Comic Review: ARROW – SEASON 2.5 #17 [Digital Edition]

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ARROW: SEASON 2.5 #17/ Script by MARC GUGGENHEIM/ Pencils by JOE BENNETT/ Inks by CRAIG YEUNG / Colors by JIM CHARALAMPIDIS / Letters by DERON BENNETT / Published by DC COMICS

The Siege of Starling City is months past. And Team Arrow has put the so-called Church of Blood to rest. But the evil forged by Slade Wilson and Sebastian Blood still threatens all that Oliver Queen has worked to protect. Yet the latest threat to the peace of the city was also born of the actions of Oliver’s own father!

Some years earlier, Caleb Green was an All-American Boy. That changed the day Caleb’s father was fired from his job at Queen Consolidated by Robert Queen himself. One bottle of booze and a nervous breakdown later and Caleb was an orphan. His father shot his wife to death before turning the gun on himself, leaving Caleb all alone and angry at the world… the world and Robert Queen!

An aimless homeless youth like Caleb seemed like an ideal recruit for The Church of Blood. But Caleb proved too unstable for the Church’s brainwashing to take root. Still, there was still a way he might prove of service – as a test subject for a transplant of the Mirakuru formula that grants enhanced physical prowess at the cost of the user’s sanity!

The formula turned the already unbalanced Caleb Green into a feral madman and he easily won free of the Church of Blood’s clutches. Now, Caleb wanders the streets, hunting the son of the man who ruined his life. For this Sins of the Father will be visited upon his children. And Caleb Green is determined to make Oliver Queen pay in blood!

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Marc Guggenheim is well-known for the wit and humor of his scripts. Both his work on Arrow and Spider-Man have showcased this talent for writing clever comedic dialogue. Sadly, this issue is something of an exception, with most of the issue devoted to retelling Caleb Green’s origins and most of the dialogue involving Caleb repeating the same phrases over and over. It may be meant to simulate Caleb’s confused thought process, but it still seems overly repetitive.

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Thankfully, the story is saved by the final few pages and what is either one heck of a build-up to a Sportsmaster reference or a nod to Stephen Amell’s recent casting as Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Given the production time on your average comic, the former is the more likely explanation but it’s still amusing to see Oliver Queen going into battle utilizing the contents of a nearby looted sporting goods store, even if the Casey Jones riff is a coincidence.

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The artwork by Joe Bennett and Craig Yeung perfectly captures the manic tone of the script.  The fight between Oliver and Caleb is well-paced and well-choreographed throughout the later half of the issue. The colors by Jim Charalamdipis pop on the page. And the lettering by Deron Bennett is clear and readable.

If you’re a fan of Arrow, you should definitely be reading this series. It manages to be suspenseful and exciting, despite existing between seasons. And even the slower issues have a lot to offer the discerning Arrow-head.

Rating 4

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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