By Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt
The Emerald Archer is back in the pages of Green Arrow Rebirth #1. Our reintroduction to Oliver Queen places him in Seattle where he becomes acquainted with his once and future love, Black Canary. Together they stop human trafficking action and a relationship begins to bloom.
Percy brings an instant chemistry to Oliver and Dinah’s conversations and Schmidt brings visual and physical chemistry to their blossoming relationship. While our heroes are still getting acquainted, Dinah calls Oliver out for fighting in the name of a common man and living in a lavish apartment. Oliver responds with self-aware humor and confidence in his mission. Dinah’s ability to call it how she sees it and Oliver’s confidence are important character traits and they make for interesting dynamics and very real conversation. Even though they get on each others cases throughout the issue they open up and find themselves strangely with their guard down around each other. Through this, Percy is also able to establish depth and history for both of the characters through casual conversation. The scenarios that our leaders are placed in also help to inform the reader on how they view the world around them. Early in the book Oliver brings a young homeless boy and Dinah to his apartment and when Dinah asks, Oliver’s response is simple. He tells her that that boy was more important than his secret identity. When Oliver asks Dinah why she’s really in Seattle, Dinah opens up about feeling lost and how that might sound dramatic. When Oliver goes to comfort her with the idea of a second chance Percy takes an opportunity to infuse a short history lesson into the book. He highlights The Great Seattle Fire and how the city got a second chance and was raised two stories from where it had started. For Oliver it stands to reason that if the city gets a second chance and he gets a second chance then so does Dinah.
Throughout the issue Otto Schmidt nails not only facial expressions, but body language too. When “The Underground Men” come to collect the homeless for the action Dinah and Oliver exchange a look of shock and surprise before they both become determined to help. Earlier in Oliver’s apartment Dinah gives him a look of disgust after she has just gone on about what she’s heard about him. In contrast the looks of understanding that the two share during their conversation about second chances feel very natural. In that same scene Oliver reaches up and just brushes the back of her head this is first time that they have come that physically close to share a moment like that. From then on the two are shown standing closer together than before and on the last page we are shown that the two of them are probably going to be getting closer than they have been seen in a long time. Another thing that really catches the eye are the shots of Oliver and Dinah fighting side by side with arrows flying everywhere and sound waves pulsing.
Thanks to Rebirth love is in the air and that makes it an exciting time for our heroes. Percy and Schmidt with this one shot alone have laid the groundwork for what looks to be a promising beginning for Oliver and Dinah.