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J.T. Krul and ‘Brightest Day’ Bring Sherwood Star City?

This morning’s solicitation for “Green Arrow” #1 by J.T. Krul and Diogenes Neves, spinning out of the current “Rise and Fall” storyline and tying into “Brightest Day,” brings with it both an image of a seemingly verdant Star City and the promise of a “miraculous event” in the wake of Prometheus’s bombing at the end of “Justice League: Cry for Justice.” In other words: They’re going to extend Green Arrow’s Robin Hood milieu to his city, creating a corrupt modern-day Sherwood Forest for him to be a heroic outlaw in.

It’s the latest example of a tactic that can best be described as Johnsian literalism; chiefly pioneered by Geoff Johns in his first “Flash” run, it largely involves stripping back a character to their core conceptual metaphor and then reconstructing their surroundings and supporting cast around it, so that every aspect of their lives and adventures is a repetition, reflection or refraction of that. Green Lantern is about overcoming fear, so he lives in a fearless city, fighting space terrorists who feed off of fear. The Flash is about needing to slow down in a fast-paced world, so he lives in a fast-paced ultra-modern city where everybody just wants to get things done without focusing on the details. And now, if this cover image and solicitation imply what they seem, Green Arrow – a heroic outlaw patterned after Robin Hood – will extend that metaphor to his own location.

It’s an approach that seems inspired by the relationships between Superman and Metropolis and Batman and Gotham, where those cities are fully-realized fictional worlds built around those characters’ perspectives and tones. However, when repeated across every character in the DC Universe, it runs the risk of turning each character’s world into a repetitive monotone, as well as giving the impression that the superheroes are bosses in a Mega Man game. [Ed. note: Wood Man?]

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