Legends of the Dark Knight #129
"The Arrow and the Bat" pt. 3
O'Neil (w), Cariello (p), Ryan (i)
Reviewed by JYD.
I knew that if I just hung around long enough, this series would get going. Too bad it wasn't until issue #3 of "The Arrow and the Bat," but that's better than it never taking off. This is such of a pequiliar series as it is though... The big question is this: where's Batman? Aside from a 2 page appearance in costume towards the middle of the issue and one that is a several page "incognito" cameo--this book is almost completely Oliver Queen. The story moved along quite nicely, but I'm still having difficulty adapting to a very bright woodsy and foreign world where some dude walks around in neon green tights and shoots arrows at people. Weeeeeeeeeeeeird. The various over-the-top assassins are amusing too, especially that really hokey fisherman midget killer (seriously--has anyone ever seen a more bizarre killer? He's a three foot version of odd-job who kills with a line and lure...LOL!!!). The archer assassin was drawn VERY dorky too. I almost felt I was in the midst of a HANS WAYNE adventure with these crazy colorful villains.
My biggest relief (overlooking Queen being attacked by a variety of carney folk) was in the improvement of the quality of the dialogue. The characters read realistically (thankfully) instead of grunting everything out ALA parts 1 and 2. I still think the inker is inappropriate for Cariello--the guy turns scowl boy's work into characetures--hell, maybe that's the way their supposed to work. My only hope is that James Pascoe can keep scowl boy in line when he moves onto "Azrael."
Aside from making a few smartass comments about the carney folk in the story, I actually thought the issue was pretty good. You have to ignore how goofy it all seems though... And that's difficult to do, especially when you're dealing with a series that has traditionally been the best source of Batman material for the past 10 years.
The JYD's grade: "Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight" #129--B+