Moira has revealed herself to Oliver Queen but proposes a devious plan. Moira asks Oliver to leave Starlight city once again to help her with the Ninth Circle. Will Oliver trust her?
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Cover Artist: Jamal Campbell
Colorist: Stephen Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Oliver just got back to Starlight City after a long journey with Batman. Now that he has returned Oliver took a relaxing day with his girl the Black Canary. While he rested Oliver’s sister, Emiko Queen, helped bring Wendy Poole home and is now helping Wendy adjust to normal life again. Wendy’s father wished to help with Oliver’s trial, but he would not risk his daughter’s life. Emiko and Oliver’s lawyer, Kate, agreed to keep Wendy a secret for the sake of her life. Kate now must find another way to prove Oliver’s innocence. Kate goes to Oliver who is standing above his gravestone and tells Oliver that she will fight for him in court but he needs to prepare himself so she can prove his innocence. Kate leaves Oliver alone and out of the shadows comes Moira, as she finally reveals herself to Oliver.
What You’ll Find Out:
Oliver Queen flashes back to his past with his father, Robert Queen. Oliver is sitting on his father’s lap and they are reading the story, Robin Hood. While they are reading, Moira walks in and tells Robert that she needs to speak with him. Oliver’s father tells Oliver to go and continue the story without him. Oliver leaves but hides in the shadows overhearing his parents arguing. Moira Confront Robert about Shado and how Robert Queen bleeds through all their investments on “idiotic adventures.” Moira refuses to let Robert tear their family apart any longer.
We flash forward to the present to Oliver and Moira. They both are underneath the Queen family tomb, and Moira begins the tale of her past. As a child, Moira, watched her mother move from place-to-place and work any job she could. Moira’s mother would be unemployed and would drink and do drugs. At those times Moira would take it upon herself to beg for money so she could eat, during those moments Moira promised herself that she would no longer let herself feel that powerless again. Years later Moira met Robert Queen, Robert had everything that Moira ever wanted. Robert had wealth, power, and a legacy; Robert’s legacy started back at the founding of Seattle. Robert’s ancestor (Robin Queen) built the fishing and timber companies in Seattle, and he would protect it with his bow. Oliver’s father ignored his responsibilities and his family. Robert had an affair with Shado, pushing Moira to join the Ninth Circle, and ending in Robert Queens death.
Oliver turns to his mother and asked: “why did you leave me?” Moira explains that it was a part of her descent into the Ninth Circle, Boderick corrupted the Ninth Circle and tried to steal what wasn’t his. Oliver tries to process what his mother has said but he cannot. Moira hugs Oliver and says it’s their duty to help the people in Starlight City. Moira tells Oliver that she has a proposal, but Oliver refuses to hear. At that moment, the Black Canary tells Oliver that the city needs him.
Over in the Olympic mountains, Diggle and Merlyn are in Diggle’s bunker. Diggle has Merlyn chained to a hospital bed and is stitching him up, Diggle notes that soon Merlyn will have more scars than skin soon. Diggle says “We’ve been through a lot old friend.” Diggle Flashes back to the past where Oliver slept with Diggle’s ex-fiancé. Diggle would go around the world and live on the edge, Diggle found himself in the fabled Salt Cathedral. Diggle got what he wanted and was captured by a terrorist cell. The Terrorist cell was going to make an example of Diggle but Merlyn appeared and saved Diggle.
Back in Starlight City, the Clock King has hacked into Starlight City’s new smart devices. The Clock King is throwing off time for traffic lights, the appliances, and even the high-speed elevated train. The train thinks it’s always behind schedule and is speeding through the city causing it to spark up flames. The Black Canary tells the Green Arrow that she’ll take care of the train and the Arrow should go after the Clock King. Canary faces the train alone and screams at it. Her scream’s low decibels interrupt the burning material and the oxygen that feeds the fire. After stopping the fire on the train, Canary stands proudly in front of it.
