Arrow Season 2.5 #9 (Comics Review)

The first four months of Arrow Season 2.5 have seen many ups and downs for the characters involved. Along with the return of Brother Blood, albeit under a new identity, we have also seen the introduction of a new villain, the return of some heroes, and the gearing up of Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad for another mission, this time against religious extremists. This tie-in comic to the show has been quite brilliant so far and though there have been a few things here and there that didn’t work for me, the writing and the art have both remained more or less consistent.

In the first installment of the title in the new year, this past week’s Arrow Season 2.5 #9, we see how some of the recently introduced plot-threads on the show filter back into this prequel comic as nightmares and visions. Some of the narrative flow between the different scenes felt a bit off but was made up by the fact that writers Marc Guggenheim and Keto Shimizu delivered some really interesting character moments, putting aside the usual high-tempo action for a more sedate and personal story.

Getting overdosed on the new Vertigo drug by the new Count Vertigo and then getting beat-up by Sara probably hasn’t been much of a positive thing for Oliver of late, but it made for some really great action-drama and so I’ll take that trade-off, no matter how much I love the character and want to see him continue being awesome. In this new issue, we see Oliver have some visions of the future that are informed by one of the most drastic twists on the show, the identity of Sara’s killer revealed in what was a mind-bending episode by my estimation. This is going to have a big effect on the status quo for the characters going forward, and it is nice to see the foreshadowing of it, though it also comes off as a bit too convenient, particularly since this… nightmare hasn’t been addressed on the show itself.

This is one of two instances here where I think Marc Guggenheim dropped the ball a little bit.

Moving on from that though, we also see what Brother Blood plans to do with Felicity now that she is his hostage, a bait to bring the Arrow back into Blood’s clutches and finish what he started a while back. Clinton Hogue, the new Brother Blood, is a complete nut-job and has completely bought into the whole religious thing that Sebastian Blood established as Brother Blood on season 2. But, at the same time, it also makes him more of a threat since he is a complete fanatic rather than someone who got into the bargain to gain some kind of temporal power. Clinton Hogue wants only revenge. Some great dialogue between him and Felicity this time, and we also see that all might not be working out so well for Hogue, courtesy of his dangerous experiments with mirakuru.

Then there’s the scene with Sara and her father, which ends up tying into Sara’s work for the League of Assassins, and also shows that not all is doom and gloom for this comic, and that there is indeed some light-heartedness in all the grim seriousness.

The second aspect of this comic where I thought things were less than good was that Marc had Roy finally wake up from his coma and the whole thing was treated as if it is of little consequence. Given the ton of things that are happening in the main story, there’s little time devoted to this major change with Roy, and I was disappointed with that.

The backup story this time was another case of writer Keto Shimizu continuing to set things up for a later payoff. In nine issues so far we have had 18 pages worth of story, and those 18 pages can probably be put together as 9 pages of a print comic. So the fact that the story is getting strung along isn’t that big a deal, but when each set of 2 pages comes in every 2 weeks, the story really slows down, and this week’s set-up is just another case of slow pacing not working out so well. I want to get in on some action with the Squad already!

With the artwork, it was fairly decent, as it has been in the recent issues. Since there are no major twists or anything this time around, the artists don’t get to do any major moments, but we do get the occasional slice of awesomeness, such as Oliver’s nightmares, which are really the only scenes to have some kind of action in them. A bit too much flexibility in the characters’ bodies there, very unrealistic even, but still a good composition I think.

Good start to a new year and a new-ish arc.

Rating: 8.5/10

More Arrow Season 2.5: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8.

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Posted on January 4, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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