By Kevin Smith, Phil Hester & Ande Parks (DC Comics)
ISBN 1-56389-976-0 (hardcover) ISBN 1-4012-0045-1 (softcover)
After returning from the dead (see Green Arrow: Quiver – ISBN: 1-84023-509-8) our reinvigorated hero tries to re-establish himself both as a do-gooder and more importantly with his extended family – especially Mia Dearden, a street kid he saved from prostitution and took into his home. But as he resists the pressure to make her his next sidekick (from both her and his son Connor) The Riddler comes to town intent on mischief, and a new bizarre serial killer stalks the streets hunting costumed heroes.
Onomatopoeia only speaks in sound effects and is a ruthless, flamboyantly sadistic, seemingly unstoppable force. So when he fails to kill the junior Green Arrow he invades the hospital where the critically wounded Connor is undergoing emergency surgery to finish the job, leaving a trail of corpses in his wake.
Sharp, darkly funny and chilling by turns this tale (collected from issues #11-15 of the monthly comicbook) breaks out of the usual mould in many ways, perhaps as much due to writer Kevin Smithâ€™s other commitments as from any sense of narrative novelty, but it certainly doesnâ€™t harm the result. Particularly delicious are the scenes with on-again, off-again lover Black Canary and heroic polar opposite Hawkman.
A little more mature in both themes and the treatment of interpersonal relationships (and surely no bad thing for that?) this is a superior superhero saga and a strong advocate for the argument that costume dramas donâ€™t have to be all Fights and Tights.
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