Secret Origins #4 Review

Posted July 28, 2014 by Adrienne Crean in Comic Books

Written by: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn), Jeff Lemire (Green Arrow), & Peter J. Tomasi (Damian,Robin)

Art by: Stephane Roux (Harley Quinn), Denys Cowan(Green Arrow), & Ian Bertram(Damian,Robin)

Publisher: DC

Another month has passed and here we are, us loving DC fans, kicking back and enjoying another round of origin stories. However, the word enjoy wasn’t at the top of my list with this issue.

We get a goofy, fun start with Harley Quinn on stage quieting the (not seen) audience down to tell a story. Her story to be precise. Conner and Palmiotti start this issue off with Harley stating a quote, so lovely to me for our comic book universes. “As time goes on, the details change, but the players…the players stay the same.” And that’s exactly what happened with her origin story. All important details of how she became the bleached skin, dyed hair, crazy love obsessed woman is there, with a few minor changes that do not disrupt her story. The writing delivered on how she is known to speak, and a good mild comedy that I mentioned before. Roux did very well with the artwork for this segment in the issue, and for me, the details flowed with the writing. Bubbly, colorful, and yet somewhat morbid. I do believe that perfectly explains Harley herself.

When we move on to Green Arrowm unfortunately my interest in this issue starts diminishing. I am a huge Green Arrow fan, and I believe when it comes down to his origin story, Lemire as well as Cowan did not do this character justice. Oliver’s origin story was generally fine, going through his life starting as a young child, being the heir to his parents fortune. We even received a brief glimpse and description on the psychological issues Oliver faced growing up in that lifestyle, and how as a young adult, took that out on his parents with his partying lifestyle. The well known island plot line formed, but was not focused on as much as the pressure of Oliver taking over the family business was. I felt that Lemire spent too much time giving details on the business end of things in Oliver’s life, and not enough on the extreme mental and physical build that being stranded on the island gave him. I was also put off (not disappointed, just not thrilled) with Cowan’s artwork. Was it stunning and beautiful? Absolutely! To me, the kind of art that Cowan delivered belonged in frames, not comic books. It wasn’t enough detail to see and emotionally feel everything that was being written about.

Lastly we end with Damian, son of Batman.┬áTomasi did a very good job on a story line, however, it focused very little on Damian’s origin, and more on the now. I do understand Damian is a child, therefore, how much origin story can there be? I believe more time spent on his training, and getting to know his father, even a story line of a specific mission they worked on together, could have been a better fit for Secret Origins. Again, the story line was indeed well done, I just feel it wasn’t up to par for what the series is based on. The artwork done by Bertram I’m sure is loved by many, however, it is not my kind of art. I found myself wondering what certain items or blood stains were as opposed to being blown away by magnificent scenes.

I will continue to read the series, because getting the chance to see a different take on a DC characters origin story, or even reading about them for the first time, is a great opportunity.However, all in all, I would not rush out to acquire this issue.

About the Author

Adrienne Crean

Luke Skywalker was my first crush...where does that leave me? Loving comics, sci-fi, video games, anime, and much more!