Despite being pretty satisfied with Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) arc over the show’s three seasons, I have some major concerns (starting with some unintentionally humorous costume changes for both hero and sidekick) with this trailer for Arrow‘s upcoming Fourth Season. The new season begins on October 7th.
Oliver and Roy‘s journey to Lian Yu proves fruitful as the pair get the blood sample they need from Slade Wilson in order to fight the latest Mirakuru-powered madman with a grudge against Oliver walking the streets of Starling City.
The issue does offer another confrontation between Oliver and Slade, while teasing Ollie’s return with Thea to the island in Season Three’s “The Return,” but given his continued imprisonment in the A.R.G.U.S. facility his appearance is rather short and mostly uneventful.
The rest of Arrow Season 2.5 #10 deals with events back in Starling involving Caleb Green‘s (who sadly is a far less interesting character than Slade) short encounter with Laurel Lance (which, as intended, drives Oliver crazy). The issue also spends time filling in the gap between Season Two and Season Three to help explain how Quentin Lance became Starling City’s newest Police Captain. The first-half of the issue works better than the second (each was released previously as digital-first issues), but fans can still find some enjoyment here. For fans.
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts is odd to say the least. Cobbled together from a variety of Batman storylines over the years, Batman Unlimited cherry-picks pieces of DCU continuity to offer a new (but not really fresh) take on the characters involved. Set in the not-so-distant future of Gotham City (with a definite Batman Beyond vibe) the straight-to-video movie opens with Batman (Roger Craig Smith) clad in a Beyondish red and black costume before eventually donning his more classic colors.
A ghost from the Queen Family comes calling in the latest issue of Arrow Season 2.5 when Caleb Green, the son of a man laid off from Queen Consolidated years before whose fortunes quickly dropped from bad to worse, comes looking for revenge against the son of the man who ruined his life. Oh, and did I mention, he’s also completely out-of-control and super-charged on Mirakuru?
The start of the new arc not only gives us the cured Roy in his new Arsenal-wear but also forces Oliver to come up with a makeshift costume on the fly (one I’ll agree with Roy that we don’t ever need to see again) when he finds himself under attack against a homicidal mad man in the middle of downtown Starling City.
Although both the killer and the vigilantes manage to get away from the police, the need to create another batch of Mirakuru cure sets up further issues of this arc by sending Oliver back to Lian Yu (taking Harper along for the ride). I’m curious to see what buddy bonding the two might go through, and what trouble they might get themselves into, in Ollie’s old stomping grounds. Worth a look.
The end of Arrow‘s Third Season ends poorly for its hero as his plan to take out Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) before he reaches Starling City to unleash the bioweapon fails. All that deception and careful planning, you think Oliver (Stephen Amell) would have a better end game than a fiery plane crash. Thankfully his back-up plan, which included having the Flash (Grant Gustin) on call to rescue Team Arrow from Nanda Parbat, fares much better and, despite the hurt feelings, Oliver and his team put aside their issues in an attempt to save their city on more time.
After three weeks of training and brainwashing at the hands of the League of Assassins Ah Sah-Him (Stephen Amell) gets his first assignment from Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable). Ordered to return home to Starling City, Ollie’s mission is to find and neutralize the only rival to his ascension to becoming the next Ra’s al Ghul. Although it takes more than a little convincing, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) finally rallies the remnants of Team Arrow to protect Nyssa (Katrina Law) from the death sentence handed down from her father at the hands of his new protege.
Finding Thea (Willa Holland) near death with no hope of recovery other than a dip in the Lazarus Pit, Oliver (Stephen Amell) leads his team back to Nanda Parbat where he chooses to trade his life for that of his sister. Teased a few episodes back, the full introduction of the Lazarus Pit opens the door the the mystical and magical side of the DCU which (other than Constantine) the TV universe has been slow to develop. Keeping with the comics, the Pit renews life but also introduces a temporary madness within those it saves (a madness which has become more permanent for Ra’s given the number of dips he’s taken over the years). “The Fallen” refuses to give us an exact age of Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable), but based on various conversations it’s obvious he’s looking forward to retiring after leading the League of Assassins for a very long time.
Against his wishes Oliver (Stephen Amell) is forced to watch as his Team Arrow teammates work together to help Roy (Colton Haynes) take the fall as the city’s vigilante. With Green Arrow in prison and Oliver still being targeted in random searches and sweeps by an obsessed Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and the Starling City Police Department our hero is forced to sit on the bench and allow Ray (Brandon Routh) to step-up when Starling City gets its first metahuman visitor in Deathbolt (Doug Jones).
The current “Blood” storyline continues with Felicity captured by the new Brother Blood, and Green Arrow and Arsenal unable to find her, Oliver agrees to turn himself over to Blood in exchange for her safety. Not trusting the madman, Oliver keeps Arsenal in reserve with a back-up plan should things go wrong by sending his protege to A.R.G.U.S. for some unexpected back-up.
Although we get a couple of scenes continuing the Kahndaq storyline (and likely ending any chance of seeing a Black Adam show up any time soon), the issue mainly deals with the search for Felicity (who spends most of her time tied to a chair insulting her captors) and setting up the surprise appearance of the Huntress as our hero’s back-up.
With Oliver and Felicity both in enemy hands it should be interesting to see Arsenal and Huntress team-up to save them in the storyline’s conclusion. Sadly, I have to admit the apparently imminent death of Khem-Adam makes me less interested to see how that plot thread eventually plays out. Worth a look.