Saturday, 29 April 2017

Green Arrow, Volume 2: Island of Scars Review (Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt)

I requested Green Arrow Volume 2 before reading Volume 1 otherwise I wouldn’t have requested it - that first book is DIRE! But I’m glad of my impetuousness (for once!) as Island of Scars turned out to be miles better than the first volume and not a bad comic considering Rebirth’s overall quality!

The book is divided up into three stories which get progressively better as they go along. Unfortunately, the first, featuring Ollie’s half-sister Emi, is definitely the worst. She’s a cheap Damian Wayne knockoff who’s fighting some clown called Clock King and a Yakuza boss who can transform into a dragon! 

Clock King’s energy-inducing watches were so stupid - it’s never explained how they work, how they’re “wound up” when the wearer is running low on energy. And Emi giving Ollie her watch was even dumber - he’s wearing a t-shirt, ie. has bare arms, and he doesn’t notice her putting a watch on his wrist?? Is he suddenly blind?! Anyway, terrible story for a character who’s yet to convince me of her worth. 

The second story picks up where the first book ended with Ollie washed up on an island - Green Arrow and islands, eh? It’s not a great story either. Ollie, Black Canary and Diggle get caught up with more bland Ninth Circle shenanigans: island people are growing poppies for heroin and let’s throw in a robot bear because why not? But Otto Schmidt’s artwork and bright colours made a nice change from Stephen Byrne’s previously too-dark art in the Emi story. 

The third story is easily the best. Ollie, Dinah and Diggle are on the Trans-Pacific Railway, a bullet train that runs on the Pacific Ocean floor - what a great idea, nothing could go wrong there…! The train is full of diplomats and an assassin is targeting one trying to bring peace to North Africa and the Middle East - it’s up to Green Arrow and co. to find and stop the assassin! It’s a very fun, exciting and fast-moving story well-complemented by Juan Ferreyra’s excellent artwork. 

Green Arrow, Volume 2: Island of Scars isn’t a great book but there’s at least one decent story here and some fantastic artwork from most of the art team. It’s not going to make anyone who wasn’t already one a Green Arrow fan but, if you’re going to pick a series, there are worse Rebirth titles to read than this. Almost makes me want to revisit Rebirth titles whose first volumes disappointed me to see if they also pick up in the second - almost!

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