Synopsis: Discover the final fates of Ibadan and The Hidden! Meanwhile, Malcolm heads back to Star City to take care of some very important business.
Note: I’ll be discussing spoilers for Arrow: Dark Archer #11 and the series as a whole.
Review: The penultimate issue of Carole E. Barrowman and John Barrowman’s Arrow: Dark Archer series was an exercise in narrative economy. From the beginning, the old man with the unfortunate llama seemed to know more about the history of the Dark Archer’s R&D facility than he let on. In issue #11, readers learned why. He was Ibadan!
This revelation had three benefits. First, it facilitated the visual highlight of this issue — the stand-off between Ibadan and Malcolm in which Malcolm took the aftershock of his own Pit Creature weapon. Second, it deepened the history of Malcolm’s lab at Corto Maltese, which I hope makes it into the show at some point. After all, a super villain building his lab on top of an ancient temple may be a trope, but it’s a cool trope.
The third benefit of Ibadan’s reveal was the most important, however. If everyone was connected to the past, and Malcolm was the last man Lourdes slept with before becoming pregnant, that furthers the argument for Saracon being Malcolm’s son. Moreover, issue #11 continued the foreshadowing that readers have seen throughout the series. Malcolm lost a hand; Saracon chopped off his own finger. Both Saracon and the Dark Archer were called Al Sah-Her within the League for different reasons. Finally, both stabbed each other with the same dagger — the dagger that was key to unlocking the secret that bound them both in past and present.
Given how Malcolm’s son Tommy is already dead, and his daughter Thea has come near to it, I don’t like the odds for Saracon’s survival. Conversely, if Saracon is also the Dark Archer’s son, and he does end up dead in a sanctioned tie-in, Thea’s story line will probably come even closer to Greek tragedy. Whatever happens, the implications for Season 5 of Arrow are dark.
Carole E. Barrowman
- Story, Art
- Nothing bad