When Oliver Queen is done shutting down a drug ring on a deserted island, Benjamin Percy’s Green Arrow will witness the bow-wielding hero against a new enemy when he returns to Seattle. A political figure not unlike Trump, the Green Arrow’s new foe wants to make Seattle great again and will outnumber the vigilante with a hostile police at his command. On top of that, there’s an “Arrow Killer” looking to frame Green Arrow, and the Wild Dogs, a street gang looking like Jack Wheeler’s former identity, are running amok.
There’s no rest for the weary.
Although DC’s Green Arrow comic bears semblance to the popular Arrow television series on the CW, Percy’s ongoing book goes harder into timely social justice storylines than its TV cousin. “Green Arrow is a left-leaning character,” Percy told Inverse at New York Comic Con last Saturday. “From the moment I was brought on, I was told, ‘Emphasize that.’”
Emphasize he did, evoking the politically-charged Dennis O’Neil/Neal Adams run from the ‘70s. In Percy’s Green Arrow post-Rebirth, Oliver has fought against human traffickers, villainous bankers, predators profiting off restless teenagers, and old allies turned Yakuza assassins.
All right, so maybe Yakuza assassins aren’t a hot-button issue, but saving Seattle has allowed Ollie to learn what it takes to truly become “a social justice warrior.” With his fortune gone (and never coming back), Queen will return from the two-parters “Island of Scars” and “Murder on the Empire Express” — a “two-shot sequence” in an undersea railroad — to battle institutions without a fat bank account to help him. Thankfully, he’s got friends. “You have this team of people [in] this urban environment, working from the shadows. Robin Hood needs Little John,” Percy says about the book’s supporting characters like Black Canary, Emiko, and Diggle, Ollie’s uneasy partner after “Island of Scars” wraps up.
The new arc, “Emerald Outlaw” beginning with Issue #12 in December, will be “like The Wire meets Green Arrow” with “lots of political corruption” allowing Percy and artist Juan Ferrayra to wrestle with “issues ripped from the headlines.”
Which headlines? “We’ve got a mayor running for office who might sound a little bit like a certain orange-faced candidate,” said Percy in a not-so subtle jab at the GOP candidate. There’s also a corrupt police force without accountability against the Green Arrow. “We’ve got corruption within the police department. A good segment of the force is really upset as a result of the showdowns in the streets.”
There’s also a few X-factors looking to make Green Arrow’s life hell in Seattle. “We have an ‘Arrow Killer’ on the loose, someone trying to frame Green Arrow and smear him the way Oliver Queen was ruined. And the Wild Dogs are coming.” Neither Percy nor Ferrayra would divulge on the Wild Dogs, a gang donning obscure Jack Wheeler’s old identity en masse, but Ferrayra’s cinematic covers have been teasing them since Issue #1 and will come into play in “Emerald Outlaw.”
All in all, Oliver Queen will be a little busy in the coming months to care about Doctor Manhattan and the events of DC’s Rebirth. Percy says a few DC books like his Green Arrow and Dan Abnett’s Aquaman are very much on “their own,” but Rebirth is still “going to creep into every corner” What does that mean for Oliver’s crusade? Well, Percy pleads the fifth. The Green Arrow respects that right.Photos via DC Comics