Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recently Read: The Green Arrow, by Jack Kirby

The Green Arrow, by Jack Kirby, reprints all of the late '50s DC Green Arrow stories drawn by Kirby, assisted by his wife, Roz. Mark Evanier writes an informative introduction.

Truth is, this is a book only for Jack Kirby and Green Arrow completists. With most of the stories being written by Dave Wood and Ed Herron, the tales are typical DC stories of the period: simple plots revolving around the heroes' arrows, with no characterization in sight. If you want to read about the Arrowcar, the Luminescent Arrow, the Vine Arrow, the Boomerang Arrow, the Arrowplane - in short, if you're positively obsessed with arrows, you'll love this book. Others will want to pass.

The art is worth seeing, especially since Kirby did much of his own inking here, a rarity in his later years. Most of the art is as perfunctory as Kirby art ever (rarely) became. Only in the last story, "The Green Arrow's First Case" does Kirby really come alive. There's a four-page sequence, set on an island, that is expressed with such boldness it looks more like a 1967 Captain America sequence than a late '50s DC story. Whether Kirby was taking such risks because he knew it was his last Green Arrow story, or whether it could have been the beginning of a new and better artistic direction for the series, we'll never know.
Pin It

No comments: