Waiting for the Trade – Green Arrow & Black Canary: Enemies List

Writer: Andrew Kreisberg

Pencillers: Mike Norton

Inker: Josef Rubenstein

Colourists: David Baron

Letterer: Swands / Sal Cipriano / Pat Brosseau

Covers: Ladronn

Collects: GA/BC #15-20

This TPB collects the first arc of Andrew Kresberg’s run on GA/BC, or rather oddly it doesn’t. According to our good friends at www.comicbookdb.com the story arc “Enemies List” runs from #16-22 so what they’ve done is collected the standalone #16 and then the first 5 parts of a 7 part story. This is the sort of random stuff I’ve come to expect from DC when it comes to trades. I wouldn’t complain if it wasn’t really obvious from the book itself that you’re finishing up just before the third act of the story.

The story itself has multiple threads, which is quite nice as whilst they seem to connect occasionally it doesn’t feel shoe-horned. There’s a somewhat psychotic romantic interest for Ollie, a collateral damage character who becomes pivotal and a burgeoning friendship with a police officer.

My problem is that so much of it feels like it’s been done before. The hero trying to sort out his footing with the police reminds me of Robin and Nightwing. Ollie and Dinah struggling to keep their marriage off the rocks doesn’t feel new, if anything the constant edge between them feels a bit “done” by now. I’d be more surprised if they just got to be happy with each other for a while.

I don’t mire myself in the upcoming news and spoilers too much but I believe the book is being shaken up somewhat and it doesn’t surprise me. After an amazing start under Winick (the first trade of this series still brings a tear to my eye) it’s gone nowhere slowly.

Mike Norton’s working a new pencil style in the book, which is far less clean than his previous work. I’m not a huge fan but it seems to be the trend that artists with a lovely clean style progress to adding more and more “edge” to their work (the best example being Gary Frank) and in doing so move away from what I like. I still don’t think Mike is the finished article, there’s a few panels in the book where the anatomy or poses don’t work. It’s solid stuff but if an artistic luddite like me knows something is wrong then it must be glaring.

It’s not bad though, either the art or the story. In particular the first issue works as a really neat jump-on point and also does a good job of foreshadowing events later in the book and the cliff-hanger that you’re left on will certainly make me want to read the conclusion of the story…it just feels a little bit like I’ve been cheated into it though.

Rating:

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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