The thing about this current arc is that it seems to be lacking in direction. Batman is preoccupied with a girl, said girl’s sister is in way over her head, and Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge is up and running, but none of those plots are meshing well together. It feels like three distinct stories running simultaneously, but independently. With this particular arc, it’s both a bad and good circumstance. On the one hand, the events of the arc appear to be of little import. Nothing that is happening in this arc feels connected to the previous arc or even the ongoing Joker arc, and more importantly, none of it seems like it will have a lasting impact. That being said, because the issue is broken up into so many stories, you don’t exactly notice the story’s lack of importance till after the fact. There’s enough action and just barely enough plot threads that quickly get you through the issue. 3/5
With the start of this newest arc, Green Arrow also sees the start of a new creative team’s run. From the very first page the tone has been set; Ollie is torn between two worlds, and unfortunately for anyone around him, and even remotely reliant on him, this does not bode well. Instead of taking care of his responsibilities at Q-Core, Ollie goes off galavanting with triplets, ultimately walking straight into the most transparent trap that has graced the pages of comics. While there is merit to Ollie’s dilemma, the character never quite having the business acumen that Batman does, his actions are rather selfish and immature. There’s not a single moment in this issue that distinguishes him from any other rich, spoiled brat, and there’s certainly no reason for readers to be concerned for his well being. That being said, this is Ann Nocenti’s first issue on the title, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not her depiction of Green Arrow changes any time soon. On the artistic side of things, Harvey Tolibao’s art is an interesting choice. His backgrounds look great, the uniforms/clothes look fantastic, and he puts a tremendous amount of detailing into his figures. However, Green Arrow’s face makes him look like a rat and not of the metaphorical variety. Overall, this issue was a decent start for this new creative team, albeit a tad rocky here and there. 3/5
If you happen to fall into that group of naysayers and doubters, this issue should have no problem rectifying your views. While a fast paced, action filled book is often riveting, there’s also something to be said about a slow build to an explosive finish. From the very first issue of this series, Alec Holland has been on a collision course that could only culminate with his transformation into the Swamp Thing. There was no doubt that it would happen, it had to, but even the most avid Swamp Thing readers couldn’t have imagined it playing out this way. With Abby being transformed to accommodate the Rot’s desire, Alec makes one final plea to be turned into the Green’s warrior, and so it is done. However, what is easily missed in that truncated summary is the epic internal struggle that exists in Alec’s mind. His desire to be with Abby, his realization of his failure, and his complicated relationship with the dying Parliament. The reader easily is able to connect with Alec, and by the end of the issue genuinely care for his welfare. Scott Snyder has imbued this series with the perfect blend of humanity, action, and horror that is only made even more apparent with the gorgeous art by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn. Throughout the series this title has seen some remarkable art, and not just from Yanick, however, in this issue it is more than apparent why Yanick is the ongoing artist. If Snyder’s words were seeds, Yanick’s art would be the plant that grows from them. Neither being more important than the other, yet both complimenting each other perfectly. 5/5
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