Rise and Cry: A Look at the Worst of DC Comics, Part 9

Arise, Arsenal! Arise!

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 our look at CRY FOR JUSTICE, it’s time to dive into the heart of the question.

Surprisingly, it’s a mostly meh issue.

Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal 1
Written by JT Krul
Pencils by Geraldo Borges
Inks by Marlo Alquiza
Colors by Hi-Fi

While CRY FOR JUSTICE was a complete trainwreck of a miniseries – a senseless plot, needless misogyny and heroes acting completely out of character – at least each issue advanced the plot. And the art was (mostly) really nice to look at. With the first issue of The Rise of Arsenal, not only is the artwork inconsistent and almost amateurish, but most of the issue is spent rehashing the final fight of Cry For Justice.

As Roy Harper – Arsenal/Red Arrow – says goodnight to his daughter over the JLA communications relay, PROMETHEUS reveals himself as having entered the Watchtower disguised as CAPTAIN SPARKLYFINGERS Junior. The big bad proceeds to literally tear Harper apart, burning his face on the computer console and then cutting off his right arm. Once Harper wakes up from the shock of getting his ass kicked and chopped up, he has to learn that his daughter died in the destruction Prometheus caused in Star City.

If the issue can waste a whole bunch of pages recapping what’s come before, I can give it a paragraph.

Roy’s grief is completely understandable. In fact, I imagine most people would be nearly catatonic at the amount of crap that was just thrown at him. Fighting with and yelling at Black Canary is a wholly acceptable coping method in this situation, and Dinah does her best to make sure Roy knows they’re sorry for what happened and will do everything they can to help Roy and honor his daughter’s memory.

This is all, of course, before the heroes learn that Green Arrow murdered Prometheus and left him to rot in his little pocket dimension.

To make matters even worse, Harper is told that because of the weapon Prometheus used to amputate Roy’s arm, Mr. Terrific lets him know that a prosthetic may not even work. Prometheus is one seriously evil bastard.

And Roy’s next steps are also completely predictable: Having been established as a recovering addict after the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team-up series in the 1970s, Roy feels the temptation once again after taking one too many painkillers to soothe the damage from losing the right arm. Because falling back into a drug addiction during a period of grief is the only way a recovering addict can possibly behave.

I guess we should all be grateful he didn’t use TIME TRAVEL to murder a bunch of his friends. Tom King probably would’ve had him murder a bunch of his friends…

While this issue was mostly harmless – aside from the shockingly inconsistent art – once you introduce heroin into a narrative, things are likely going to get a little more crazy.