"Part Three: Marksmen"
Writer: Christos N. Gage
Artists: Steve Cummings (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i), James Sinclair (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: As Green Arrow and Deadshot clash the two marksmen are fairly evenly matched, but the battle is brought to a halt when the people of the neighbourhood show up and let Green Arrow know they don't want Deadshot to be driven away. This in turn leads to a sit-down meeting between the two men where Green Arrow walks away fully prepared to let Deadshot keep doing what he's doing. Deadshot then discovers the joys of domestic life, but his happy ending is intruded upon by a figure from his past.
Comments: I have to give Christos N. Gage credit for delivering on the promise of last issue's final page teaser; the book opens with a very entertaining clash between Green Arrow and Deadshot, and while it's brought to a rather abrupt halt, the brief tussle does a wonderful job of showing how even-handed these two are, and how cool and collected Deadshot remains in the midst of heated combat. A number of clever attacks get displayed in this issue, as Deadshot uses his guns to deliver a couple of attacks where the bullets don't actually strike Green Arrow, but they surely hit what Deadshot's true target. I also enjoyed the use of Oliver's trick arrows, and the quick little back and forth exchange where Deadshot asks about the rumour that Green Arrow no longer used them. In fact while the battle was quite entertaining, it's the interaction between the two characters that really won me over, as the writing offers up a pretty solid understanding of the two personalities, and how can one not smile at Deadshot's response to Green Arrow's attempt to gain the moral high ground when it comes to how he's dealing with the criminals? The whole matter of Deadshot dealing with being a father to a child he doesn't know is less effective. The story proceeds down a rather predictable path, but I did enjoy Deadshot managing to put the brakes on the pillow talk by reminding her of their previous fling. The cliff-hanger also raises a pretty intriguing question, though part of me wishes the bullet-proof visitor was a villain we had seen before, as his unknown status automatically makes him feel disposable.
Steven Cummings turns in some nice work on the opening clash as the action is quite easy to follow. This is ever so important considering one's enjoyment of the battle is entirely driven by one being able to understand the effect the various attacks have had. Now the art isn't quite as successful when it comes to the little moments, as Deadshot's terrified expression when he discovers his daughter isn't sleeping was a bit over the top. Then again I suspect the writing probably wanted the art to really sell the character's discomfort, so one can't hold the art completely to blame. I will give the art full marks for capturing the sense of excitement on that final page, as Deadshot is about to take on a hulking brute. The cover gets full marks; it's great to see Mike Zeck is still at the top of his game when it comes to delivering visually exciting cover images. In factit's safe to say he's still the best in the business.
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