I haven't read Outsiders 34 yet, just skimmed it now during my lunch hour because I couldn't wait. The cover bothered me. The red-haired guy is Capt. Boomerang and inside, the red-haired guy has the goatee or whatever that patch of hair on the chin is called these days, but it's still Owen Mercer, Capt. Boomerang. I'd seen a clip of the interior art showing him in basically a headshot and had just assumed it was Roy Harper in yet another new costume. But it's not. There's no sign of Roy in the book.
I'm not dropping the book yet, but I can't think of reading The Outsiders without Roy in it. My belief that Roy survives Infinite Crisis has been shaken. I'm not sure what I think about the possibility that Roy's gone, from this book and maybe from the DCU.
In 1985, I stopped reading comics, except for Teen Titans for a few more years, because one of my favorite characters, Kara Supergirl, had been killed. I stopped reading comics completely in 1991, when the decline of Titans was too much for me to bear. I didn't start reading comics again for another 4 or so years, when it was the Nightwing mini and then series, and the Arsenal one-shot and mini that rekindled my love affair with the format.
Roy Harper has been my favorite character for more than 35 years and without him, the DCU just won't be the same for me. He isn't likely to appear in Green Arrow since we've been told Ollie's the only archer there. Clearly, OYL, Ollie's going it alone.
What I don't get is why Owen Mercer is being drawn to look like a double for Roy. Is that supposed to be a clue, or carelessness? Or are we simply supposed to not notice the red hair, including that patch on his chin?
I just handed in a revised pull list at my comic shop; in the coming months, I'm going to have to seriously reconsider all the titles I've added. If Roy is gone, I don't feel like giving DC so much of my money.
Right now, I am one very unhappy comic book reader.