On The Cheap: DC’s TV-Themed Sale Has ‘Green Arrow: Year One’ For Six Bucks (And ‘Gotham Central’ Too)
Right now, Comixology is offering a big sale themed around DC's various TV projects, and with the impending return of Gotham and its story of a ten year-old billionaire destined to beat up a bunch of senior citizens, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Gotham Central is right there, front and center. And yes, obviously you should get that if you don't have it already, because while it was coming out, it was literally the best Batman title of the decade.
But here's the thing: We talk about Gotham Central on this site all the time. I have literally already written a column about how great it is this week, so if you haven't checked it out by now, then it's not for lack of recommendations. If, however, you dig a little deeper into the sale, you're going to find some under-appreciated gems that don't get quite as much press despite being truly fantastic comics --- and by that, I mostly mean Green Arrow: Year One.
Whether you're a fan of TV's Arrow or not, Andy Diggle and Jock's rebooted origin for Ollie Queen, which finds him shipwrecked on an island that's not quite as deserted as it originally seems, is definitely worth reading. It is, in all honesty, probably the second- or third-best comic DC has ever published with the words "Year One" in the title, and while that might sound like a backhanded bit of faint praise, consider what it's up against.
At the time, Diggle and Jock were just coming off The Losers, an amazingly over-the-top take on spy action, and a lot of the style of that book blends with the superhero genre for the events of Green Arrow: Year One, which is what really makes the book work. As much as it's certainly a gritty reboot, as much as they add in a gang of vicious drug dealers to the island to give Ollie a set of brutally villainous bad guys to fight --- and give a nice storyline foundation for the hatred of pushers that has its roots in the '70s --- it's still very much a superhero story with all the elements that implies. I mean, spoiler warning, but this is a book that ends with Green Arrow literally using Robin Hood's bow to take on the bad guys. That's great.
Getting the six-issue miniseries for under six bucks is a pretty solid way to spend an afternoon, but if you've got another dollar burning a hole in your pocket, there's one more book in the sale that you should pick up while you're at it:
1989's Secret Origins Special #1, which, in addition to Two-Face and Penguin origin stories, features a modern Riddler origin written by Neil Gaiman with art by Bernie Mireault and Matt Wagner. The issue as a whole is about as 1989 as it gets, but that story in particular holds up pretty well, and Mireault's visuals of a warehouse full of all the Silver Age Gotham City signs that were put away when it was time to make Gotham a grim, urban hellscape is exactly what I'm into. It's a really fun story that's often overlooked, even by big fans of Gaiman's non-superhero work, so if you haven't checked it out, now's a pretty good time to do so.