The Green Arrow finds the Clock Master at the clock tower on King Street station; the clock was there because the mayor promised that the train will run on time. The Green Arrow subdues the Clock King but Oliver feels like he is lost in time, and he is losing himself because of Moira. Oliver embraces the Black Canary and tells her he must go off the grid and prepare for his trial, for he fears he is almost out of time. Two detectives put the Clock King in the ambulance and talk about how they feel like glorified security guards for the rich and how all advanced technology has taken over Starlight City. One of the detectives says maybe it’s time to retire and get that gold watch instead of reminiscing the old days.
We go back to the Olympic Mountains where Diggle is washing his hands and Merlyn is getting up from another surgery. Merlyn reminds Diggle that he’d be dead if not for him. Merlyn sneakily takes a pair of scissors and starts picking the lock that he is cuffed with. Diggle is still cleaning himself up and tells Merlyn that he hated Robert Queen, Merlyn slept with Moira and tried to make Oliver his own son. Diggle says that Oliver betrayed him, and now Diggle betrayed Oliver to get back at him by teaming up with Merlyn. By now, Merlyn has successfully unlocked his cuff and throws a chain around Diggle’s neck.
Oliver goes to Wendy Poole’s residence and brings Wendy some chili that she use to like. Emiko is there, comforting Wendy. Oliver asks how Wendy is and Emiko tells Oliver that she either screams or is catatonic. Emiko hoped she’d get better before the trial but it does not look like she will. Oliver thinks that it is best she keeps hidden and out of the eyes of the Ninth Circle.
Oliver meets with Moira at the bay and she tells Oliver of her plan to find a vault called the Inferno. The Inferno vault was the largest vault of the Ninth Circle. Moira tells Oliver if they retrieve just a fraction of their contents, they could pay the debts off that Moira owes, get Queen industries back, and collect evidence to mount a case against the Ninth Circle. Oliver asks “So how do we do this?” Moira has a huge boat appear out of nowhere and tells Oliver that she may not oversee Queen Industries but she still has access to its toys. Oliver joins Moira in her quest to find the Inferno Vault.
What Just Happened?
Moira and Oliver have decided to team up. Currently, the Green Arrow seems wary towards his mother, which he should be. Moira does not seem one that should be trusted. This story, I feel, has a twisted mother vibe going on that will end in Moira betraying Oliver now when he finally trusts her, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. This issue had a lot of information and build up to Oliver’s next Quest. We have Oliver’s trial still going as well. Will Wendy get better and show up or is she still too terrified to even get out of the house? Oliver and the Black Canary’s relationship seems strong and I like it, but I wonder why Oliver is hiding everything about his mother from her.
Speaking of Black Canary, I love how they make her into such a badass, especially in the train scene during this issue. The Clock King part seemed like an action scene put in just to add a little action but also to show how the cops and detectives feel like they are no longer needed. This Issue felt all over the place, we’d go from Moira to Oliver and then to Diggle. This went in full circle the entire issue and seemed kind of confusing. The Diggle parts seem like it should be in its own issue or a part of a different one so that the scenes don’t confuse the reader. I had to go back to previous issues to look back on what’s happening with Diggle and Merlyn, it feels tedious after doing it awhile. Overall Issue 34 was ok I just wish the scenes were better put together and didn’t jump all over the place.
Jamal Campbell did amazing work, as always, for the cover. The only problem I had with the cover is how misleading it is. In the cover, we see Merlyn standing over the Green Arrow, with arrows in Green Arrows chest. Nowhere in this issue did Merlyn or Green Arrow fight, meet, or speak to each other; so why are they shown fighting on the cover? On top of that, the cover says “At the Mercy of Merlyn.” Artwork by Stephen Byrne looked great I love how detailed it is and how smooth it pieces everything together.
Rating: 6.9/ 10
Final Thought: Storyline was ok, I know this issue was building up for the next one but it didn’t seem like the scenes were pieced well together and were kind of all over the place. The cover was deceiving but the artwork was great and very detailed. Next issue should hopefully be smoother and show more action.