Benjamin Percy, Stephen Byrne, Nate Piekos, Neal Adams, Josh Adams and Tim Shin
Ollie’s little half-sister Emiko takes the spotlight for a double tale of how she establishes herself as a hero…
Picking up where the last issue left off, Shado fled Oliver Queen’s wraith for her betrayal and kidnapped Emiko. Shado ultimately reveals how she continued working for the Yakuza after joining the Ninth Circle and Emiko betraying her has put both of their lives in jeopardy. Emiko runs off and the story splits between her trying to sever her mother’s ties to the Yakuza and also flashes back to a mission earlier where she faced off against the Clock King.
Stephen Byrne handles the art duties here and carries a different flavor to Ferreyra and Schmidt’s styles. Byrne’s art feels like a European Manga influenced style, approaching figures and perspective like a typical Manga artist would but then uses a wide and vibrant color palette page-to-page. It’s an interesting compliment to the story, which itself is like an East-meets-West composition. His art doesn’t carry the intricate perspective that Ferreyra usually has or the pop aesthetic of Schmidt’s, but it acts as a natural bridge for those styles in this issue maintaining what readers could be expecting visually. I do think of the three, Byrne probably draws Emiko the best.
Story-wise, the idea of an issue or arc focusing on Emiko with two parallel stories is an interesting and inspired choice for Percy to pursue. She’s not as established as Ollie and with Rebirth ongoing, she needs to be reevaluated as a character so she can continue with the current Green Arrow. A few things stand out about the plot and not in a great way; do Japanese people/Yakuza members commit Seppuku in this day and age? Is Oliver part of Clock King’s winding scheme or is that an error? Does Clock King need a face tattoo?
Clock King being an older DC villain, I can see the need to modernize him but I kind of miss the numbers guy that could plan things out to a micro second and pull off crimes. Still, this version has a neat angle and could merit being the current iteration. I could do with some more focus on Emiko’s motivations, as aside from wanting to protect her mother her intentions aren’t very clear right now. Why wouldn’t she try to return to her big brother in Seattle? Did she find anything normal to enjoy or does she only care about archery? These are things that could be answered later but in this issue weighed down my enjoyment.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent