yet.

The real issue here comes when Oliver invited a known drug dealer to the rig, Carlos Pike. This prompts and argument with Leena and Oliver and she goes off on her own just as they all learn that it isn’t Carlos Pike on the helicopter but the Iron Eagle. Iron Eagle holds the rig hostage with explosives while they pirate the oil. One of the workers tells Oliver that this group is known for doing that and if they just stay out of it, they will all make it out fine. That’s just not Oliver though. Oliver shoots the Iron Eagle in the hand making him drop the detonator but this also sets off the bomb strapped to Leena and everyone on the ship is killed, almost. Tommy is able to get Oliver off, but Tommy gives him the ominous warning that these are not the last people that Oliver are going to get killed.

Then there is a quick snap of Oliver on the island and then with Roy Harper. Oliver has bailed Roy out of jail after he tried to steal from Queen Industries because he thinks that Roy could help him fix the corruption within the company.

Meanwhile, in China Tommy Merlyn wakes up.

In Issue #1, Oliver and Emerson, the CEO of Queen Industries, butt heads per the usual as Oliver is off in France tracking known criminals Dynamix, Doppelganger, and Supercharge. Emerson feels that Oliver is shirking responsibility as CEO of Q-Core, a part of Queen Industries, since he doesn’t know about Oliver’s extracurricular activities.

Oliver at Q-Core has some friend that do know about his other gig. Naomi is like Batman’s Overwatch in that she watches from the computer as Oliver is in the field, much like Felicity on the TV show. Then there is Jax who is in weapons development like Luscious Fox. They are in his ear as he boards the ship carrying the three villains Dynamix, Doppelganger, and Supercharge. Jax calls the police thinking that this is a bad situation for Oliver with him being outnumbered. This gives Oliver five minutes to get in, neutralize them and get out before the police arrive. Oliver easily handles them.

When Queen arrives back in Seattle, Adrien, his assistant, informs him of Emerson’s displeasure. Oliver wants to keep Queen Industries and Q-Core as separate as possible and doesn’t like being under the watchful eye of Emerson. In a conversation with Jax, Jax admits that he isn’t overly fond of making weapons for Green Arrow and doesn’t understand the risk that Oliver is taking with his own life. Oliver though is insistent on leading a life that makes amends for those he has hurt.

Meanwhile, in France, Doppelganger was separated from Dynamix and Supercharge. While waiting in prison it seems that there is a group of Supervillains that want to help Dynamix and Supercharge get even with Oliver and they spring them out.

In Issue #2, two of the villains in this group Lime and Light, make their move for Green Arrow but going on a rash of crimes up the west coast until they get to Seattle. This is another case where Oliver handles them easily.

Next, Oliver is playing basketball with a guy named Anthony when he is interrupted by Emerson who once again is upset with Oliver for how he spends his time and demands that he be more present.

That night, this super villain team sets a trap for Oliver that he just cannot refuse. They call in a younger villain Alpha and beat him to death and stream it live, then call out the Green Arrow. When Oliver finds out they are in Seattle he wastes no time getting there.

Unfortunately for Oliver, they had a plan to trap him in and we see that unfold into issue #3. Rush being the leader of this group has planned for Oliver to be surrounded by so much that he can’t fight his way out while he streams this to millions of people on the internet. Oliver is a pretty special guy though and manages to break away enough to put some distance between him and the other. He then uses his arrows to blow out the floor and trap some of them with the inflatable crowd control device that Jax created.

Now he comes face to face with Rush but realizes quickly that Rush is stronger because of the adrenaline he gets from streaming the fights. He then takes out the one controlling the camera. Oliver goes over to save this guy from burning alive but Rush stops him and gets quite a few blows in. Oliver having enough already then shoots Rush in the next twice. Later we see that they all end up in Belle Reve.

While Oliver was fighting there was a brief cut where we saw Emerson upset and worried about Oliver’s commitment to the company. Later when Oliver gives a speech about Q-Core, Emerson immediately after tells him that he is waiting for the day that he stops pretending to be a man and starts acting like it. Which ironically his following speech about it takes place while Oliver is suiting up as Green Arrow.

The last few panes of issue #3 are set up for the rest of the Volume as Blood Rose and Midas head to Seattle to take out Oliver Queen.  Oliver realizes that something is up when he fights a couple with imbedded circuitry in their cheek whose heads immediately explode.

At Q-Core, Oliver reaches out to Jax and is looking for him to develop video games for the company but also something that can be applied to the Green Arrow in the field. This is followed with another screaming match with Emerson and a twelve-hour workday for Oliver.

When Oliver is leaving the building, he runs into and is attacked by Blood Rose. She lets Oliver get away wanting to prolong his suffering but he comes back as Green Arrow and they fight. She proves to be a pretty good match for Oliver and even has super strength but she leaves after being shot in the arm. She heads back to Midas who is upset with her for getting hurt.

Midas is upset that Blood Rose got hurt and heads out trying to now find Green Arrow. There is a brief back story about his work in trying to reduce toxic waste but then he was held at gun point and his lab explodes turning him into this monster. It is compared to Alec Holland story of become Swamp Thing, which is only half true. You can check out my Swamp Thing breakdown for that (http://bit.ly/2m1rKZM)

Oliver is in a meeting with Adrien where he learns that Emerson have given Adrien the power to Veto Oliver. Pretty hostile. Later when walking through the hall together they are attacked by Midas. He tells Oliver to run away that he is for Blood Rose later, and then he takes Adrien hostage. Oliver comes back as Green Arrow which leads to an interesting showdown. Because of Midas’s composition most things he touches or that touch him simple melt, this means that for the most part Oliver’s arrows are ineffective. Naomi things that maybe this is out of his league and he should maybe try to call in Superman, but Oliver temporarily neutralizes Midas by putting an arrow in his mouth.

Oliver isn’t in the clear though because Blood Rose arrives and has a gun to the back of his head. She does shoot him but not with the intent of killing him in fear that it will bring in other superheroes on them and they are only concerned with getting to Oliver Queen. With the mention of Super friends there is the suggestion here of reading Justice League #8 when Aquaman and Oliver meet for the first time and as soon as I get there, I will link it here.

Oliver makes it through getting shot and with the scans that Naomi were able to make they discover that Blood Rose isn’t even human but a robot and that she can track her. Oliver heads over to their hideout where he faces off with them. He shoots Blood Rose with an arrow that should fry her circuits which does hold her back momentarily. He also uses arrows for Toxic waste against Midas which incapacitate him. He eventually goes against Blood Rose again and blows her up to then deliver her head back to Midas. Midas then blow up their whole lab and Oliver assumes they are both dead. We see in the epilogue that Midas has a secret escape and that he is rebuilding Blood Rose and heading to Metropolis. We will see these two again in Volume 4.

In setting up for Volume 2 though it appears that the Green Arrow is being watched by a group of people.

Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Honestly, getting into this comic I was super excited to read about Green Arrow and felt very underwhelmed. The villains are all pretty b-list and then there weren’t any of the beloved Green Arrow characters like John Diggle, Roy Harper, or Dinah Drake. I know that the comic will pick up with them later but for a foundation volume, I felt that this one was lacking.

Read All of My DC New 52 Breakdowns!

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