My relationship with the character Green Arrow comes from the series Arrow, Young Justice & Justice League Unlimited so I’m coming onto the title as a newcomer with the start of this newest storyline. I don’t know them beyond their portrayals on television and as such am not privy to their long histories.
Midnighter & Apollo is a title that a few years ago would have horrified fandom and certainly organisations such as One Million Moms or whatever they’re called but it is a title that should exist, it isn’t a niche title, the book, like Wonder Woman and Batwoman is a necessity for the progression of comics in the modern world.
Cyborg is an odd duck, it’s a great book and John Semper Jr is doing some fantastic stuff to reinvigorate the character. He has been elevated to Justice League status for a while now but he still doesn’t seem like he fits in there, indeed post rebirth he feels like he doesn’t fit anywhere in some ways he is an allegory for all of Rebirth with everyone fitting into a new status quo.
This is my look into the DC Universe this week!
GREEN ARROW #10
Murder on the Empire Express
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Cover: Juan Ferreyra
Variant: Neal Adams & Alex Sinclair
The Trans-Pacific Railway was the brainchild of Robert Queen but he never lived to see it built and now it and Queen Industries have been stolen from his family. Oliver has learned the railway is being used as a high speed drug trafficking corridor.
In the rush to board the train in an empty storage container Diggle, Black Canary and Ollie are caught off guard by it’s speed. They just barely make it on board but not in the compartment they hoped for. Black Canary is inside a storage car, Diggle clinging to the side and Ollie just managing to get into the diplomatic garage car. When Ollie opens the boot of one of the vehicles inside are mass bottles of Hydroxide.
Black Canary scouts the train and sees many rich and powerful socialites enjoying the voyage. To investigate she sheds her leathers and steals some designer clothing. Meanwhile Diggle manages to get aboard a dining car and stumbles onto a mercenary disguised as a barman. The merc, Eddie Fyers mistakes John as part of the security detail, so Diggle goes along with it to find more clues.
Dinah is recognised by Amin Mustafa, the host of party as she tries to mingle and he admits he recognises her as the famous signer Black Canary. As she mingles in the party Ollie silently fights his way through the security until he finds a battered and bruised Diggle.
Diggle reveals that Fyers has been hired to assassinate someone on board but the warning comes too late as Amin drinks some poisoned champagne. Dinah uses her sonic scream to destroy all the poisoned alcohol from being drunk and chases down Fyers.
Green Arrow intercepts Fyers and disgusted he growls at how the actions of Fyers have issued a death warrant to thousands of people. Dinah screams to Ollie to take down Fyers but Ollie’s hesitance to kill gives him the opportunity to escape with a system shutdown.
Unfortunately as the power returns the security forces have arrived and mistake Ollie and Dinah for the assassins!
To Be Continued…
The cover neatly illustrates the interior but lacks a dynamics flair that the interior pages exude somehow.
VARIANT COVER: 5/5
You can’t fault a Neal Adams cover. He and Alex Sinclair deliver a classic if not iconic variant cover. It isn’t usual that the variant surpasses the direct cover but on this occasion this is the more eye catching.
Its still too early to tell how the story will play out and right now coincidence and blind luck seem to be driving the story. That isn’t a bad thing but I thought Team Arrow would be better prepared instead them seem to be blindly stumbling from scene to scene. It is an engaging story however and I am definitely liking the book.
The art is nothing short of superb.
The unique style of colouring in a mix of acrylic and digital give it a style that separates it from other books. The page where Canary shatters the champagne glasses is spectacular!
The Imitation of Life Part 4: Mind Maze
Writer: John Semper Jr.
Artist: Timothy Green II
Inker: Joseph Silver
Cover: Paul Pelletier, Scott Hanna & Guy Major
Variant: Carlos D’anda
Cyborg battles the League taking the entirety on alone.
Physically everything feels real but mentally Vic knows that is all a strange dream sequence. Putting his theory that he is somehow in a living in a metaphysical nightmare to the test Cyborg booms the League to Apokolips directly into conflict with Darkseid.
With his team mates locked into a fight to the death, Vic escapes them but stumbles directly into a maze of stone walls.
Bizarrely the League are already inside and try to capture him. Vic realises that when he fought Malware the villain had uploaded some kind of malicious software into him causing the dreams. The League reveal they are really Wyrmms, slimy creatures created to kill his subconscious mind.
In the real world the S.T.A.R. Labs staff are trying to subdue Vic but without the help of Silas they can’t upload the virus killing software. Everyone is still unaware that the real Silas is a captive but his doppelganger reveals to him that he was the precursor to Victor and he is intent of impersonating and then destroying Silas’ life.
