Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #2

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #2: Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Geraldo Borges and Kevin Sharpe
Last Issue: 4 out of 10.

Review: This issue opens with Roy Harper still trying to come to terms with the death of his daughter. While wandering around his house, he catches a news report where he discovers that Green Arrow had killed Prometheus and had turned himself into the police afterwards. Roy heads down to the police station to see Ollie(who is still wearing his GA outfit for some reason), and vents at Ollie for taking away Roy's opportunity to kill Prometheus himself, seeing as that it was Prometheus's plans that led to the death of Roy's daughter and the loss of his arm. We get the obligatory, “Ollie was a bad father figure” speech before Roy storms out on his one-time mentor. From there Roy heads to STAR Labs where Cyborg and Dr. Midnite have managed to concoct a new robot arm for Roy. While being fitted for the arm(which can be conveniently taken back off whenever Roy wants)Roy has a quick drug trip where he sees his dead band mate again. Next the scene shifts to Lian's funeral, where many of Roy's super-hero brethren have gathered for him. During the funeral, Roy freaks out and rushes off to take some more painkillers, but is seen by Ravager, who gives Roy her sympathies for his loss. Roy's other friends come over to try to comfort him, but Roy does his best to try to drive them away by blaming Speedy for Lian's death and calling Donna Troy a whore. Later on, Roy heads home, attaches his robot arm and tries to practice his archery, but can't hit the bullseye, which leads to him taking out his frustrations on his bow. Roy heads back indoors and removes the robot arm and is promptly attacked by the assassin Cheshire, who was Lian's mother. This issue ends with Cheshire trouncing Roy and promising him that the worst was yet to come.

What I Thought: I'm really of two minds when it comes to this mini-series/storyline. On the one hand, I'll never understand or forgive DC for killing off Lian. That's a given. 50 years from now, when I'm old and gray, I'll be shaking my cane at my grandchildren complaining about Lian's death. With that said though, JT Krul is actually crafting a good story here... So I'm kind of torn. I want to hate this mini-series with every fiber of my being, but JT is making that really hard to do. Reading this comic made me realize that JT is definitely a fan of the DCU, because he hit on a lot of things that the casual fan might not have known/remembered. Sure, the strain in Ollie and Roy's relationship has been well known for a long time now, ever since Roy's original foray into drugs, but his referencing of Donna and Kyle's relationship as well as the excellent conversation between Ravager and Roy in the cemetery was extremely satisfying. Remember, before she fell under her father's spell, Ravager used to be Lian's babysitter for quite some time, so I was very impressed to see that referenced. Sure, I don't care for the whole drug relapse thing(although this issue made it seem more natural as opposed to last issue when it seemed to be there simply for the shock factor), and the fact that Roy ALREADY has a new arm is kind of vexing(is it really THAT easy?), but the pros definitely outweighed the cons, which more then anything tells me that JT Krul is one hell of a writer, because I opened this comic fully expecting to hate it...

Score: 8 out of 10.Yeah, Roy should have seen this one coming...


  1. Told ya bro...I freaking told ya this was a good issue. Complete 360 from the first one. I loved the appearance by Ravager because I did remember her being Lian's baby sitter as well as the line about Donna and Kyle and I'm a big fan of how well JT wrote this issue.

  2. Yeah, I still really hate this entire story, but JT(the OTHER JT!)is doing a great job with what he has to work with here. He's def a student of the DCU, that's for sure.

  3. Agreed dude, Krul is definitely a student of the game and that shows in his work. This may not be the best thing for Arsenal but at the same time, last year we were barely talking about/seeing the guy. I know I've been vocal about him losing his arm but JT is giving me a little hope something good will come out of it, I'm just hoping im not wrong.

  4. And I'm the complete opposite eh? I just thought it was horrible, predictable and stupid...

  5. Hmm, well you see JT, the thing that bugs me the most about Arsenal isn't the fact that he lost his arm, it's the fact that he lost his daughter... I just don't know why they couldn't just take Roy's arm and STILL do the exact same story. Hell, being an archer and losing your arm would be a pretty damn traumatic thing, killing Lian was just overkill to me. And reprehensible overkill at that.

    I guess I can see what you're saying Nagash, especially with the obligatory, "Let's bash Ollie" part of the comic, but I thought that this issue was way better then the last, even though I still HATE this story with a passion.

  6. I didn't think this issue was any better then the last, and the only bit I didn't predict (which I should have really done) was the Ollie Dinah split. And the whole thing was just STUPID anyway, so, er, yeah...