I have one key statement to make about this particular issue: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I can't even begin to emphasize how jarring the shift in writing styles between Mike Grell and Kevin Dooley is in this issue. Grell basically reinvented the character in the same ways that the British invasion reinvented many of the other 'For Mature Readers' books like Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man Vol 1, Peter Milligan on Shade the Changing Man, Neil Gaiman on Sandman, and Alan Moore on Swamp Thing.
Of course, that's probably why there was such a shift in the writing style. Mike Grell's separation of Oliver Queen from the DCU and mature writing style were bringing the book dangerously close to the type of fare one might have read in 1993's Vertigo books (which, not coincidentally, is where all of those books I just mentioned ended up). So, it's not altogether surprising that the DC editors, knowing that Green Arrow has a bit more history as a second-stringer (as opposed to a third or fourth-stringer), would decide that he needs to be brought back into the DCU as soon as possible.
But Grell, with his staunch resistance to even referring to Oliver Queen as Green Arrow (he does it VERY rarely in four years of writing), would likely have no intentions of reincorporating the DCU - which he had kept at arms length - into the saga of Oliver Queen.
And here lies the problem with this first issue by Kevin Dooley. It may just be my aversion to change, and my fondness for Grell's writing style, but from the first page there's something that feels so amateur about it all. The first page is, of course, an image of Shrapnel, which seems so out of place among the images of Green Arrow in the rainy streets of Seattle that one might think, for a second, that somebody stuffed those pages into it from another comic.
I don't know if I have Dooley to blame for the heinously abrupt (and shameless, and intrusive) return of the DCU to Green Arrow books. Suffice it to say that were Oliver's voice and emotional story of losing Dinah Lance not intact, I would be sounding the character-derailment alarm (it sounds like the F-word).
As what little story in this issue progresses, I'm reminded of why I don't like much of the Superman books pre-2000. A bunch of over-muscled nutbars fighting for panel after panel with no real progression or character development. All of the goodness in this story comes from Oliver's inner monologue, and that is the most compelling thing about it. All of that inner monologue has to do with the struggle over whether to leave Seattle for somewhere new.
That said, with this being the last issue of 1993, you'd think they could have kept Mike Grell on the book long enough to write a farewell that makes some sense. One that doesn't have two big goons thrown in for the sole purpose of saying "yes, supervillains do exist in Green Arrow's world." It would have been far less jarring to have him say goodbye to the city properly, and THEN bring him back to the DCU instead of sullying Grell's run with this mess.
I don't mean to say this is a terrible issue. It's just hardly of the same calibre that I had come to expect after four years of Mike Grell's skillful writing and character development. I will, of course, be sticking with Green Arrow, as he is one of my favourite characters, but it won't ever be the same.