After spending the previous couple of weeks bringing Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) back from the dead, Arrow turns its attention to the return of another supporting character with Felicity‘s (Emily Bett Rickards) discover that Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is alive an in need of help. While the B-story deals with the temporary friction between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity, not out of jealousy but born of Felicity blaming herself for not discovering the truth sooner, “Lost Souls” also spends a good bit of time focusing on Sara’s struggles to readjust to life even after getting her soul back.
“Haunted” not only brings in special guest-star Matt Ryan as John Constantine to help restore the soul of Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), but the episode’s flashbacks also give us the first meeting between the pair on Lian Yu and offer an explanation for another of Oliver‘s (Stephen Amell) tattoos. Although I thought Constantine had some problems, I grew to like Ryan as the occult detective. It’s fun to see him reprise his role here, especially with news that this won’t be the last we see of him in the shared TV universe.
While the main storyline of “Retoration” deals with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) working through their trust issues by tracking down the woman (Carmen Moore) who ordered the hit on Diggle’s brother, “Restoration” actually gets its name from its B-story which involves the resurrection of another fallen hero. I’m glad that the series got Ollie and Dig to work out their issues fairly early in the season rather than continuing to allow the distrust and anger to fester any longer. Even if Diggle is left without answers or a measure of revenge at least our hero’s most trustworthy sidekick is back onboard.
With Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) convinced to leave their blissful (if boring) lives in the suburbs and reestablishing themselves in the renamed Star City, and Ollie giving his alter ego a new name by calling the city’s new archer the Green Arrow, Arrow‘s Fourth Season moves forward with foreshadowing that this is the year we will be introduced to more of the mystical side of the DCU. What began with the introduction of the Lazarus Pit last season, which is still having a lasting side-effect on Thea (Willa Holland), continues with the introduction of the season’s new big bad in Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) who has contradictory plans for the rebranding and rebuilding of what once was called Starling City.
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.