The first “Rebirth” arc of DC Comics’ “Green Arrow” saw Oliver Queen’s sister Emiko seemingly betray her brother in a complex gambit to get him and Black Canary where they needed to be in order to bring down a vast underworld financial system and free her mother Shado from a blood-debt to the mobster Oyabun. Not everything went to plan, however, and when last we saw Ollie he’d washed up on the shores of a deserted island (again). In “Green Arrow” #7, the second of two issues focusing on Emi, regular series writer Benjamin Percy and artist Stephen Byrne (perhaps best known for his “Firefly” fan animation) explore the first time the young archer placed her brother in danger, and her even more risky play to bring down Oyabun once and for all.
The Clock (King) Strikes
A “one year ago” flashback sequence last issue introduced a new Clock King — a different character from the classic version appearing in “Deathstroke,” and also not the New 52 version — who fashions watches for teens belonging to an exclusive club, timepieces which then sync to the wearer’s heartbeat and require “winding” to keep the victims alive. To pay for their fix, the teens commit assorted crimes as directed by CK. The Clock King’s price for Emiko is to get one of his devices onto Oliver Queen’s wrist, which she did in issue #6.
This storyline continues into this week’s issue, as Green Arrow finds his heartrate slowing dangerously while fighting a few thugs hoping to Make Logging Great again.
The Clock King — one William Tockman — monologues about his betrayal at the hands of Robert Queen, Ollie’s father, after years of hard work as an engineer at Queen Industries, and demands Oliver hand over a million dollars by midnight, the first ransom among many.
When Ollie instead barges into Tockman’s office looking for a fight, the Clock King says he anticipated this reaction — and suggests that he may have another power, an analytical mind that is “almost like my watch is set a few minutes into the future.”
He doesn’t, however, anticipate Emi showing up with a bomb tied to her own heartbeat, spoiling his Bond villain trap.
In the present day, Emiko confronts Yakuza boss Oyabun in Tokyo after earning his attention in his underground fight club last issue. The two have a civil business-like discussion before deciding to resolve their differences in the ring. Emi bets her mother’s freedom and her own life on her ability to best any champion that Oyabun can set against her, but finds she may have miscalculated when the Yakuza elects to fight her himself, first transforming into a dragon.
The “arrows vs. dragon” fight is going poorly, even when Shado joins the fray. Luckily, Emiko’s mum also littered the arena with explosives, blowing up the building with Oyabun inside it.
Emiko is being developed as a character who makes huge mistakes but will give her all to try to put them right — sometimes leading her into other huge mistakes, from which she needs saving. It’s a take on the “hero in training” motif that is at once an obvious choice and one that is very seldom made. She’s more of a rogue element than Jason Todd’s Robin ever was (and we know how that turned out), but unlike the born-again Red Hood, Emi appears determined to take responsibility for her mistakes, even at the cost of her own life, as well as taking on burdens to protect her family.
After Emiko’s mission to save her mother ended with her mom rescuing them both, Shado directs Emi to “return to Oliver Queen,” so that the siblings can protect each other (and hopefully Green Arrow can continue her training).
First, though, Ollie’s going to have to make his way off that island…
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