Luckily, this shift in focus doesn’t bring down the story as a whole, due to an increased focus on the entertaining character interactions that the show is known for.
What little action that’s in the volume is presented in incredible fashion thanks to another successful bid of scene composition from Joe Bennett’s inks; plus the art quality of the more mundane scenes has improved dramatically from the last volume. Everyone looks pretty much spot on and the art and progression are definitely professional grade, but there are obvious dips in the quality of the drawings from male to female. They don’t look badly drawn, but these dips are much more noticeable in this volume due to the increased amount of female characters.
The colors jump out when they’re supposed to, and are muted appropriately. There is an odd color saturation that occurred in pages 13 and 14, and it suddenly went back to being more vibrant with no indication of a change in the scenery or mood. It might have been an art style choice, but it did take me out of the story for a brief moment (mostly because one the characters in the scene had very red hair, doubt I would have noticed otherwise).
The story expands upon what fans remember from season two seamlessly as a familiar face steps in to the spotlight as a major villain. Luckily thanks to the nature of the character and his abilities and background, it doesn’t feel cheap or contrived. The presence of the character also gives rise to a major antagonistic threat for Team Arrow to face, creating a real sense of foreboding and challenge. The Caleb Green thread is suddenly picked up and developed a little more, and tied in well to the current threat. Officer Lance’s fate is finally revealed, as well as Laurel’s role in this new plotline. But as is expected, it’s the conversations and interactions between the Team Arrow members that make for the real highlight of this downplayed issue. It’s a familiar sort of conflict that they find themselves faced with, but thanks to their experience at dealing with similar sorts of problems, the seem to handle it in a natural way. Oliver’s situation is also expanded on thanks to some colorful dialogue between himself and Felicity, and Diggle’s situation is also touched on as he gets ready to be a father and starts to show signs of how that will affect his nighttime activities.
Arrow Season 2.5 #2 is just as good as #1. Even without all the action and adventure it still has plenty of drama and personality for fans to sink their teeth into. It’s got great art that captures the tone of the show, and Marc Guggenheim’s script switches from the screen to the page without missing a beat. It’s a must read for fans of Arrow, and a great preface to the coming Season 3 premiere.