We already broke the news this morning that writer Jeff Lemire - best known for his supernatural and scifi work in books like 'Sweet Tooth' and 'Justice League Dark' - is taking it to the streets as the new writer of DC Comics' Green Arrow. His run isn't starting until February, to coincide with Oliver Queen's new status as a member of the Justice League of America; but we snagged you a first look at the art by Andrea Sorrentino, and an essay about Green Arrow from Lemire himself:
“How about Green Arrow?”
It was a sunny day in late July, a few days after I’d returned home from San Diego Comicon, and Dan Didio had called me. I had talked to Dan at Comicon about what I would write next. We had bounced a few things around at the Con, but nothing stuck. So when Dan called that afternoon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. When he asked me, “How about Green Arrow?” I paused. Oliver Queen was never a character I’d had any particular affection for. I love DC comics and love DC characters, but Green Arrow was never one of the guys I gravitated towards. Yet, for some reason, as soon as Dan said it, something sparked in my head. At that moment, I wasn’t sure why, but something told me this was exactly the kind of book and kind of character I was searching for.
Green Arrow is a character that always has the potential to be a major player in the DCU. When I took on Animal Man, I immediately saw it as a chance to do my version of the classic Vertigo horror/superhero books I loved as a teenager. And, similarly, the first thing I thought of with Green Arrow was a chance to do a really hard hitting, crime/superhero book in the tradition of Mike Grell’s classic run on the character or Denny O’Neil’s The Question comics from the late 80’s early 90’s. Quite simply, I wanted to make Green Arrow a hunter again. A street level hero of the gutters caught up in a world of violence, betrayal and conspiracy.
My ever growing plans for the book will build a huge new mythology around Green Arrow’s legacy and send him across the globe, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a deadly new cast of villains with mysterious ties to his past. And I knew that if I wanted to pull it off, I’d need one hell of an artist, someone who could match the new vision for Green Arrow that I was after.
Andrea Sorrentino’s stark and beautiful artwork on I, Vampire had caught my eye last year when I was looking at preview copies of the New 52 books. And, I’ve continued to follow him ever since. While his work is perfectly suited for the horror vibe of Vampire, I thought that putting him on a character like Green Arrow would create an amazing tension and a really unique take on a DCU superhero. And boy, was I right. His work so far in Green Arrow has been the absolute best of his career. This is one beautiful looking comic book.
It really is a brand new day for The Emerald Archer. I’ve fallen in love with writing this book and this character. I can only hope that a fraction of the excitement that both Andrea are feeling while working on Green Arrow translates onto the page and you’ll give the book a chance come February when our first action-packed arc, THE KILL MACHINE debuts with Issue #17. I intend to hurt Oliver Queen. Strip him down to the bone and force him to rise up and become the hero he was destined to be. I hope you come along for the ride.
So, “How about Green Arrow?”
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's run starts in February, in Green Arrow #17. Here's a full look at the cover, below: