Green Arrow #11
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Juan Ferreyra
Lettering by Nate Piekos
Published by DC Comics
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Team Arrow receives a giant homecoming in Green Arrow #11. Mistaken for assassins that have just claimed the life of a diplomat, Dinah and Ollie must now evade capture and bring the real killer to justice - all while the Empire Express rockets through the Trans-Pacific Railway toward Seattle. Writer Benjamin Percy once again makes great use of Dinah, Ollie, and Diggle’s fantastic chemistry in the field while also sending them on a three-fronted fight to keep the train on the tracks and take the murderer down.
Giving Percy’s issue long chase sequence life is artist and colorist Juan Ferreyra who playfully warps perspective across a few double-page spreads to deliver thrilling set pieces. Propping up these set pieces is his eye for expressive character reactions and smooth colors that gives this issue a very modern and metallic look made completed with grounded emotions. Though most murder mysteries on a train take a more coy approach, Green Arrow #11 ends this two-parter with plenty of sass and bombast.
Picking up mere seconds after the tenth issue, Benjamin Percy hits the ground in a sprint. The diplomat Amin Mustafa is dead, and Dinah Lance and Oliver Queen are the ones found standing over the body. Anchored by Ollie’s narration, Percy’s script is a classic example of constant escalation. Starting in a heightened position, the story is consistently raising the stakes against the team, but in the most entertaining way possible. As Dinah and Ollie attempt to escape from the train’s security, assassin Eddie Fyers stops the train and makes his way to the outside of it. Not content with just stranding his pursuers, he plants a bomb on the tunnel shell holding the sea at bay, taking this from simple chase to a race against time.
Though Percy’s character work has been praised throughout this series, Green Arrow #11's barreling pace and rising action highlights Percy’s other strong points with this title. From page one, Percy doesn’t allow the readers or his characters to gain sure footing as soon as one problem is addressed, two even deadlier problems arise. And even better, in true comic book fashion, the problems get even more and more ridiculous, hammering home the action movie tone of the issue. With cheeky characters and wall-to-wall action Green Arrow #11 is another solidly entertaining effort from Percy.
Also contributing heavily to the fun of this issue is artist Juan Ferreyra. The dual penciler and colorist moves away from the tight interiors that dominated the debut of this two-part story and instead spreads most of the action out across both pages and multiple panel grids. This shift in perspective really sells the isolation of the train and the vastness of the sea bearing down of the railway tunnel. Beyond the action packed splash pages, this perspective also allows Ferreyra to get as much as he possibly can out of cylindrical-shaped perspectives, making moments like Ollie and Eddie’s showdown on top of the train look like its taking place across miles. Giving his point of view further focus is his gleaming color choices. Looking almost airbrushed and more than a little inspired by chromes, Ferreyra’s colors give this eleventh issue a decidedly modern feel despite its reveling in vintage action movie thrills. Though the first part of this story worked to keep his pencils contained, Jaun Ferreyra bursts out in a big way in Green Arrow #11.
While a bit less substantial narrative-wise than I would have liked, the finale of “Murder on the Empire Express” stands a breezy and explosive outing for the Emerald Archer and his pretty bird. Benjamin Percy and Juan Ferreyra have hit a nice groove by this point in their working relationship and it comes through in the work. Though not exactly a game-changer when it comes to the overall story, Green Arrow #11 still provides plenty of the heart and action that fans have come to expect from their tenure on “Rebirth.”