Rise and Cry: A Look at the Worst of DC Comics Part 8

No more crying!

A city falls, a hero is broken and the Justice League is fractured… again…

Back in November, in a MAILBAG question, friend of the Geekery Kenny asked me if The Rise and Fall of Arsenal – the 4-issue miniseries from 2010 – was DC Comics’ “lowest point.” Now that we’ve finished with the final issue of CRY FOR JUSTICE, it’s time to move on to a special that bridges the gap between the two miniseries.

It’s a new year, and we have a new writer and completely new personalities for some of our heroes! Yay!

Justice League: Rise and Fall Special 1
Written by JT Krul
Pencils by Farbizio Fiorentino, Mike Mayhew and Diogenes Neves
Inks by Vicente Cifuentes, Ruy Jose and Mike Mayhew
Colors by Nei Ruffino and Andy Troy

After the shocking conclusion to Cry For Justice, with Green Arrow Oliver Queen putting an arrow in the brain of big bad Prometheus, the Justice League is in the midst of a personal crisis. No one but Oliver knows that PROMETHEUS is dead, so the League is focused on trying to find him, to no avail. Green Arrow, on the other hand, is on the lookout for the people Prometheus worked with.

His main target is the Electrocutioner, who was Prometheus’ trigger man in Star City, completely destroying Green Arrow’s hometown. Ollie’s allies think getting Electrocutioner is a means to finding Prometheus. But Oliver just wants the man to share his boss’ fate, especially after his granddaughter Lian died in the chaos.

Side note: Recapping the events of Cry For Justice in this issue, Green Arrow notes that the members of the Justice League considered Prometheus a bit of a joke. This is a guy who nearly took out the League TWICE! And then he did it again in the previous miniseries!

During most of the Cry For Justice miniseries, Oliver was the conscience of the Vengeance League that was searching for Prometheus. He questioned Green Lantern and the Atom using their powers to torture villains for information. And when they blew him off, he forced them to stop. It wasn’t until he suffered unimaginable loss – Lian’s death, his adopted son Roy Harper losing most of his right arm – that he snapped and decided to kill.

Hal Jordan on the other hand, seems to have completely come around from his bloodlust in Cry For Justice. After villain-turned-force-of-nature The Shade leads Hal and Barry Allen to Prometheus’ hideaway in a pocket dimension – and hints that he was the one who brought Oliver there as well – so the heroes could discover the villain’s body, Hal seems genuinely disappointed in Oliver’s actions.

Again, this is a guy who was literally torturing people just days beforehand, after he quit the Justice League because they were being too soft. And all of sudden he’s back to being Mr. By-the-Book. I’m getting some serious whiplash from the personality changes.

Hal and Barry, along with Arrow’s girlfriend Black Canary confront Oliver with Prometheus’ body (which is missing the helmet he used to program the heroes’ strengths and weakness to give him an advantage in a fight), to try and get him to show remorse for what he had done. Oliver, instead, grabs the villain’s cosmic key and goes off into the secret pocket dimension.

Not content with letting James Robinson completely destroy the League, DC Comics has now passed the baton to JT Krul as the focus shifts to Roy Harper – Arsenal – and his recovery from losing an arm. I can’t even begin to imagine why anyone thought any of this was a good idea.