[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Emiko fights for her mother’s life in the present while a flashback story pits Green Arrow and Emiko against the Clock King.
The cover by W. Scott Forbes is amazing. Using the city of lights of Tokyo for the background is a fun decision that is very effective. It’s immediately eye-catching especially thanks to the wonderful colors. I also love the clock at the bottom of the cover. I appreciate that subtle level of detail. It’s not too overtly saying that Clock King is a part of the issue but is still there.
Stephen Byrne handles both art and colors in the interior and does a wonderful job. I really appreciate his colors as well. There’s a clear distinction between the two different stories but they feel consistent. The flashback story is more somber filled with blue while the present day story is more intense filled with red.
When you’re reading single issues, it can become tiresome when books are written for the trades. Sometimes, it feels like stories are forced into five or six parts just to fit the trade. That length can sometimes be necessary for the story but it should not be the norm. It was really nice to just have a simple two part story. Benjamin Percy is able to get so much done in these two issues that technically have two stories in them inter cut together. His writing is really efficient and economic here.
I love Emiko. Her personality and story really resonate with me. I like that Percy allows her to make mistakes but does not damn her for them. She does a bad thing but that doesn’t necessarily make her a bad person. And, when given the opportunity, she owns up to her mistake and tries to fix it. This parallels Shado who goes through the same journey in the present. Her mistakes are obviously in the previous story line but she again has an opportunity for redemption that she takes. There is a really nice parallel between Oliver forgiving Emiko and Emi forgiving her mother. It’s an optimistic story and I appreciate that.
I love Ollie’s characterization in this as well. Percy writes some great banter for Green Arrow when he’s taking on bad guys and they’re genuinely funny lines. I also like that when Ollie is blackmailed, it never even crosses his mind to go along with it.
This is a great issue. The characters are well written, the action is spectacular and the art is wonderful. I highly recommend reading this issue.