Writer: Kevin Smith
Artists: Phil Hester (p), Ande Parks (i)
The book opens with Green Arrow having Connor's attacker in the sights of a notched arrow, and for the thirty minutes that it takes the doctors to remove the bullet in Connor's head we see Oliver keeps the villain from attacking with suggestion that he would fire the arrow if the man made a single move. However once Connor's out of danger we see the villain reveals that he could've made a move against Oliver all along, and the man makes it out of the room even though Oliver tags him with several arrows on the way out. As the fight carries out onto the hospital roof we see Oliver is quick to discover that a bow & arrows are no match for gun, as his bow is shattered by gunfire. As Oliver leaps off the edge of the roof to avoid the rain of bullets we see he does manage to get the upper hand, when the killer takes a look over the roof's edge to see what happened to his opponent and is rewarded with an arrow that Oliver rams through the man's foot. We then see Oliver knocks the man off the roof, and the man looks the drop to his death after pulling his foot free of the arrow that kept him from falling. However when Oliver reaches the alley below the body has disappeared.
This issue should appeal to the fans of Oliver Queen who look fondly upon the cold-hearted vigilante years that saw the Green Arrow showing the criminals the same mercy that they showed their victims, as this issue's fight is downright ruthless. This issue also plays the villain very much like a villain from a slasher film, as by issue's end the guy's got pretty much an entire quiver of arrows jutting out of his body & he's fallen off the hospital roof to the alley far below, and yet when Oliver heads down to retrieve the body the villain is gone. Now I'm not sure if we'll ever see this villain again, but given his pretty solid showing in this issue I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this villain go another round with the Green Arrow. I also wouldn't mind seeing him take a tour of the DCU to mix it up with other non-powered characters like Nightwing, the Huntress, Catwoman, the Question, and even the granddaddy of the all, Batman. This issue certainly plays up the idea of how ineffectual Green Arrow's choice of weaponry can be when he's trying not to deliver a kill shot, as we see this villain remains highly dangerous throughout the entire encounter.
Kevin Smith's last issue is pretty much one extended battle between Green Arrow & the mysterious villain who left Connor dying on the operating table with a bullet in his head. This issue is certainly exciting enough to hold one's attention, as the battle between the two men has a nice brutal quality to it, as we have Oliver trying to disable this villain without delivering any lethal attacks, while the villain proves to be one tough costumer, as he keeps coming in spite of sporting arrows through both his hands, both his shoulders, and an especially painful looking one through his foot (though I do have to ask how Oliver was able to drive those arrows deep enough into the concrete to support a human body). In any event while this issue is missing the more humorous elements that earned Kevin Smith his sizeable fanbase, the action is well delivered, and in the end this issue acts as a great showcase for the newest member of Green Arrow's rogues gallery, which is in pretty sorry shape to begin with, so any new additions are highly welcome. Before I end this though I do have to say that Kevin Smith does offer up one truly awful finishing note to end his run with.
Phil Hester turns in a wonderfully intense effort this month, as Oliver's anger is perfectly captured during that scene where he makes the villain put the arrow tip in his mouth. The battle between these two is also a visual showcase as we see Oliver's arrows making their rather painful looking attacks, and this makes the villain's ability to largely ignore these injuries all the more impressive. I mean that panel where the arrow punches through the man's hand is almost cringe worthy, but then a bit later in the issue we get a couple scenes that are even worse, as we see Oliver ram an arrow through the man's foot, before the villain makes an even more painful looking escape. The placement of the arrows is also nicely done, as the art makes it fairly clear that Oliver is not looking to kill this man, but that nothing short of a lethal attack is likely to stop this villain. My one quibble with this book however continues to be Phil Hester's seeming inability to make Mia & Dinah look different. I mean if not for their hairstyles these two women would be indistinguishable from each other. Then again maybe this is some clue about Mia's past.
Well, Kevin Smith's fans will probably find his final issue a bit disappointing, as the humorous dialogue is only on hand for the last couple pages, while the rest of the issue is devoted to a fight where Oliver has it out with a villain whose entire dialogue consists of repeating sound-effects. However, this battle while lacking Kevin Smith trademarked exchanges of dialogue did manage to hold my interest through its sheer energy. On one hand it's rather refreshing to come across a villain who in the grand tradition of the slasher movie monsters (Michael Myers, Jason, the Terminator) doesn't say word one while they put on a display of what an unstoppable killing machine they can be. On the other hand the lack of dialogue does leave one wondering why this guy is so dead set on seeing the Connor doesn't survive the night, and this in turn results in a villain who comes across as a bit generic & at times even a bit dull.
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