Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not a Review, Just Some Thoughts

I can't do a proper review of Justice League Rise and Fall Special. I want to, but my thoughts about the issue run more toward feelings than any commentary on the actual story. First, J.T. Krul did a much better job with this monstrosity of a storyline than James Robinson did in the Cry for Justice (which I just skimmed) lead-in. But there's only so much anyone can do with this material. To be fair, Ollie's narration showed a semblance of self-awareness, as in he seems aware that he's being a complete jerk, a total douche, a self-serving maniac. But still, he's not stopping to take a deep breath and figure out what's really important, like, perhaps, being there for Roy. Oh, no, not Ollie. And in that sense, he's in character. Because, after all, this is the insensitive idiot who threw Roy out when he caught Roy shooting up heroin and this is the Ollie who more recently, when Roy was shot 5 times and which already seems forgotten, when some of the Titans formed a new Outsiders group, rushed out to find the bastard who was behind it all rather than stick around while Roy was in a coma (sound familiar?). So, in character.

Even the killing of Prometheus could be considered in character, because he is hotheaded, though I'm on the fence about him leaving the body to rot and waiting for the deed to be discovered and not mentioning it to anyone until he said something that led Dinah to realize the truth. Ah, Ollie. Such an asshole.

But then, I hope Krul keeps in mind that Ollie is, at his core following the loss of his fortune back in the Green Lantern/Green Arrow days, a bleeding heart liberal out to right the wrongs of the world (over population, pollution, racism, fanaticism, the ism of your choice), which led to some debates/arguments/fights with conservative Hawkman, until lesser writers just wrote Ollie as being argumentative without an actual agenda.

So, Roy doesn't actually appear in this issue, except for what seems to be a flashback, with him staggering down a corridor leaving a bloodtrail from the stump where his arm once was. Which led me to this bizarre thought...

Why couldn't they rip off his other arm instead? The left one, with the Navaho tattoo that no one ever remembers to draw in anymore. I remember when Barry Kitson took over the Titans book near the end of its run (that time) -- at least, my memory is telling me it was Kitson -- he was a fairly regular poster on the DC boards, as was I back then, and he was quite happy to draw the tattoo once we who actually remembered it, mentioned it on the boards. If they'd just ripped off that arm, then no one would ever be vulnerable to the accusation that they forgot/didn't want to draw the tattoo.

Here's another thought/omission. In the conversation Wally and Dick have, they discuss how it's been perhaps just luck that's kept them from being hurt the way Roy was. Never mind that Roy almost died from that shooting a while back, or that all of them have been hurt seriously -- especially Dick, in all the Bat books, including his own as Nightwing -- but not once do they mention Lian and how awful it is that Roy's six-year-old (or thereabouts) daughter was so horribly killed. Lian played with Wally's kids. Dick helped Roy get custody of Lian. Can they/did they not shed a tear for her? Are they not upset? Can they really calmly discuss Roy and how Wally "graduated" into his mentor's role before Dick, or Roy, did, without showing any sadness for Lian's death?

So, while what was there wasn't bad and some of it was pretty decent, I ended up not liking the book for all that wasn't there, the emotion, the sadness, the horror that a little girl was dead which is as awful as Ollie killing her killer or Roy lying unconscious and unaware the light of his life is gone. I'm looking forward to the Arsenal mini-series. At least in those books, the story should focus on Roy and all he's lost and will have to deal with, and not focus on Ollie, because so much of this so far feels like "all Ollie, all the time."


Meanwhile, I'll be doing some template updating, so please bear with me if you visit and don't just read via a feed reader. Blogger's released a new Template Designer in Draft Blogger and I'm redoing all my blogs.


  1. i like this new template :)
    could it be that maybe lian's death wasn't mentioned because it was a last minute addition to CfJ? to make it more sensational? given that lian wasn't mentioned in the rest of the story at all, her death was not needed for the story, maybe krul didn't know about it hwen he wrote Rise and Fall?

    Or am I just so pissed off about it that I'm looking for more things to gnarl at? possibly.

  2. Thanks, Saranga. I made this wider than the previous template, so I need a wider header and have decided to make a new one, though similar. I now need to choose which covers to scan. I did one last night of Roy from the Arsenal mini-series.

    Yeah, it might've been a last minute thing, or it might've been the more typical thing I've seen in comics, and other types of fiction, actually, but mostly in comics: the self-centered-ness of the characters. They discussed Roy and were able to turn it into something about them, too. If it's about Lian, it stays about Lian, unless Wally starts worrying about his kids, which actually, might've been cool, but it excluded Dick, so it didn't interest Krul. Or the editor. Who knows. I was just pissed.

    And if Krul didn't know about Lian when he wrote it, someone in editorial wasn't paying attention to continuity.

  3. Not even Geoff Johns could make this clunker work... I pray this all ends with one massive retcon.

  4. Amen, MetFanMac! I would love for Johns to write these characters and fix them. And never have I wanted a retcon more than I do now. And I normally don't like retcons.

  5. After all the trouble they went through to kill off a little girl, in order to give the angst, it does seem odd that they don't even mention her...which would cause even MORE angst! Loads of angst!

  6. Exactly, Sally. And while Krul wrote a nice Roy/Lian story in Titans, I'm starting to get nervous about how he'll handle this Rise and Fall and Rise and Whatever story arc for both Ollie and Roy.