Back at S.T.A.R. Sarah and Dr. Morrow have completed the code to cure Vic and loaded it onto a USB drive but she refuses to wait and races to upload it into Vic by herself. At that same moment the Wyrmms have retreated into Vics deepest memories and he gives chase only to find himself watching a memory of his mother and youngster self baking cookies and then playing baseball with his father. This memory is a mistake as Vic knows it to be false and attacks the masquerading Wyrmms. In retaliation they force him to watch his mother relive the lab accident that caused her fatal cancer.
Then he relives the break up with Britton Claire and another Wyrmm but upon killing that he is faced by a disembodied spirit with a hood. The spirit explains it is his most important memory, the love of his life and the last part he needs to become whole again if he can overcome the virus himself without any help.
In the real world Sarah tries to upload the code but the humanless side of Vic attempts to kill her. The virus is killed by Vic in the nick of time but not without terrifying Sarah. Silas arrives apologetic and promises that he will help run diagnostics and will always be by Vic’s side.
Later Vic visits Sarah and apologises for his violent actions, he explains what happened and that the hooded figure that eludes him is allegedly the love of his life. Sarah humours him but when Cyborg leaves she opens a photo album to reveal that she was the hooded figure in his mind all along…
To Be Continued…
The line art is solid but the blocky colouring on the metallic’s coupled with the solid inking make it seem a little on the plain side.
VARIANT COVER: 5/5
The fight on the Martian landscape against the League has played out in devastating fashion. The colour palette alone invigorates the artwork.
A modern take on the imaginary story with Vic finally becoming whole, save for one final memory. Another revelation is that Cyborg is a 2.0 version and that Silas’ double is in fact a 1.0 that he has no memory of himself.
The clues to Sarah were carefully seeded from issue one and now seem obvious. I’m ready for the story to amp up a little now so I hope the mysteries begin getting solved soon!
A massive disconnect. The art by Timothy Green II is not bad by any stretch of the imagination but when you consider we are more than halfway though a storyline, to change style so drastically really pulls you out of the story. Its great as a solo story and really excels in the scenes with Sarah but as part of a bigger arc it feels too separated.
MIDNIGHTER & APOLLO #2
Midnighter & Apollo – Part 2
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Cover: Aco & Romulo Farjado Jr.
Apollo is face to face with Bendix but while he is seven miles below ground he must endure a gauntlet of challenges to get to Apollo who has been fatally wounded by the Mawzir. Wounding Bendix, Midnighter races to the surface.
His determination enables Midnighter to face every challenge until he gets back to Opal City and fights of Mawzir. With time running out Midnighter allows his foe to escape but it is all too late, Apollo is wounded, seemingly fatally.
Three days later Midnighter and Marina are jogging in the park. Marina tries to reach out to her friend but Midnighter refuses to listen and to accept Apollo is gone. Back in their base Apollo is lying on a slab bathed in solar radiation is hopes it will regenerate him. Midnighter suits up and heads to Peru and a meeting with Extrano in The Sacrarium. There to tortured lover, Midnighter, asks Extrano to help him track down Apollo’s soul.
In Hell, Apollo is imprisoned with oter man and women under the watchful eye of a little creature called Lord Fercifer. Apollo breaks free of his bonds and rescues the other prisoners aiming to escape Hell. Using his abiities they manage to get quite far but one by one they are pulled back to the dark recesses by bloody tentacles.
Eventually even Apollo despite all his power is overcome and comes face to face with his new jailer… the all powerful Neron.
Back in Peru Gregorio awakens from his trance and reveals to Midnighter exactly where Apollo’s soul is being imprisoned.
An undeterred Midnighter swears to free him at any cost.
To Be Continued…
The cover art adds to that supernatural feel in the story and the ‘bright light’ teases where the story is headed.
I am really impressed by this book because it embodies everything that Rebirth is about.
A little less is made of Midnighter’s hyper violence this issue instead focusing on his steely determination and equally in juxtaposition Apollo’s as well. Extrano’s reinvention should be noted, he too has come a long way and has potential for a larger role beyond this storyline. The theme thus far is ‘love conquers all’ and the book delivers that in spades opting not to follow a villain of the week.
Orlando brilliantly brings forth many familiar scenes for anyone that has faced loss, we’ve all been there and as such I am rooting for Midnighter and Apollo to be reunited.
Like Green Arrow, this book also has it’s own style and one that fits the story very well. The inking is very heavy but considering we are delving more into the supernatural it adds to the ambience.