Hawkman: "You know, Oliver -- the ancient Egyptians had a word for people like you."
Green Arrow: "Oh, yeah? What's that?"
GREEN ARROW: SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE is the second trade paperback reprinting issues from the Emerald Archer's new monthly series, and it's definitely worth getting. True, this one, at 128 pages, is much shorter than the preceding Green Arrow: Quiver (Book 1) collection as this one only compiles 5 issues (#11-15). But what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Film director turned comic book scribe Kevin Smith finishes up his Green Arrow run in this volume, and even though the very capable Brad Meltzer would take over for him, things would never be quite as good.
These issues, much like in QUIVER, focus on Green Arrow's settling back into his superhero niche in Star City and renewing relationships with his family, friends, and colleagues. So, yes, the reader treads in emotional undercurrents here and sees plenty of character development. The first issue here ("Ultimate Speedy") centers on Mia, the teenaged girl Ollie's taken into his home (see Green Arrow: Quiver (Book 1)). Mia wants to be the next Speedy, but Ollie has deep reservations. The second issue ("Feast and Fowl") is my favorite and is very funny, highlighted by Ollie's date with Dinah and Ollie's run-ins with the ultra-conservative Hawkman (who's also a recently returned-from-the-dead). This little storyline carries over into the next issue, and, honestly, it's almost worth this TPB's cover price just to watch Ollie and Hawkman trade insults. Then there's Dinah, in a gloriously indecent state, to break it all up (thanks for nothing, Mr. Terrific!).
But things take a somber turn once "The Sound of Violence" story arc really gets going. Smith bolsters Ollie's Rogue Gallery by introducing a great new supervillain, Onomatopoeia, a possibly super-powered serial killer targeting costumed crimefighters. This crazy's shtick is verbalizing sound effects, but this gimmick doesn't take away from how lethal this guy is. Before it's all over, he puts a serious hurting on someone very close to Green Arrow. Yet another sad thing about Smith's departure is that the 411 on Onomatopoeia's been put on the backburner. Maybe, someday...
The team of Phil Hester (SWAMP THING, CLERKS: THE LOST SCENE) and Ande Parks continue to churn out some of the most stylized and fantastic artwork in the field. Cannot get over how great Green Arrow looks. And Kevin Smith, before he jetted, did some serious inroads in re-establishing Green Arrow as a relevant character in the DC universe. This collection also has the added candy of Phil Hester's 3 paged introduction, as well as reprints of the original covers and an artist gallery, including Hester and Ande's tiny rendition of Kevin Smith as the Emerald Archer. Dare I say it, GREEN ARROW: SOUNDS OF VIOLENCE hits the *ahem* bullseye (so sorry).