Written by: Ben Percy
Art by: Stephen Byrne and Nate Piekos
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 19, 2016
I have been jumping on and off the Green Arrow bandwagon since the start of Rebirth. While Ben Percy is giving readers a story that is leaps and bounds better than what we got in the New 52, it just hasn't grabbed me like some of the other books. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's just not hitting all the right notes right now. That being said, I did have high hopes for this Island of Scars story, but the first issue dished out way more questions than answers. So, do we get answers in this issue and do they turn this into a must read? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Oliver and Dinah on the trail of their friend, Diggle. We know where he is, but the two aren't even sure he is alive. That's when they run across the real reason for the island...a field of poppies. Holy Wizard of Oz
Instead of falling fast asleep in the field, however, they are attacked by a native and after injuring him, Ollie, Dinah and the reader find out more of what's going on. Are you shocked that the Ninth Circle is involved? Involved in Heroin? I know I wasn't.
The man they met and injured is named Ata and we find out a bit of the Island's backstory and also that Ata disagrees with his wife, Ana, when it comes to outsiders. He hates them, while she thinks she's using them for her own gain.
Speaking of Ana, she is the one who has Diggle and through her we get more backstory, but this bit is more pleasant as we learn of all the advancements that Ana, Ata and their tribe have made. I'm talking world changing things here, but unfortunately, we also learn that they are all slaves to the Ninth Circle.
Meanwhile, Ata tells them where his secret cave is and after a robotic bear scare, we get a possible bit of foreshadowing between Ollie and Ata as far as a way for Ollie to get back his riches using Ata's inventions.
The scene ends with Ata promising to help our heroic duo as long as they agree to get the hell off the island when they are finished. This guy is from the tough but fair school of restless natives.
Back with Ana and Diggle, we get more info on the heroin trade going on, but also see a pretty cool thing...the Trans-Pacific Railway. It's an train that travels underneath the ocean and was proposed by Robert Queen, but put into use by Broderick.
From this point on, the rest of the issue is pretty much a big battle. Green Arrow and Black Canary cause a distraction by burning down the poppy fields while Diggle torches the finished product. When the three friends finally meet up, it's pretty clear that they have completely fucked over Ana and Ata by burning down everything they could get their hands before sealing up the Railway to make their escape. The funny part is, I think they all believe they didn't screw anything up at all!
The issue ends with our heroes using the tunnel of the railway to head back to Seattle and I was just left with the feeling that these two issue were only around to fill two book slots. Really, nothing much happens here at all.
While the first issue of this story had some potential, I can't tell you why this two-parter even exists. Nothing happens except a hokey "green" message mixed in with some good, old fashioned xenophobia. I think we were supposed to feel for the "bad guys" a bit, but it's hard to care about anyone who is supplying the world with heroin, no matter who is forcing the issue.
Stephen Byrne's art is not great this issue either. It's good, but inconsistent. Some pages look stunning and then things go awry on the next page followed by kick ass art on the next. When it's on, it looks great, though!
Bits and Pieces:
It feels like this story got away from Ben Percy a bit. This issue has some setup, some forced situations and a green message that just didn't feel right. In the end, this issue and the whole Island of Scars arc can be avoided by everyone that hasn't made a stupid commitment to review every damn issue, every damn week!