The Outlaws are going through some rough times, both on and off the page. The story has been so painfully misguided since its inception, taking two very human characters and one super-powered alien and have them travel through space and the depths of mysticism. They act more like wizards and starship pilots than disgruntled outlaws. On-panel, each member of the Outlaws has gone through their own recent trauma, whether that be drug use, being lit on fire by their girlfriend, or drug use (again).
There really isn’t much here in this issue, which is upsetting to say. At times Roy has been the focal point of the series from a character development standpoint, and I’m someone who has gained a great deal of knowledge about Arsenal from this book. I loved the story introduced way back in Issue #3 where Roy is trying to force Killer Croc to murder him in a depressed, drunken rage. Instead of killing him, Croc not only takes Roy to AA meetings but also signs on as his personal sponsor. That’s such a great story right there, highlighting Roy’s personal demons and Croc’s compassion.
When Scott Lobdell introduces Oliver Queen to this series, and all signs point to him not being a major player in this line going forward, there is no need for another background check. In the original Arsenal story, Roy is already established as Oliver’s sidekick who falls in to a drug habit only to be found out by Green Arrow. Here, he starts out as a genius and a drunk, a product of his father’s habits and his own partying lifestyle. Oliver sees his potential and conscripts him to work for him, using his talents to develop a series of weapons for his fight on crime.
Roy finds out and does that annoying thing where people uncover a hero’s secret identity and get mad at them. Why do they get mad? I understand if it was a child endangering themselves and a parent would get angry with them, but Oliver is Roy’s boss. Sure, they go and party and hang out, but Oliver writes Roy’s checks. You knew you were building weapons, Roy, so why get mad when Oliver uses them. It’s just a weird dynamic that I never understood.
When you’re almost forty issues into a comic run, you’re far too late to go for an origin story for one of your main characters when so many other directions exist. Origin stories quite frankly, are for the most part lazy. There is nothing new to most of them. How many times do we have to see Krypton explode or the Waynes killed? I understand that people love them, and I’ve said a hundred times on these reviews that origin stories will always bring in readers; but the fact of the matter is that when they are not off the wall creative like a Red Son, they bring almost nothing new to the table.
In the realm of the positives, I loved the artwork. RB Silva, Wayne Faucher, and Richard and Tanya Horie have a style that appeals to me a great deal. Their placement of dialog boxes is creative and their facial constructions translate emotion in a way that most artists can only hope to do.
It’s a bad sign when I see the March solicitations and get super excited. Like super, super excited.
- Nothing really here…it’s an origin story, you know how it ends.
Favorite Quote: “Now stop acting like a butt-head and get out here.” – Oliver Queen (for proper use of butt-head)
- You want to hear the backstory between Arsenal and Oliver.
- You need a little humor in your week, even if it comes from a regretting alcoholic.
Overall: This wasn’t a particularly bad issue, but it felt so out of place I couldn’t connect to it. I greatly enjoyed the artwork, but the narrative was so bland and unnecessary when a host of other stories could have been told.