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on 5 October 2014
Jeff Lemire's run on Green Arrow starts off fresh, previous volumes needn't be read. As the book begins we are at a point in time where Green Arrow is already a member of the JLA. I haven't read the volume where that happens yet so am not sure exactly where in time we are. This book takes place in its present but also has a lot of flashbacks. Lemire's Green Arrow is a much more darker man and the plot is being set up in this volume, involving Oliver's father and a mysterious cult or clan of the Dragons. Some new characters have been invented for this issue and a few old ones come back into play for the The New 52 such as Count Vertigo. Vertigo has an issue devoted to himself which deals with his background story, that I enjoyed so much. I love villain background stories! The book ends on an interesting note and the plot is set up and has one interested to keep reading the story. The art is fantastic and perfectly suits the mood and darker atmosphere of this volume. Overall, though, I wouldn't say this was better than the first three volumes, just different, but certainly in a good way.
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on 3 November 2014
The stories running through issues #17-24 of DC Comics’ New 52 Green Arrow series are collected, along with issue #23.1, as Green Arrow Volume 4: The Kill Machine TP (The New 52) (Green Arrow (DC Comics Paperback)). After three volumes of dire storytelling, someone at DC Comics has finally watched the Arrow TV series and realised just what can be done with a comic book series. In comes Count Vertigo, Shado, Richard Dragon, a dodgy father who was knee-deep in something suspicious, even more conspiracies, and mysterious goings-on on that island, whilst still keeping hold on the previous New 52 background – just deepening it and adding more texture, much of it, while inspired by the TV series, recognisably drawn from the Old DC universe. And the artwork is fairly spectacular as well.

This is a superb new beginning for the series, and should really be treated as a new volume 1 – you can safely ignore the first three volumes and just start from here: you won’t miss anything interesting or useful.

I have to add that the ‘lost tribes’ business is pretty silly, on a par with the League of Assassins’ mission as set out in the ‘Batman Begins’ film. But hey, it is only a comic book.

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Issue #17 opens with GA wandering through the Arizona desert, following (in flashback) the loss of Queen Industries to a rival’s takeover bid, and Emerson being killed in his office in front of Oliver, who is left leaning out of the broken window in a compromising pose… so he naturally beats up the security guards and does a runner, just in time to see the Q-Core building blow up… He is later attacked by a Black Archery type called Komodo, who knew his father, and has come to kill Ollie, who is rescued by someone called Magus, and who makes cryptic references to the Island…

Issue #18 opens with GA still wandering through that Arizona desert, followed by yet another flashback to the aftermath of last issue’s fight, where Ollie recovers to find a note telling him to go to The Black Mesa in Arizona after checking Emerson’s office for a dark secret… Ollie calls Steve Trevor to tell him what has happened, and is given 48 hours to sort the mess out before the JLA is sent in. We get to see that Komodo is Lacroix, the head of the Stellmoor Corporation which has just bought Queen Industries, though his board doesn’t know about his night-job. Ollie tracks down Henry Fyff, former employee of Q-Core, to recruit him as technical support following the loss of Q-Core with all hands, though we see that Komodo has got Jax and Naomi as his prisoners, though Jax is soon killed to encourage Naomi to give up Ollie’s secrets. Ollie discovers a secret compartment in Emerson’s office the size of a small museum, full of weapon exhibits, maps and a photograph of his father, Emerson and a third man on the Island, who we know is Lacroix. Magus pops in again to give us more cryptic hints, before the police turn up and Ollie has to run for it.

Issue #19 opens with GA facing Komodo in a life or death struggle yet again, while in Komodo’s bunker, his ‘daughter’ Missy is busy bonding with hostage Naomi. Komodo claims to have killed Ollie’s father, but fails to do likewise with Ollie; but Missy rescues him before Ollie of the police can get to him.

Issue #20 opens in Arizona, where Ollie finally gets to the Black Mesa and finds Magus waiting Then it is flashback time to the aftermath of last issue’s fight, as Komodo meets up with more baddies, and it turns out that he is on probation with yet another secret society – the Outsiders (no relation, hopefully). Ollie is woken up by Henry to show him that Komodo has set up a booby-trapped Naomi as bait to lure him out for a showdown at the Queen family mausoleum. While GA engages Komodo, Henry rescues Naomi. Ollie then sets out for Arizona…

Issue #21 opens with Magus sending Ollie on a drug-induced trip that reveals the background to what is going on, as Ollie’s father, Emerson and Lacroix are seen on the Island, where they are following a trail to discover the secret of seven ancient clans whose totems are weapons, and one of Ollie’s ancestors was the head of the Arrow Clan, hence the family’s interest in archery. Simon Lacroix killed Ollie’s father and took up the quest for himself, hoping to become one of the Outsiders’ leaders - a “Dragon”. Ollie is given the address of one of the Dragons, in a postage-stamp country called Vlatava, and he and Team Arrow are soon on their way…

Issue #22 – “Shados 1/2” - sees GA breaking into the bunker housing the ruler of Vlatava, who turns out to be Count Vertigo. GA rescues a prisoner, who mistakes him for his father. She just happens to be Shado, and the little girl – Emiko – who Komodo claims as his daughter is actually her and Robert Queen’s – and therefore Ollie’s sister. Oh, and there is a big fight with the Count. Back in Seattle, the criminal gangs are being threatened by another criminal force.

