Arrow Season 2.5 kicked things off pretty nicely with the ninth issue a while back (I read it last week), and it was one where some recent plot developments on the third season filtered back into the tie-in comic. Set between the second and third seasons, the series helps bridge the narrative gap between the two and it has been chugging along very nicely indeed, focusing on the characters and their relationships with each other more than anything. Oh and yeah, there’s also some great 2-page Suicide Squad backups here, though some of them aren’t as exciting as others since it is taking a loooong time for the team to get off on its next mission.
In Arrow Season 2.5 #10, we finally see some great plot progression. Like I said above, the tension isn’t there so much since we know how the characters fare in the third season, but this is still some great stories being told, and this issue highlights that to a great degree by showing us how Oliver planned to take back control of Queen Consolidated after he unwittingly handed it over to Isabel Rochev in the second season. And also, we finally get to see the Suicide Squad make a move for its Kahndaq mission, which is what I’ve been waiting for since the early issues.
The last issue focused on the character relationships a great deal and also has this OMGWTF moment when Roy finally woke up from his weird coma. It was a bit of a sudden u-turn in most respects, but the story proceeded well enough and now we see what all is happening in Starling. And there was also this neat little bit where Brother Blood had had Felicity kidnapped and was using her as bait to draw the Arrow in. Fantastic times indeed.
With this issue, I think that Marc Guggenheim finally got in the full and proper mode for what this issue is supposed to do. The previous nine issues have felt very disconnected from either the second or third season since while some old concepts are indeed brought back, the story still feels very distant and forging its own path. But with the new issue we see how the two seasons are bridged together. For one, we have Walter Steele returning and convincing Oliver to step up and learn some corporate finance so that he can get ready to take back control of QC.
After Isabel’s death in the second season, the company was placed in receivership or something and it can be bought out. Of course, with Walter returning it also means that Oliver finally has some money to take back what is his and I think it is stories like this that really pull me into this world. Arrow, whether in the comics or on television, isn’t just about being a superhero, it is also about dealing with the consequences of being a superheroes, of making some real sacrifices and having to cut deals of all sorts.
And that’s where the backup comes in. This time the focus is on Diggle and Lyla since Suicide Squad is now ready to head into Kahndaq, now that Ravan Nassar is now a good and proper part of the team, and Waller wants Lyla to lead. Bit problematic since Lyla is pregnant and so we get to see the relationship between these two go on to the next level in a really neat way. This filters in from the first episode IIRC, or the second one, where we saw Oliver give Diggle a day off to go make sure that Lyla’s delivery went off without a hitch and be there for his wife and his daughter. This is great stuff really, and I really liked the angle that Keto Shimizu played with in his 2-page backup, which was Lyla telling Waller how the team would have to go ahead without her.
As always, we have Joe Bennett, Craig Yeung, Jim Charalampidis on the main story art, with Syzmon Kudranski taking over for the backup. In a rather general way, this was a much smoother experience, by far. I loved seeing Kord Industries cameo once again as far as Arrow is concerned, and even Walter looked really cool, though he kind of has the same general facial structure as Oliver, which is odd since the actor who plays him has a much leaner and sharper face. But, by the by. Nothing especially major here, so this was a fairly straight issue on the art, and I liked that.