This is it – the final installment of Lemire and Sorrentino’s run on Green Arrow, which, as mentioned before, will certainly stand as one of the best in the character’s history. It’s fitting that this final issue of this creative team, joined as always by Marcelo Maiolo on coloring duties, sends Ollie off on a new direction in the future, just as the actual title is being sent off to another creative team.
Unlike some of the other Futures End titles this week, Green Arrow: Futures End ties in very directly to the weekly New 52 Futures End title, specifically dealing with the death of Oliver Queen as seen in the first issue of that series. While that is a major bonus for those who are following the events of that title, it does make it a bit difficult to read this issue as a one-off capstone story to the creative team’s run on the main Green Arrow which dates all the way back to issue #17.
However, Lemire does a great job tying up a lot of loose ends and bringing back many familiar characters from throughout his past 19 issues on the title, including Emiko and Naomi taking on new crime-fighting roles, along with Shado and the rest of the Outsiders Clans. There’s a nice, short scene with Katana as well, since her title was canceled and she won’t be getting her own Futures End issue. It’s nice to see where she ends up, however brief the scene is. One character who’s missing from this issue is Fyff, but I like to think of him as still back at Team Arrow headquarters running logistics for everyone.
In addition to these elements from their time on Green Arrow, in a nod to the history of the character, the creative team depict the Oliver of the future with a mustache and beard, and espousing some left-wing political views that recall his pre-New 52 incarnation. It’s a really nice character design from Sorrentino that shows this future Oliver as looking wiser, but also a bit more world weary, and incorporating other ideas from Green Arrow’s decades-long history.
The rest of the character designs are similarly well done, especially an older, more experienced and confident Emiko, who in this future issue has grown up a lot since her last appearances in the main title.
All of the art in Green Arrow: Futures End follows the same great pattern we’ve seen during this creative team’s run, with Sorrentiono’s spectacular, action oriented layouts and unique close ups, combined with the exceptional coloring style of Marcelo Maiolo and his signature monochromatic coloring for emphasizing certain scenes. The combination of Sorrentino and Maiolo on this book made it not just one of DC’s best-looking books, but one of the greatest in all of comics.
Together, the creative team of Lemire, Sorrentino, and Maiolo created something truly unique on this book, and while I’m sad to see them go, their final issue incorporated all of their best ideas across the board –the characters, themes, plot lines, dialogue, designs, and artistic style that have made the book so great over the past year and a half. Green Arrow: Futures End is a fitting way for them to end their time with Oliver Queen and his cast of characters. Hopefully they’ll all be working on another creation for DC soon.