Monday, 7 October 2013

Green Arrow Vol 1: The Midas Touch

Green Arrow Volume 1:The  Midas Touch (The New 52)

"Next person who calls me Hawkeye
gets an arrow in the jugular!"

Writers: Dan Jurgens, J.T. Krul and Keith Griffen

Artists: Dan Jurgens, Ignacio Calero, George Perez and Ray McCarthy

Read as trade paperback

Background Information:

You’ve watched Arrow, right? Yeah, this is that guy.

... What?!

Okay, I admit it; I haven’t actually watched that much of Arrow. I always get tired before airs. With that in mind, Green Arrow was first introduced to me in the Justice League cartoon of last decade. I was interested in this Batman-like archer (in the sense that he has no super powers), and appreciated the cartoon’s attempts at forging a relationship between both him and his bat-totemed other. It was cool to see two powerless heroes acknowledge each other in a “got your back, bro” kinda way.
Put simply, Green Arrow is what Oliver Queen calls himself when he goes vigilante at night. He carries a bow with all sorts of crazy, high-tech arrows (a classic is the arrow that contains a boxing glove- physics be damned). When he's not vigilante-ing, Queen runs Q-Core, a technology company that basically functions like Apple in the real world (right down to QPhones and QPads). Yep, he's Steve Jobs cross Hawkeye.
Does that make Bruce Wayne Microsoft?


So it’s with that knowledge that I sprung into The Midas Touch, the New 52s offering for Oliver Queen’s adventures. I borrowed this one from my local library, and I must admit, was a little wary of the title- wasn’t keen on Green Arrow’s look, for starters. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. The book isn’t rubbish. In fact, it is very much not rubbish.

The Midas Touch is divided into two stories- one of which is definitely stronger than the other. The First half of the book sees Queen take on a group of villains led by a man named Rush. That doesn’t sound to interesting at first, except when you consider the groups motives. In true Gen Y fashion, these guys aren’t interest in global domination (so 90s). No, they want to film Arrow getting clobbered and rake in the ill-deserved fame that comes from a viral video. It’s a fun look into just how twisted the social media trend can be, and delivers a story that really couldn’t have been done ten years ago- y’know, back when we had dial-up modems.

It’s a good thing the first half is so entertaining, because the second half of the trade is pretty bland. This one focus on two villains, the toxic, deformed monster known as Midas, and his lover, Blood Rose. Blood Rose, it seems, has some beef with Queen- beef enough to try and kill the man. It’s a pretty nonsensical story and if it wasn’t for the first half of the book, it would be enough to write Green Arrow off altogether.

The artwork in The Midas Touch is decent- it’s definitely not anything to write home about, but it captures the action and kookiness of Queen’s character and successfully manages to make Queen and Green Arrow look like completely different people; proving, in a way that secret identities can be done right. Somehow, I found myself not suspecting Queen of being Green Arrow- and this from a guy who had seen him actually change costume in the book. Imagine how well Queen would have the rest of Seattle fooled!

The Midas Touch is a fun romp at Green Arrow’s character. It would have been spectacular had it not been for the dry second-half. It gets a four out of five dial-up modems.


+ First story is awesome.

+ Artwork convinces us that the Green Arrow persona is actually a disguise.

- Dry, dry, dry second half.

Alternate Pick:... um...

I actually have no idea. Any suggestions, readers?

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