Sunday, October 23, 2016

Comic Book Review: Green Arrow #9

By: Jerry Montgomery
October 22, 2016

Green Arrow # 9
“Island of Scars, Pt. 2 – Tracks”

Written by: Benjamin Percy
Art and Color: Stephen Byrne

The “Island of Scars” storyline concludes in issue 9 of Green Arrow. Following the defeat of the Ninth Circle and the sinking of their vessel The Inferno, Oliver, Dinah and Diggle find themselves washed ashore on the mysterious Scar Island somewhere in the northern Pacific Ocean. Diggle has been captured by the islanders there,  led by the disfigured Ana (think Two-Face but prettier...if that’s even possible). Green Arrow and Black Canary have picked up his trail, finding two bullet casings and a set of bear prints.

Exploring the island, there is plenty of flirtation between Oliver and Dinah, often expressed in violent terms, yet the sexual innuendo is evident.  A welcome return from their New 52 versions where they barely knew one another. It all seems like a cut and dry rescue mission until they come upon a poppy field and realize that there is much more going on here than meets the eye. Enter Ata, estranged husband of Ana, who has been following Oliver and Dinah.  As Ata puts it to words all too tragically common in history,  “Classic white guy. Shoot first. Ask questions later.”, when  Oliver fires a shot at him before knowing who and why they’re being followed. Ata is injured pretty bad and as both Oliver and Dinah transport him to a safe area, he reveals his wife’s involvement with the Ninth Circle and the ruination of his people and their island. In exchange for the poppies and opium production, The Ninth Circle provides technology and science.

Ata leads Oliver and Dinah to the main complex where the poppy is refined into opium and readied for transport via an elevator leading to the world’s largest transport corridor, The Trans-Pacific Railway. Built by an associate of Oliver’s father, Robert. All hell breaks loose as Oliver, Dinah and Ata bust in. Diggle breaks free and joins in. But in destroying the operation, have they also destroyed the land? In freeing these native peoples, has Oliver also doomed them?

The Verdict: Another good issue in the Green Arrow series . It may seem like just another story of super hero adventure, but this one has a lot of underlying serious social issues dealing with man’s encroachment onto virgin lands and peoples. Does knowledge meant to enlighten only lead to darkness? Oliver Queen has returned to his environmental warrior incarnation and it hasn’t been more evident than in this issue. The artwork is rich and saturated with color, reminiscent of an animated show which has seemed to be emerging in many DC titles.

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