Green Arrow just discovered that his mother, Moira Queen, is still alive, and she has been working with the Ninth Circle. Needless to say, things just got a lot more complicated for Oliver Queen. His trial is impending, and he currently has not strategy to win it.
Meanwhile, the Clock King has launched a sustained attack on Star City's "smart city" systems.
Merlyn just woke up too, and he and Diggle have some talking to do. We also see how the two became acquainted.
This issue involves a lot of moral and philosophical debate. Diggle and Merlyn debate over who is more indebted to whom. Ollie and Moira duel over economic tactics, with Moira being a Randian capitalist who believes that the wealth of a few can benefit all. Hell, Ollie even name-checks Ayn Rand and the concept of "trickle-down economics".
There is some action thanks to the Clock King subplot, but it resolves so quickly that it feels out of place in this comic which juggles so many other plots.
We also get more of Wendy, and that scene punches you in the gut some more with her continued catatonic state brought upon by the Underground Men and their trafficking.
The economic debate is entertaining, especially with writer Benjamin Percy's style of keeping the political subtext on the surface and part of the overall plot. It's funny reading it and thinking "this is some hardcore objectivism that Moira is spouting here," and then they actually talk about Rand, the messiah of zealous libertarians who don't understand how governments work and view compassion as an alien concept.
And then Atlas Shrugged, for he didn't give a shit.
That being said, the comic is a bit slow outside of the Clock King portion, even if the economic philosophy showdown between Ollie and Moira is layered with emotional intensity given the fact that, you know, Ollie thought his mom was dead.
Stephen Byrne's artwork is fluid and expressive. It jives pretty well with the work of Otto Schmidt, Jamal Campbell, and Juan Ferreyra, the two main artists for this run of Green Arrow. He's not given a whole lot to do with the slow pacing, but he does create some nice tapestries for the backstories of Moira and Robert Queen, as well as Diggle and Merlyn. His color work is great, too, with some strikingly bright scenes which pop of the page.
This comic is an entertaining read, even if its pacing is a bit slow. It's high on plot and character but low on action. I still recommend it though because Percy is a master of keeping the dialogue energetic and entertaining. It's an interesting read, even if there aren't that many arrows flying this time around. Give it a read.