Green Arrow's 21st issue is a very different beast in many ways than much of the series thus far since Rebirth. Not that the first 20 issues didn't take great efforts to re-establishing Green Arrow as the great liberal hero, and had some wonderful commentary on current political and social events in the world today, but this issue really ramps things up.
Benjamin Percy's takes the issue to build things on the macro and the micro scale, between Oliver Queens shocking discovery of secrets from his family's past to the escalating push forward of the series' main villain thus far, Queen Industries CFO Cyrus Broderick.
And the events that take place in the issue are huge. Massive spectacles of horror and destruction, alongside quiet personal revelation. It's something that Arrow, the TV show of the same character, regularly tries to emulate but hasn't really hit the same note quite as strongly outside of it's first season finale. What's more, this is all in the first issue of this particular new arc, so it already feels like this could leave Green Arrow and his landscape changed for a while to come. But this is comics, where there are no budget concerns to stop going for the big spectacle.
This is aided, frankly, amazingly well by the issues artist Juan Ferreyra. The art alone is gorgeous, the colours done in such a beautiful muted way that it really does stand out from the look of most comics on the shelves. It feels like watercolour at times, and it's lovely to look at.
But Ferreyra also goes all out on experimenting with the panels and the medium itself, his artful use of this technique illustrating events happening almost simultaneously and helping to heighten the sense of the world falling apart at high speed.
That this comes out with the real world as it is at the moment…it feels like it connects in a very real sense.
The set up for the The Rise of Star City arc has already reached dazzlingly high levels. I hope they can keep it up for the rest of the arc, or even find new ways to surprise us.