Half the Man I Used to BeWritten by: Benjamin Percy
Art by: Stephen Byrne and Nate Piekos
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Overall, I have liked the Rebirth Green Arrow book and while some people scoffed at this Emiko story, it is already a highlight for me. Maybe it's because I am an Emiko fanboy or just that Benjamin Percy wrote a pretty kick ass first issue to the arc, but I couldn't wait to get this issue in my grubby little hands. Now that I've smudged it up with a combination of bacon grease and mayonnaise (don't ask), was the wait worth it? Let's find out...
The issue starts with a flashback that is almost a tongue in cheek look back at Percy's New 52 run of Green Arrow. Oliver and Emiko are squaring off against some awful anti eco terrorists ("Who cares about the Goddamn Spotted Owl") and it made me laugh. However, it's not all fun and games as we see Oliver "winding down" from wearing a Clock King watch. It was a cool way to remind the reader of what happened in last issue's cliffhanger before we find out the what what. Emiko sold Oliver out (it certainly won't be the last time) to the Clock King in what is a very personal case of blackmail. I actually wish we would have seen Emi giving Oliver the watch..."Thanks for this...skull...watch...thing, Emi." "Put it on, Oliver, Put it on!"
Percy then shifts to Tokyo to show us what Emiko is up to now. She is having a chat with the Oyabun and she is the big headed, snotty Emi that I love. The Dragon (the Oyabun's name) is pissed that Emiko helped sink the Inferno and wants to know how she can possibly make up for it and the answer is...Kumite!!! If you are a fan of Bloodsport, like me, you have to be thinking Kumite, right? It is a fighting tourney that the Dragon runs where world politics are decided, wars are won and lost and huge corporations change hands...all by two combatants beating the living shit out of each other! Awesome! It's obvious the Dragon has something up his sleeve and I have to admit that at this point I was worried that Emiko had bitten off more than she could chew.
Speaking of which, that is definitely the case with Ollie back in the flashback. After storming into the Clock King's shop, he is knocked out and wakes up on a James Bond-esque contraption that will make him "half the man he used to be". The Clock King is such a creep!
As time puns come a mile a minute, Emi shows up with a solution to her and Ollie's problems. What little girl thinks of strapping C4 to herself and hook it into her heartbeat, all to turn the tables on the Clock King? An awesome, kick ass one is the answer, my friends! Eat your heart out, Keanu! (maybe Jason Statham is more appropriate, but I love Keanu...sue me!)
The issue ends back in Tokyo and we get to see why the Oyabun is called the Dragon and also get to see a pretty cool ass fight. Sure, it's more video game than anything else, but I love me some video games and the art makes for some beautiful carnage. In the end, Mother and Daughter fight for their honor and their lives and I realized that I like seeing Emiko and Shado together, just as they are separated once again. It all leads back to Seattle, but it looks like we will be taking a detour to the Island next issue which just made me laugh out loud...in a good way.
This two parter is done and while I think I liked the first issue a little better, I had fun reading this one as well. The only problem I had is I wanted to see more. It all seemed a bit rushed to get the the end and when the end came, it wrapped up too neatly. However, it still was a lot of fun and I really am a sucker for anything with Emiko in it.
Stephen Byrne continued to impress me with his art. Everything looked absolutely gorgeous and the end fight scene just popped off the page. This series has had three artists so far and I think they are fighting tooth and nail for my love. My love, not yours! MINE!!!
Bits and Pieces:
Ben Percy ends his Sins of the Mother mini arc with a whole lot of action and while I had fun, it was a bit forced. Still, it doesn't take itself too seriously and it looks amazing! This Emiko story has put Green Arrow back up their with my favorites of Rebirth.