Arrow Season 2.5 #6 (Comics Review)

While CW’s Arrow has been chugging along well enough with its third season, DC has been chugging along with its companion digital-first comic that explores the time between the last season and the new one. Not much has actually happened here, other than the fact that the Church of Blood has become resurgent under Clinton Hogue, Sebastian Blood’s henchman last season and has been causing all sorts of problem for the heroes. And in the last issue things got plenty screwy as Ollie and Diggle were both captured by the Church. Now, we see how this first arc ends.

Arrow Season 2.5 #6 is supposed to be the end of the first arc and while I enjoyed it, it doesn’t feel like quite the ending that it should be. It is basically a reprieve as the title moves off to other characters and other adventures. But the fact remains that Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu know all their characters really well and they tell compelling stories about them. Not to mention that the backup with the Suicide Squad feels really great and the art overall is as great as ever.

With Diggle and Oliver in the Church’s hands, and Roy in a coma, that leaves just Felicity and Laurel, who unfortunately don’t have anything to do in this issue. Which is a good thing I think since it prevents an already-short issue from getting too crowded with characters. The issue focuses on how Diggle and Ollie get out of the hands of the Church of Blood and who they meet once they are out. The pacing is pretty brutal here, but there are also some great moments when Clinton pontificates on his role as the new Brother Blood and spouts lines from the Bible. It is really creepy and to see the people under his spell obey him without a pause is creepier.

I really enjoyed this issue, as much as I did the last issue. The interactions between the two heroes and the villain is pretty excellent and I was pretty fascinated by the verses that Clinton chose to condemn the actions of Ollie and Diggle and to prove to his flock that they are very, very bad guys. This is an issue which focuses on the action over the narrative, but that’s not a bad thing really since these digital-first issues are so small, usually about half the length of a full print issue, so there often needs to be a big punch in the story and the action scenes fulfill that criteria quite nicely indeed.

We’ve also seen a small subplot involving one of Slade Wilson’s mirakuru-juiced soldiers in the last couple issues and in this new one we see what really Clinton is planning in the long term. The Siege at the end of season 2 was a really bad time for Starling City, what with Slade’s army running rampant all through the city, killing and looting with abandon with no one able to stop them until Oliver brought in the resources of ARGUS and was aided as well by Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, and a small army from the League of Assassins. It was a grand moment for the season and with this issue it seems that the writers are not yet done with that whole story as yet.

That too works for me. There need to be some consequences of events as big as the Siege and this is a good exploration of that whole concept.

The Suicide Squad backup finally introduces us to Lyla Michaels, who is Diggle’s wife and the mother of his unborn daughter (we know it is a daughter from an early episode in the third season). Waller plans to send the squad against Khem-Adam, a religious extremist in the fictional country of Kahndaq who is slowly taking it over, and Waller’s dialogue with respect to what she thinks of symbols and their enduring legacy in the context of Khem-Adam is very interesting indeed.

Joe Bennett is on pencils with Craig Yeung on inks and Jim Charalampidis on colours for the main story with Deron Bennett on the letters. As I’ve said before, the art is pretty good and pretty much any scene involving Clinto wearing the mask of Sebastian Blood that marks him out as Brother Blood is guaranteed to be an almost scary scene. That’s how I felt any way. The backup this time isn’t so good in the art department since Lyla’s body language and just her characterwork didn’t really impress me at all. In fact it was even a bit disappointing. Hopefully just a blip and Szymon Kudranski can come back stronger next time.

The cliffhanger at the end really messes with your head and I can’t wait to see what Marc and Keto have in store for the next issue. Hopefully it is going to kick even more ass!!

Rating: 9/10

More Arrow Season 2.5: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.

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Posted on November 15, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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