Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wither Roy Harper?

I've been agonizing over whether or not to post something about the JLA Cry for Justice series that I'm not reading, but that I know featured Roy in uh, not to be spoilerish, a nasty condition at the end, I guess it was, of the latest issue. I had no interest in reading the series. I didn't like the way things were going in the JLA proper and this sounded even worse. The many reviews I've read only confirmed my fears that Cry for Justice sucked, in that the characters were mostly out of character and things were rather ludicrous at times. I didn't even know Roy would show up, given he'd quit the JLA and seemed headed for DC's unique form of purgatory. So finding out suddenly that he not only showed up, but something major happened to him, well, it gave me a dilemma. Do I reading the fraking book that I never wanted to read, or do I ignore it and wait til he shows up again? (More on that possibility in a bit.) Then there are my fears that Roy's injury, should he survive it, will end up with him becoming a poor man's Cyborg.

I had another bone to pick with DC as it was. Keep in mind that in 1985, when Supegirl was killed in Crisis of Infinite Earths, I not only never finished reading that maxi-series, I pretty much boycotted comics entirely for 10 years, except for Titans, which I stuck with til '91 when it got so irritating and boring and just too negative to bother with, anymore. I've been fearing that Roy was going to be killed off, which, given he's my absolute favorite comic book character (Kara Supergirl being my second favorite), had me contemplating another boycott that would do no good (I'm just one comic reader/buyer, after all. I can't affect DC economically.

So, that other bone. Namely, the planned future lineup of the JLA with a bunch of Roy's former Titan mates, but no sign of Roy, who'd been in the League, then quit (because he was ticked at Hawkgirl?!). So, yeah, I was pissed. Why should they all suddenly be in the League (even if Dick is now Batman) without Roy, and the book ends up looking like a revamped, Red Arrow-less Titans. Yeah, I was more than ticked and considering how many titles I should drop.

Then I read about this, books focusing on Green Arrow and Arsenal. WTF am I supposed to do now? Read the thing and hope they do a good job and respect Roy as a longstanding character in the DCU who's been dumped on every which way imaginable, from drug addiction and rejection from his mentor, Ollie Queen, to fathering a child out of wedlock with an international assassin/nutjob who blew up a country, to getting shot 5 times (if anyone actually remembers that). And then there's all the early years stuff, with never knowing his mother and his father dying when he was a toddler to being raised on a reservation, only to be sent to live with a stranger he idolized as puberty hit. Oh, and he's changed his name and costume more than any of his contemporaries, and only Donna Troy with her totally fucked up history has had it worse, IMO. Yeah, even by DC's rough life standards, Roy's has been a bit overdone.

Do I read this upcoming books and do I go back and read the pretty much universally panned Cry for Justice? I think it would be impossible, given what's happened to Roy, to ignore it.

I have to admit this is intriguing:
"What happens when a hero has a fateful decision to make? And how can another hero rebuild his world after a life-altering tragedy?
Both ideas are explored in two special books hitting in March, both written by J.T. Krul: JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE AND FALL #1, which bridges the gap between JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA  and the upcoming JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL four-issue mini-series. Concurrently, readers of the ongoing GREEN ARROW series will deal with the fallout in a storyline titled “The Fall of Green Arrow,” starting with issue #31."
and this from writer J.T. Krul:
"It’s going to be a dark and tragic road for both them and I’m hoping readers will be hooked by where Ollie and Roy come out in the end."
More here.

Does this mean that Roy will be in JLA and they don't want to say so because it would give things away re: the Ollie/Roy stories? I believe they've said things will be shaken up for Ollie and Dinah, too. I'm no longer reading Green Arrow and Black Canary because it devolved from what it started out as, a book starring a dynamic, loving couple. I like them as a couple and don't want to see them split up again. I also thought Ollie and Roy had finally worked out their differences, so I have reservations how these upcoming stories will be handled. And yet, it's ROY and it's a major storyline for him. And he's referred to as Arsenal! Not Red Arrow! How could I not read it?! And I'm almost afraid to think of where Lian will be in all this. We/Roy can't lose Lian! (Yes, that's another of my constant fears where Roy is concerned.) Krul seems to respect that side of Roy, though, the whole father angle.

This quote from Krul is encouraging, although not everyone who is a fan of a character will have the same take on the character as other fans, ie me, would:
" I had done the Red Arrow spotlight issue for Brian on Titans. That's how the Arsenal thing came about - they knew I was a huge Roy fan and have been a fan of his forever. I jumped at the Titans spotlight issue, then when I got wind of what they had in store for Roy and they talked to me about that, I didn't have to think about it at all."
The interview is very good. The guy sounds like he gets Roy. But I'm still nervous about it. And I need to know, do I need to read Cry for Justice? Should I read it? I'm looking for honest feedback here. And I guess I need to add Green Arrow back on my pull list. Damn. Sometimes, it's not easy being a comic book fan.


  1. Tbh, Roy has only been in Cry For Justice in the last issue, so just but that one. It's not a particularly good series so i wouldn't waste your money on it (I'm only buying it for Kara).
    Wait till this GA/BC/Roy life changing story starts in GA/BC then pick that book up.

  2. I understand your nervousness. Poor Roy has had a pretty rough time of things, that's for sure. On the other hand, I DO like the idea of getting his old handle of Arsenal back. I've never really liked the Red Arrow name. But ripping his arm off IS a bit...drastic.

    And what is going to happen to Dinah or Mia?

  3. Thanks, Saranga. I'll probably do that.

    Sally, I wasn't happy about the change to Red Arrow, but I tried to look at it as Roy embracing his roots. But it meant he no longer was his own man in an odd way. Dick became Nightwing, and now he's Batman, but he never was BatBoy or some other version of Batman.

  4. So far, Cry For Justice has been a train wreck -- a glorious one for some, and a disastrous one for others, depending on how you view the over-the-top presentation of the characters. It's kind of like Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin in that respect.

    I've been recommending to people to wait for the end of the series to get generally reactions from the bloggers. If they're favorable, then look for the trade book when it's available. :-)

  5. Thanks, S-of-G. I didn't like Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin, tho I stopped reading it more because of the delays than the storyline and characterization. Over the top can be good, if it's an alternate reality. But since it's affecting my favorite character, I guess I'll have to at least look at the trade. Or maybe skip it and go with the follow-up titles.