DC Zero Month, Week One Reviews: Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Phantom Stranger

This September, DC Comics is turning it all the way back to zero, taking a look at what went on in the DCU before the New 52. Like we did a year ago with the first month of DC’s new universe, we’re going to give you some looks at all the "Zero Month" titles coming out over the next few weeks.

So here we go:

GREEN ARROW #0

Written by Judd Winick, Art By Freddie Williams II

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Oliver Queen is a reckless playboy who's hard partying ways lead to tragedy. Left for dead on an island, he gets really good at the bow and arrow, then becomes the crime fighter known as Green Arrow.

BEST BIT: This certainly doesn't shirk on how badly Queen screws up. His downfall is massive.

WORST BIT: The cover says Ann Nocenti wrote the issue. The issue itself says Judd Winick. We say, "Huh?" Also, the opening splash page is kind of garish, and a not so great way of kicking off the comic.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? We find out how Arsenal and Green Arrow met, the reason GA is on his mission of redemption, and tease the return of his greatest enemy. There you go.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Nope. I'm not quite sure what happened with this issue, but it could have worked as a three or four issue miniseries, but as is, plays far too quickly, leading to a fractured story that doesn't illuminate anything truly new about Oliver Queen's character.

GREEN LANTERN #0

Written by Geoff Johns, Art By Doug Mahnke

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Simon Baz is an American of Middle Eastern descent in a post-9/11 world. When he gets taken in for a crime he didn't commit, it looks like all hope is lost... Until a renegade Green Lantern ring breaks him out.

BEST BIT: A lot, actually. If you can get past the worst bit below, Simon Baz is a pretty exciting character who will make a great addition to Green Lantern mythology. Doug Mahnke's art is, as always, insanely detailed and exciting to look at.

WORST BIT: Yeah, so...he's an American of Middle Eastern descent who is constantly mistaken for a terrorist, and ends up stealing a car full of explosives, blowing up a building, and taken to a Guantanamo Bay style prison. I really, truly hope we can get past the ethnic cliches after this issue, because if we can, there's a lot to like about Baz.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Baz's ring has trouble connecting to the main lantern, setting up a situation similar to Kyle Rayner's intro. And the last page or two has some pretty big teases for where things are going next.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Heck yeah. As long as no one ever mentions his heritage again, or makes a big deal about it, this will be a great new addition to the DC Universe.

PHANTOM STRANGER #0

Written by Dan Didio, Art By Brent Anderson

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Some guy who betrayed one of the greatest men the world has ever known for a few pieces of silver is doomed to walk the Earth forever, with only unlimited power at his disposal. That is, until the wizards who condemned him start giving him tasks...

BEST BIT: Like he did with OMAC, Didio's writing in the first half of the book is delightfully nostalgic and pulpy, just the way this book should be.

WORST BIT: The second half veers on the side of clunky, and all seems to be just so another new character can be introduced.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Another new character is introduced, who I won't spoil here, but it is a biggie. Oh, and we get some more teases on the Pandora/Stranger/Third Guy relationship.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #1? Actually, yes. Despite not being crazy about the second half of this issue, there's enough working up front for me to give the first real issue of the series a shot. And, I'm curious to find out more about how the rules of PS' situation actually work.

Green Arrow #0, Green Lantern #0, and Phantom Stranger #0 all hit comic book stores on September 5th from DC Comics!