Green Arrow
City Walls

Author: Judd Winick
Artists: Phil Hester and Manuel Garcia
Titan Books
RRP: 9.99
ISBN 1 84576 039 5
Available 24 June 2005

Star City has endured all manner of threats over the years, but when a millionaire wants to bring law and order to its citizens, the entire world is threatened. His spell encases the city in a sphere impervious to even Superman, and the law bringers are demon behemoths that will kill over the slightest infraction. Green Arrow marshals the most unlikely army of all to save the city - and the world - from the threat. But deals need to be cut, sacrifices made, and the consequences may be worse than the problem...

City Walls is yet another example of how one superhero can be transformed, almost over night, from a dull second rate character to one of the most well loved characters. It started, for me anyway, with Kevin Smith's Quiver.

I'd always regarded Green Arrow as a rather blander version of Batman (I know, I know! I am a philistine). This series has gradually turned me into a Green Arrow convert. Oliver Queen (The Green Arrow) no longer seems like a camp and rather bland superhero (that's how I used to see him a few years ago). Sure he has about the most unconvincing disguise ever - he has a stupid yellow goatee and sticks out like a sore thumb. And, yes he still looks like an extra from a Robin Hood movie. But the writing seems to have matured a lot in recent years - to the point where I am proud to declare that I am a Green Arrow convert.

This collection rattles along at a fair old pace and the introduction of The Riddler adds a comedic twist to the proceedings - even if his riddles are extremely easy to figure out. But, it is the ending that makes everything worth while.

If you've not yet experienced a Green Arrow graphic novel, or have always thought the character was a bit lame, try this release out. I can guarantee (not money back I hasten to add) that you'll fall in love with the characters.

Ray Thompson

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