Green Arrow
Crawling Through the Wreckage

Author: Judd Winick
Artist: Scott McDaniel
Titan Books
RRP: 8.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6446 3
ISBN-10: 1 84576 446 3
Available 23 March 2007

He may be a member of the Justice League, but Oliver Queen - the Green Arrow - has always been about fighting the system. But, after a crisis of infinite proportions, a lot has changed. To save his beloved Star City, the ultimate rebel must become part of the system. Say hello to Mayor Ollie Queen. But Star City has problems that Ollie can't solve with executive powers or explosive arrows. The city has been torn apart. It's most downtrodden citizens are prey to gang violence and feral, mindless drug addicts. Taking advantage of the situation, corporate raiders seek to turn Star City into a parody of its former self, making it home to glitzy casinos and unaffordable housing. And someone has decided that Mayor Queen is enough of a threat to hire the world's deadliest assassin to kill him. Of course, the world's deadliest assassin also happens to be Green Arrow's archenemy. Can Green Arrow hope to take on public life and Deathstroke at the same time?...

Crawling Through the Wreckage sees Green Arrow return to the streets of Star City after almost a year's absence. It also sees the election of Oliver Queen as Major of the city. However, his insistence on making sure that crime doesn't pay, but the criminals have to, means that he has made some powerful new enemies.

But why is Queen not being as ruthless on crime as he should be? There are exceptions to every rule, but Queen's insistence on turning a blind eye to certain elements seems a little strange. But, when he yanks the chain of the head of a large company, it would seem that Queen's days are numbered as Deathstroke is brought in to kill Queen. Of course, the irony is lost on all but Deathstroke as, for some unfathomable reason no one has quite worked out that Queen and the Green Arrow are one and the same.

How could Queen be so short-sighted? Surely he must have known that pushing around the wrong people was not a very clever career move. Or, is this all part of a much bigger plan?

Judd Winick really pulls out all the stops with this tale. There is some genuinely original writing here as the scrapes that Green Arrow and Deathstroke get into escalate until the final conclusion. Be prepared to have the rug pulled out from under you on more than a few occasions. Also, the fact that it's a Green Arrow Vs. Deathstroke tale means that you know it's almost guaranteed to be a winner before you open the pages.

While Scott McDaniel's artwork is, on the whole, faultless, I didn't really think it was dark enough to convey the drama in Winick's original script. It all felt a little Saturday morning cartoonish in places. That said, it didn't detract from an overall great package.

This collection delivers twist after twist. The end result is not just one of the most enjoyable Green Arrow stories I've read in ages, but also one of the best graphic novels I've seen in quite some time.

Darren Rea

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