Arrow Season 2.5 #4 (Comics Review)

Since last we were with this digital-first series, Arrow has already debuted two episodes in its new season, and has gotten off to a rocking and shocking start, in equal measure. The Season 2.5 comics still seem to be stuck in the “in-between seasons 2 and 3” timeline, and that is kind of getting just a bit confusing at this point since the show is back, but the writers are still doing a great job of things, what with the reveal of a new Brother Blood in Starling’s shadowy corners, getting ready to exact revenge on those who don’t believe and those who have caused the new (legacy) villain some grief in the past.

Arrow Season 2.5 #4 is part recap of the epic finale of Season 2 and part background material for the new Brother Blood, Clinton Hogue. Before, we didn’t really know who he was (more like I totally forgot) or what his deal as Brother Blood was. But after this comic, we sure as hell know quite a bit more, and almost all of it is excellent. We also get to touch base with Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad in the 2-page backup, in a story that is developing more and more into a commentary on some real-life issues, and overall, this is a good, decent issue, though I wish that the recap parts, pretty much verbatim, were more minimal.

Clinton Hogue, it turns out, is one of Sebastian Blood’s bodyguards. Specifically, he is the one that Diggle kidnapped and brought to the Arrow-Cave for a thorough interrogation by Felicity, who was all kinds of awesome. As such, most of this issue is a brief revisit of scenes from the long finale of the show’s second season and therefore it lacks a certain punch since the material isn’t new at all. Yeah, there are some moments where there are additions made, such as the fact of what Clinton was doing when Ravager (unnamed) showed up to deal with Sebastian at his mayoral office, but the new material is severely lacking in quantity.

Of far more import is what Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad is up to. Last time we saw that some radical terrorists in Kahndaq had taken several school-aged girls prisoner and were holding out for some demands. This issue, we see a neat little conversation between the US President (Barack Obama!) and Amanda Waller as they discuss what their response to this threat is going to be. Of course, since Waller is involved, that means the Suicide Squad is involved, automatically.

The coolest thing in this issue though is why Clinton turns against Sebastian. We know already that the latter comes from a rather religious background, and Clinto seems to embody some of the worst traits of his charge, though he also tends to hear voices in his head, voices that direct him towards certain individuals and certain moments, guiding him towards a rather particular destiny.

Given the fact that the show is set to embrace its more comics-oriented nature than was done in the previous seasons, especially since Arrow has spawned off the highly-successful The Flash which has already debuted villains like Weather Wizard, Multiplex, and Reverse-Flash, getting to see hints of some mystical villains certainly has me excited about where Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu are going. I think its a good time to be an Arrow fan, certainly.

And then there’s the really cool backup which only gives you a brief hint of the suicide squad. I wish that this backup story was at least 2-3 pages longer because it certainly deserves that kind of space. With only 4 pages of story so far, I think it is underused as a part of this series, and could definitely do with more. Guggenheim and Shimizu are setting up a really great confrontation there and I can’t wait to see it.

Joe Bennett and Craig Yeung are on the art for the main issue, with Szymon Kudranski on the bakcup. Jim Charalampidis and Deron Bennett provide the colours and letters, respectively. Once again, the art is pretty decent here. Joe Bennett as usual does some interesting work with the camera angles in the main story, often tilting it slightly so that you come at the characters from a not-straight perspective, and I kind of like that. Different from the norm for sure. And the brief glimpse of Szymon’s rendition of the show version of the Suicide Squad is also great, with Deadshot and Bronze Tiger making an appearance here.

Not as good baseline as the previous issues because of all the recap from the show, but still a solid issue.

Rating: 8/10

More Arrow Season 2.5: #1, #2, #3.

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Posted on October 19, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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