Comic Publishers

June 26, 2010

DC Reviews: Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #4

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artists: Geraldo Borges, Kevin Sharp, & Fabio Jansen
Cover: Greg Horn

**Minor Spoilers**

“Point Of No Return”: The downward spiral of Roy Harper’s life continues in the last issue here of The Rise of Arsenal. While on a serious drug high last issue, Roy brutally beat and almost killed some thugs, and probably would have if not for the intervention of Batman. After being knocked out, Roy woke up in a treatment facility strapped to a table as Black Canary left the room, leaving Roy to deal with his addiction and hoping he comes out of it a better person.

Now that he’s being forced to deal with his issues, he’s suffering from more hallucinations, and the ghost of his daughter is scolding him for the life he has chosen to lead, his failure as a father, and his addiction to drugs and the women in his life. But what cuts the deepest is her reminding Roy he was not there to save her, and her plea for him to avenge her death. This prompts Roy to escape while two orderlies are trying to stop his arm stump from bleeding, find his cybernetic arm, and then go and kill the man responsible for his daughter’s death: The Electrocutioner. However, Star City Penitentiary is also the new home of Roy’s mentor/father figure Green Arrow, and when Roy shows up beating the hell out of guards and criminals alike, he is asked to stop Roy’s rampage. This leads to a classic “student vs. teacher” fight, as Green Arrow is trying to keep Roy from sinking even further and quite possibly making the same mistakes that he has recently made.

The fact that Krul kept the entire series consistently dark was welcome, because many fans would have been disappointed (or just complained more) if Roy had come out of this thing squeaky clean in only four issues. And though this one was a bit predictable at certain times, I will say that it was entertaining once you get past the incessant whining of Roy and the action kicked in. I will say that Ollie pleading to Roy to let him help him just seems a bit hypocritical considering Ollie’s actions in Justice League: Cry For Justice and the Justice League: Rise and Fall Special, but I guess someone had to come to their senses, and it might as well be the older and more experienced of the two. There was a bit of disappointment upon opening the book and not seeing Geraldo Borges’s work, but Sharp and Jansen do a decent job until he shows up for the big fight at Star City Penitentiary. The styles of the three artists don’t clash enough for it to be distracting, but it’s always nice to have one consistent artist, though I know that deadlines and schedule don’t always allow for this to happen. Overall they do accomplish a nice looking book.

I’m still very much on the fence here with Roy’s character reverting back to being a junkie and going all “Punisher” on his victims, along with Ollie’s turn, especially since it seems like a pretty quick change in character considering the lengths he went through to kill Prometheus in the titles I mentioned earlier. These events kind of reinforce why I didn’t like the end of Cry For Justice, and I’m hoping that the change in character motivations isn’t just to accommodate a certain story arc, because it should be more of a natural thing. A decent story overall, but now we have to wait and see how things play out in yet another DC title.

Infinite Speech



  1. JT Krul is the man. ‘Nuff said.

  2. Krul may be the man but the quick and somewhat hypocritical stance of Ollie bugs me but like I said i’ll see how this plays out. I just know it’s gonna get worse for Roy before it gets better or maybe he’ll just remain a villian

  3. Billy

    Sounds like a good read. I like it when people go off the deep end. lol

  4. Eli

    I like this one, and I really got a kick out of Roy’s line…

    “I only got one question for you. And you’d better be able to answer it. Where’s my arm?”

    Hah, I know its not the greatest dialog, but for some reason I loved that one.

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