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Book Review

Book Cover

Oliver Queen's Dossier


Compiled by: Nick Aires
Publisher: Titan Books
RRP: £19.99
ISBN: 978 1 78329 522 7
Publication Date: 14 October 2016

Arrow: Oliver Queen’s Dossier, complied by Nick Aires (2016. 160 pages) is a rather nice tie-in book for the DC show Arrow. Its central conceit is that what you are holding in your hand is a dossier of evidence which has been created by the Arrow, Oliver Queen, in the event of his death. As you have the dossier we can presume this has happened and you now have the opportunity to have access to all of his secrets.

Obviously with a book of this type its verisimilitude will lay in the detail both in the prose and in the graphical presentation. I’m guessing at this point that the author had access to prints from the original film to provide snaps of various characters. It is a nice touch, if a little confusing, as these are from the show's episodes and I can’t remember the Arrow running around with a camera. This is offset with some better thought out inclusions which use stock photos to fake up news stories or flyers/posters.

Although the book is not presented in an actual dossier, the cover is convincingly rough to the touch to simulate real or faux leather, with a wrap to hold the books title and which together acts as the dossiers lock as the wrap has an arrow which lines up with the loops on the dossier to make it look like the book is secured with an arrow.

Inside you find that the author has separated the book into various chapters which cover, the list, the undertaking, uncommon criminals, Task Force X ‘Suicide Squad’, Deathstroke’s revenge, Equipment, Friends The League of Assassins, Allies and Vigilantes/masks/heroes, the basic contents should be self-evident for any fan of the show.

With that many chapters there is a lot to get through, meaning you get a lot of breath but not as much depth. Each of the pieces follows a similar pattern. Whatever the content, the book maintains the fiction of pieces of information having been stuck in the dossier by having the original pages edges always visible.

On to this you get anything from a full page drawing to pictures and photographs, fake newspaper articles, fake official documentation with a final layer of hand written and post-it notes. I’m presuming there is a cost element to the books construction as it would have led a greater sense of authenticity had the post-it notes been real rather than the whole of the content printed on each page. On the other hand I’m not sure I would want the job of sticking them all into the right place.

This is not a behind the scenes book and so you will find little about the show as an artefact. But, for fans of the show to have something to browse through, its another nicely produced book from Titan.


Charles Packer

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