As good as last month’s issue was, which wrapped up the Outsiders War story line, this issue, which begins a new arc called “Broken,” somehow manages to top it.
Let’s start with the amazing art. There’s just no other way to describe it. Sorrentino’s spot-on character work, clever layouts, use of silhouettes, and non-standard panel formats, combined with Maiolo’s mixing and matching of standard coloring with other panels featuring only a single highlight color, make this one of the absolute best-looking comics month-in and month-out. Lately their covers have also been a real visual treat, with this month’s fun layout playing off the arc’s title (Broken) making many other covers on the shelves look boring by comparison.
However, fantastic art like this is only part of what makes a comic great, and Lemire has a tough job ahead of him to follow-up on the recent Outsiders War story arc, which is definitely one of the best Green Arrow arcs in recent times. With “Broken,” however, we get a great jumping-on point for new readers, some really fun written scenes involving some less than A-list villains (they even refer to themselves as “at least C-list” in a fun tongue-in-cheek moment in the issue), as well as reuniting Green Arrow with his sidekicks Naomi and Fyff, and some background on the New 52 Richard Dragon as he monologues a bit to his captor, Diggle.
Some of the best parts of this book are those flashback scenes for Dragon. Sorrentino and Maiolo make a very cool and interesting choice by completely changing the art style for those scenes, choosing a somewhat retro style full of bold, primary colors, silhouettes, and an old-school dot matrix print look reminiscent of the 1950s. The contrast helps to set the scenes apart from the rest of the story, and yet they aren’t so distracting as to pull the reader away from the story.
Green Arrow #32 is a pure enjoyable reading experience and visual triumph, and a great jumping on point for new readers.