Issue #23 - “Shados 2/2” – sees Ollie and Shado making their escape from Vlatava, while Shado explains her background as an assassin for hire, and how she came to know Ollie’s father, and more background on the Outsiders and the ancient Tribes, and their rivalry. Eventually, there is another fight with the Count. Back in Seattle, the mysterious criminal force that is taking over the gangs reveals himself as Richard Dragon…

Issue #23.1 – “Momma’s Boy” – is the story of Count Vertigo, from childhood exile in Canada, through being sold by his mother to mad scientists for experimentation, which led to his cybernetic enhancements, through his return to Vlatava and assumption of power, and his current trip to Seattle in the guise of philanthropist Warren Zytle, to seek revenge on his mother and Green Arrow.

Issue #24 – “Dissonance” – sees Count Vertigo on the rampage in Seattle. Shado goes off to fight him, leaving an unconscious Oliver back at base to rest up for the serious work of taking on the Dragons. Naomi prepares along-distance rocket arrow to stop the Count, to give Shado the chance to get close enough for a shot at him. However, Richard Dragon interferes with Shado’s plan, and Ollie has to take on the Count without being able to fire his arrows. There is a last-page appearance by a Mr John Diggle.
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on 29 July 2014
Green Arrow always seemed like an uninteresting hero to me. Perhaps it was his old Errol Flynn-style Robin Hood garb that he once wore that threw me off, or simply that he seemed liked just another archer in a sea of other superheroes with a bow, but I was blind to how appealing this character might be. Then, I was introduced to the excellent TV show Arrow, which delivered a mature, realistic and modern take on the genre, and was fresh, fun and tense entertainment. Wanting to learn more, I looked forth to find my new fictional friend in the pages of the books. Having heard that his treatment in the New 52 relaunch of DC's books had a rocky start, I skipped the first three volumes and moved ahead to volume 4, which features a marvellous cover invoking the imagery of the TV show I had just fallen in love with.

The Kill Machine begins without the need for subtlety, allowing for character development to progress through the book without the need for prior reading (so, we're already off to a good start). Oliver Queen had endured years alone stranded on an island, training himself to become the best fighter he could be, so that he would return to his home city and seek justice on the criminals that plague his city. His playboy facade disguises himself from his alter ego, the Green Arrow, who has established himself as one of the world's best vigilantes, even earning himself a place in the Justice League of America. However, all of this comes toppling down when Oliver is framed for the assassination of the head of Queen Consolidated. What follows is a high-octane fuelled journey that spans the globe, and brings further insight into the conspiracy behind Oliver's time on the Island and his father's dark past.

This story reintroduces previously established characters for the New 52, such as Shado, the beautiful Eastern assassin with ties to Oliver's father, and Count Vertigo, the dictator of Vlatava who has a gift for "the Vertigo effect".

Green Arrow volume 4 was not one of the best stories I've ever read, as sometimes it did seem to drag. However, in hindsight, it was a solid story, it did not require any knowledge of previous continuity, and featured some of the same ideas and themes that were visited in Arrow, making it very easy to jump into. The artwork was well drawn and action scenes were cinematic and easy to follow, but the use of contrast, panel placements and colouring at times created contrasts that were sometimes painful to look at. Perhaps I'm just not getting it, but I don't hold the artwork in very high regard.

At the end of the day, the Kill Machine wasn't perfect, but it was an overall good story for me, and might even get me to reading the series on a more regular basis. Green Arrow, you have not failed this city.
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on 3 July 2015
After the disappointment of the first 3 Green Arrow volumes, Lemire and Sorrentino come out of the block like Usain Bolt and put Oliver Queen on the ropes in a deadly fashion. Everything is taken from Oliver and he doesn't understand why, but as he begins to unravel the mystery of who Komodo is and why he wants him dead, he learns that his role as Green Arrow wasn't as miraculous as he once thought.

The mystery of the Outsiders, Robert Queen's treasure hunting days and new character Emiko add to the lore of not only Green Arrow but the larger DC universe.

The art is absolutely fantastic and does a great job of highlighting action and danger, and the often lesser saturated colouring contrasted with big explosions of colour the next really keeps you on your toes.

A must read for any comic book fan and really worth the wait after the horrendous first 3 volumes of the series.
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on 22 October 2015
I am a big Green arrow fan, I am also a new 52 fan. So naturally you think I would buy Green Arrow volume 1. But I Didn't, because after reading a couple of issues and hearing terrible reviews, Green Arrows new 52 run, was known to be one of DC's biggest failures; of the new 52. I was told however that volume 4, was basically a new volume 1, with a new writer and story. And I have to say volume 4 was a good solid read. The art may be questionable and occasionally confusing. But the story is good, their is a ton of action. And their is good dialogue between Green Arrow and his allies. Admittedly I was a little bit put off that Oliver Queen is about 21 in this book. As we usually know him as a man in his 30s or 40s. But still, a good book I would recommend this to fellow Green Arrow fans.
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on 13 September 2014
I'm a big fan of the Arrow tv show and I hoped that the new 52 green arrow would be just as good. Sadly that wasn't the case the first volume was awful and it got gradually better over the next 2.

