Penguin, who’s been MIA for a good couple of months, is making a big splash with his return, opening up his floating casino. The Iceberg Lounge is pretty much the place to be, that is if you’re associated with criminals, backstabbers, and other unsavory folk. For Jill and Snakeskin, two criminals newly introduced, the Iceberg Lounge is just another place for them to work their magic. Unfortunately for them, both Charlotte and Batman are hot on the trails of criminal activity, which leads them straight to the Iceberg Lounge. There are a couple things that are working for this issue, and then there are some things that didn’t work. First off, Tony Daniel is building a nice slow story. With every issue we get just a little more of the big picture, and while we know at the very end everything will come together, as of yet things are still working themselves out. He’s actually written a great Bruce and I’m actually quite enjoying the voice over, box narrations. The only issue I had was that final scene when Bruce loses his cool and lets his emotions take over. It was unexpected and a tad out of character. The art continues to look great, but I’m still not won over by the colors. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but they have a strange quality to them that stands out in an awkward manner. 3/5
Green Arrow #6
Writers: Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens, Ignacio Calero, Ray McCarthy, Richard Horie, and Tanya Horie
Cover Artists: Alan Passalaqua, Howard Porter, and Ray McCarthy
I’m not exactly sure what to think of regarding this series. As far as action and fight scenes go, this series is doing a great job. Green Arrow flipping, jumping, and shooting arrows is a wonderful thing to see. Unfortunately, the plot isn’t truly adding much meat to this story. Blood Rose and Midas are truly an odd pair of villains, especially considering that she’s a robot and he’s the Anti-Swamp Thing. The two have this grudge against Oliver Queen, though it has yet to be explained, and they are planning to leave town. This series has been teetering between good and decent for months now. While the art has been fairly consistently good throughout the series, the writing has been shaky. The plot feels weak, and at times certain issues feel more like one-shots than a cohesive story. A rotating creative crew certainly isn’t helping the transitions from issue to issue, let alone story to story. There’s a new team starting up next issue, and hopefully they can rework this series in a new, strong direction. 3/5
The slow build that defines this series comes to a penultimate climax in this issue. As the pieces to the puzzle nearly finish aligning themselves, this book takes everything to a whole new level. With Alec and Abby relaxing in their small victory, the Parliament of Trees has been attacked at its heart. Unfortunately for Alec, and the world, that unleashes the wrath of the Rot. What I have thoroughly enjoyed throughout the first five issues of this series, was the steady pacing, and though slow at times it perfectly sets up this issue. With every past issue Alec has been denying his connection to the Green, he’s actively rejected becoming the Swamp Thing, and now when he’s finally ready for the change, it’s no longer available to him. And while we, as readers, know it simply can’t stay this way forever, that which we don’t know makes the story even more interesting. How will Alec save the Parliament of Trees? Is it even possible? How will he become Swamp Thing? These questions and many more are just a glimpse at the suspense that thrives in this story. Marco Rudy, Val Staples, and Lee Loughridge fill in on art duty, and they do a tremendous job here. Rudy’s panels and layouts work in amazing tandem with Snyder’s story. The intricate borders, the unique shapes, the great use of color; the art does a really strong job selling and illustrating the story here. I never thought I’d actually want to see Alec turn into Swamp Thing, because let’s be honest, the Swamp Thing is kinda creepy, but I can now say that I can’t wait to see what happens next. 4.5/5
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