Review – Arrow: The Dark Archer #2

Arrow: The Dark Archer #2 – 
DC Comics
Written by John Barrowman & Carole E. Barrowman
Pencils by Daniel Sampere
Inks by Juan Abarran
Colors by Kyle Ritter
A lot of actors like to get into character, but this definitely goes above and beyond that.  John Barrowman takes Malcolm Merlyn from screen to page in The Dark Archer digital first series from DC Comics.  Many of the DC TV series have gone to comics, but this is the first spinoff (for lack of a better term) in print.  The question is, will this be the Merlyn tale we’ve been waiting for?

In true Arrow fashion, we start in the present day where Malcolm definitely finds himself in a bad situation.  We quickly jump to a flashback (not too far back, looks like only a day before) where he, and a small team with him, find themselves trapped.  In classic Dark Archer fashion, we see another layer of Malcolm Merlyn’s past reveal itself, and we do get the name that they teased in the first issue.  There is a little bit of information revealed about the attackers as well, which could prove to be interesting as the story goes.  Speaking of the first issue, a character that seemed like a throw away at the time, ends up playing a key role in the story at the end.  You can almost sense the “cut to commercial” nature of the end of this issue based on the final panel.

I must admit, being a fan of Barrowman and the Malcolm Merlyn character, I went into this book with higher expectations than I probably should have.  At times it was hard for me to separate the dialogue you hear on the show and the words being written in the comic.  Still I think Team Barrowman has put together a nice story here and definitely captures Malcolm’s personality on the page.  The art by Sampere and Abarran is absolutely stunning.  The level of detail, especially during a downpour, rivals that of any top notch DC Comics series out right now.  This is a character that definitely needed more of a story, and now, we may see a rival for The League starting to form.  To me, it doesn’t matter whether or not this translates to the screen at some point.  After two issues, and what has been revealed so far, I’m ready to peel the next layer of the onion that is Malcolm Merlyn.


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