I'm glad to say that this volume was exactly what I wanted and has the same high octane action vibe of the tv show without the over use of gimmick arrows and focusing more on developing Oliver as a character rather then leaving him as the playboy millionaire.

My verdict is skip the first 3 volumes you haven't missed much, but killing machine it's a must read for any green arrow fan.
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on 8 April 2014
I've tried Green Arrow previously since the new 52 but just couldn't get in to the character but this time it finally clicked!

Although I'm more use to your standard superhero escapist affair I really took to the writing (even though at times the plot can be a bit by the numbers) and the artwork, although also very different to my usual taste, not only worked well with the story but was fascinating to look at.

I would suggest that this book is a great jumping on point for not only new readers but also anyone who has been watching the Arrow television series and has been enjoying the character and the long running mystery thread running throughout the show.

Well worth picking up!
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on 3 April 2014
After so much rubbish from the new 52 take on Green Arrow finally we have been rewarded with this little gem of a book, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Who is a guy, I know I thought he was a woman as well) have combined a new exciting story with art which is just gorgeous to finally make this series what it should have been from the start.

So why is it so good? well it's just great storytelling to start off with, right from the off Lemire rather then be tied down with what has come before and tells the story he wants to tell, it is a central story of Oliver coming under attack from the bowman Komodo who frames him for murder, takes away his company and generally leaves him on his own with only his bow and his wits to protect himself, it's a fantastic story that builds a completely new mythology for Green Arrow with connection to his father and the island where he was stranded and it twists and turns as Oliver must not only fight a bowman who may well be his better but untangle the mysteries of his and his fathers life, frankly it is so well told it is hard to put down once you start I wish I could write more but I will not spoil it for you.
We also get to see some new characters like Komodo but also some old favourites given a new lick of paint, I won't mention all off them but Count Vertigo especially is an interesting new take on an old Green Arrow villain, Lemire also manages to have some fun with the trick arrows while still keeping them on the right side of realistic.

The art as I mentioned previously is jaw dropping, Sorrentino just draws some lovely images that jump off the page and his landscapes especially are just awe inspiring, his actions scenes are also very well drawn with fists, arrows and explosions going off at all angles to make this volume a real treat for the eyes, but his real skill is in drawing images that never get boring every few pages there is something different visually which really make this an interesting read visually, there are few comics around that look as good as this one.

If you haven't read any new 52 Green Arrow up to this point don't worry this is a great jumping on point, an character who has appeared before who are important get a good introduction (really the character where pretty paper thin before now, so you really haven't missed much) and nothing that has come before impact on the story, this is a completely new beginning to a very old character and if it continues at this level of quality it may well be mentioned in the same breath as Mike Grell's legendary run in the eighties (yes I think it's that good) so if you love Green Arrow (fans of Arrow especially might want to take a look at this) or just great comics then you will want to read this.
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on 8 April 2014
The 1st three volumes of the New 52s Green Arrow run have been extremely poor with bland cartoonish art and pretty ropey story.

With volume 4 a brand new creative team take the reins and it makes a huge difference. Andrea Sorrentinos artwork has a style of it's own which isn't the default house style that pervades the rest of the DC universe. Using limited colour pallets and and more freehand sketch style this book looks gorgeous. The page layouts mix things up a bit and add to the quality art feel of the this volume. In terms of artwork, this i'd love to see more of in the new 52, something a little bit different with it's own personality.

In terms of story Jeff Lemire pretty much scraps all that went before and starts off a radical new secret origin revolving around totem weapons and destiny. It's all a bit hokem, but aren't most comics? The story rumbles along at a brisk pace without feeling too rushed. There are nods to the success of the Arrow TV series with Diggle making a cameo in here.

It's not perfect, the new origin story is a bit leap and may not work for everyone, but the art here is gorgeous.

3/5 for the story
5/5 for the artwork

Although the plotting is the weak point I can only see this series getting stronger now this new team is at the helm.
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on 2 April 2014
In the latest volume of Green Arrow, Oliver Queen's life is sabotaged by a mysterious archer called Komodo, forcing him to go on the run. Along the way, he becomes entangled in a tribal conspiracy and discovers some secrets about his family's past. The short review is... it's very good.

The story is fast paced yet squeezes in a ton of backstory. Jeff Lemire is obviously setting up big future arcs with these 8 issues yet the fact that questions are both asked and answered makes it a satisfying read; it does a good job at progressing the overall mythology. It's also been written so you can jump in fresh. Despite a couple of characters carrying over from the previous 16 issues, it feels accessible for people who avoided them (which is probably for the best). Andrea Sorrention's art is stunning. The panel layouts are fantastic. The colours are vibrant. The design is excellent. I had heard good things about it previously but it's just something else.

The Kill Machine is a great read; you get the feeling that things in Queen's life are actually being thrown around! And on top of that it looks gorgeous. Can you dig it?
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