I admit it. I'm addicted to Roy Harper. I had to look at the new Titans issue. I hope someone's around to stop me from looking at the next one. Because it stinks mightily what they're doing to and with Roy. And so help me, I can't seem to stay away.
I just looked at the pages with Roy. He's indulging his addictions, for drugs, for Cheshire, for self-pity, and for playing hero even though he doesn't believe (at the moment) that he is a hero. And while all this crap is in character, it's in character for where Roy was 20 years ago.
I can imagine the discussion. Someone said: "Let's make Roy an addict. We never really got to write it. It was over and done in 2 issues of GL/GA, and while we got to mention it over the years, and have him tempted, and in the one-shot, even let him get high, we still didn't get to write him as a crime-fighting addict. So, how do we get him addicted again."
And someone answered: "Well, if he loses his daughter, that would drive him off the deep end."
And a third person said: "True, but what gets him to take that first hit?"
And someone, maybe the second person, says," That's easy. If he's hurt, he'll need a painkiller and with an addict, once they taste the high again, they'll be hooked."
And the first person said, "I've got it! We'll maim him. We'll have some baddie slice off his arm and then he'll have real pain and phantom pain, and then the baddie will kill his daughter."
And the third person said, "Perfect! Now that's a formula for success." Or what they consider success.
So now Roy is a dope using costumed crimefighter who keeps sleeping with his baby mama even though the kid is dead, and they can call the stories edgy or something, and Slade Wilson, the villain everyone loves to hate is in the middle of things with Cheshire trying to off him and using Roy to help because Roy's so full of self-hate right now and thinks he owes Chesh for getting their daughter killed. And the readers are expected to think this is good storytelling.
I'll tell you what it is. It's crap. And for me, it's 4-color crack and I need to stay away from it. I can stay away from Wonder Woman until she's Wonder-ful again, but I can't seem to stay away from Roy, even when he's unbearable. And that's not just DC's fault. It's on me, too. Because even though they gave Roy what should be the perfect reason to turn to dope, it was manipulative and lazy and all sorts of wrong. And I don't have even that good a reason to stay away from it.
Damn you, DC Comics!