We reach the finale to ‘Hard-Traveling Hero’ with Green Arrow #31, as the Emerald Archer attempts to fight off the Burnt aboard the Ninth Circle’s satellite. He must go it alone now, as Green Lantern has been KO’d.
Meanwhile, Black Canary and Red Arrow continue their fight against the Underground Men and their human trafficking network underneath Seattle.
And the finale is…satisfying. It’s not exactly mind-blowing, shocking, or anything of the sort. But it is satisfying.
The story has moved far beyond its origin point of social allegory. Fighting power-armored pseudo-zombies on a space station isn’t exactly something you see happening in reality, and it’s not exactly comparable to anything in the real world. Funnily enough, the subject of human trafficking tackled by the conflict between Black Canary and Red Arrow with the Underground Men feels a lot more cathartic in its relation to real-world issues.
The closure Green Arrow gets with the Justice League is enjoyable, as someone who loves Oliver Queen. They essentially make up, and Ollie gets them to understand his intentions and MO. It’s not an unsurprising ending, but it is a solid moment of Ollie forcing the League to see how he’s changed.
As I said already, Black Canary actually steals the show in this issue despite her conflict receiving a far smaller amount of page space in the comic. She lets into the Underground Men, and it’s freaking awesome.
Otto Schmidt’s work here is solid for the most part. There is a moment on the space station where it’s really not clear how Ollie got out of the situation with the open airlock in the satellite. The “how” is there, more or less, but you have to put some pieces together, and that’s not ideal for comic art in a high-octane battle like the one Green Arrow is engaged in at that moment. Beyond that, his work is fitting for the Green Arrow aesthetic, and it’s an overall good-looking book.
His color work is really incredible, though, and really bolsters the comic’s visual quality. He uses dynamic and harsh shades to his advantage, and it makes the images explode on the page.
‘Hard-Travelling Hero’ receives a good ending here. Is it as epic as I had hoped, given the overall quality of the story arc? Not really. Is it disappointing? No. It’s fun and high-energy, and the bad guy gets got. I still recommend it, and you should pick it up.
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