Thursday, March 10, 2016

Arrow: The Dark Archer Chapter #5 Review and *SPOILERS*

What A View

Written By: John Barrowman and Carol E. Barrowman
Art By: Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Kyle Ritter
Letters By: The Unknown Letterer
Digital Price: $0.99
Release Date: March 9, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Once more back into the origin story of Arthur King, I mean Malcolm Merlyn, I mean R’as Al Ghul…who the heck is this guy anyway? We’re supposed to be finding out in this series, but it seems like every answered question brings out three or four more questions. Eventually you’re gonna run out of questions and I’m going to have stockpiled answers, and then where will you be, Merlyn? Shit out of luck, I expect. What the hell am I going on about? I’m going on about Arrow: The Dark Archer, the digital comic about a guy standing in a cave filling with water, without ever once wetting his pants. It’s also about love, duplicity, and desecrating ancient artifacts. So basically, it’s the same exact thing as the movie Overboard. And we all liked Overboard, didn’t we? So we’ll probably like this chapter, too! Read on to find out!

Explain It!:

As I do before reviewing every chapter of Arrow: The Dark Archer, my caveat: This comic is for people that watch the CW television show Arrow, and are particularly familiar with the events of season three. This comic takes place between seasons three and four, so you should know what has come before if you want to dip your toes into this water-filled cave.

Speaking of water-filled cave, that’s where we find Malcolm once again, still chained to that altar thingy while Saracon walks around and taunts him. The water is up to his ankles now, which means we probably only have three dozen more fucking chapters to go. After observing Saracon call a bat to perch on his shoulder like a Transylvanian Snow White, Malcolm is impressed to see he possesses inter-species telepathy; Saracon explains it was given to him when twin snow leopards bit his mother after conception. Are you guys going to trade latke recipes now? The two of them banter on like old Yiddish women. And just like a couple of Yiddish women, Saracon belts Malcolm in the face and tells him to get on with his origin story.

So we jump right back to 1985, when Malcolm was still Arthur and a member of League of Assassins-lite mercenary group the Hidden. Last issue, he escaped a bunch of maybe League attackers on horseback, maybe members of the Ashkiri temple that he and co-Hidden bro Darius were sent to defile, when a sandstorm cropped up and made everyone run inside so no sand would get into their moussed hair. Darius throws people off of their trail by wrecking a Jeep and making it look like they died, when they actually switched clothes with some ninjas and blended in with the crew. Malcolm’s girlfriend Lourdes takes off after them and, despite the clever ruse of a wrecked car, is able to find them in time to make out with Malcolm. Looking for an eagle’s head etching, they putz around this mountain for like eight pages until Malcolm discovers that the etching is actually the entire mountain! Hey, didn’t you guys have like a hundred ninja assassin cultists chasing you a little while ago? Things got real easy-breezy around here all of a sudden.

So this issue consisted of Malcolm being chained to a rock and making polite chit-chat with Saracon, and then Malcolm, Darius and Lourdes hanging out on the side of a mountain. It was pretty dull. Though the artist has not changed on this title, it seemed a lot more polished this issue. Too bad the comic book was snoozers. So, Saracon is Malcolm’s kid, right? Born in 1985 after he bones Lourdes one last time, and that’s why Malcolm was prying about his life earlier in the issue, because he’s a creepy fatherly asshole to Saracon just like he is to Thea on the television program. Let’s wrap this up soon, okay? If Saracon fits Malcolm with a snorkeling mask in a few chapters, I’m out.
Bits and Pieces:

The artwork seems really polished this chapter, moreso than in the last couple of chapters. Too bad the story is as dull as drying paint. You don't even learn anything new about Malcolm this chapter, just that he likes standing around on mountainsides. And really, who doesn't? This book better pick up or resolve quick, because it's starting to ramble on like one of grandpa's stories. And by "grandpa," I do mean Jim.


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