This post is by guest blogger, Steve Stone. Steve never minces words, and that’s why he’s been my friend for some time now. He’s opinionated, loves Batman, and wears an awesome BeDazzled tie. Steve’s spent a few Friday nights on my couch, educating Jason and I about the Justice League via the animated television show. And don’t even get him started on The Watchmen. This is Steve’s first attempt to open up his opinions to a wider audience than those who sit next to him on Seattle public transportation.
Quiver by Kevin Smith with art by Phil Hester
by Steve Stone
For a period of time, I was a Kevin Smith sycophant. It started with Dogma, progressed backwards to Clerks and led until Jersey Girl. At this point, my boyish ideals led on to the names of Nolan, Boyle, and Scorsese. The one area that Smith still has a leg up on all is his writing and this is none the more evident than in Quiver. The resurrection (literally in this case) of Oliver Queen could not have done with more text and character development. From the jabs of Batman (dickhead form of course, the best Bruce Wayne) to the screaming head of Spectre coming off of Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern form, only Smith could have mixed the grace and pure assery of the dirty, liberal Oliver.
Set in the present day continuity, the story involves the return of the long dead Green Arrow to the much discussed confusion of nearly everyone on Earth. Turns out this included Oliver’s freshly wiped mind to the days of pre-Crisis and the journey to find out why takes us from Star City to the Moon and even Paradise.
Smith handles Green Arrow with careful grace and subtle humor, moving stridently away from his traditional poop jokes and leaning more on his intellectual side. (Including a picture perfect discussion on the inanity of Oliver’s “secret” identity.) He is able to set up stark contrasts in character that fan fiction writers could only dream to aspire to and easily reminds us (well, some of us) why we love the regular-man hero more so than the super-variety. Also, any man able to throw one of the Endless into a story gets my vote.
With all of his time working on the heroes, I only wish Smith would have taken more effort into fleshing out his overall plot. The “twist” takes no time to develop and because of the lack of buildup, Smith has to take SIXTEEN pages explaining it. Beyond this, I only wish a more distinct art style would have been used to compliment Smith’s writing. Hester may be able to draw, but he has little to no idea how to deal with lots and lots of words. There is also the question as to why Black Canary looks like a 22-year-old…odd considering it’s been ten years since Arrow went away. If one can fight through this, there is a story here with characters that you will not find in most books or some of Smith’s movies to be blunt.