Thursday, June 24, 2010

Comic Book Review: Justice League - The Rise of Arsenal #4

You can come out now, the horror is over. Well, sort of. Writer JT Krul's miniseries, The Rise of Arsenal, comes to a close this week, with the fourth and final issue of the controversial series. I find it quite ironic that the series was called the "rise" of Arsenal, as the character sank down into a dark pit, with no end in sight. Let me explain.

This issue picks up right after Roy, or Arsenal, is dropped of at the rehab facility, that will help him find his peace. The only problem is though, that his drug habit is making him hallucinate about his dead daughter, haunting, and taunting him into a mixture of rage and despair. His hallucinations about Lian bring him to a conclusion, he must kill the Electrocutioner, the man who rigged the bomb causing Lian's death. So after tricking the orderlies to enter his cell/room, he attacks them, retrieves the keys for his restraints, and breaks out.

Roy's next stop is the Star City Penitentiary, the jail that is housing both the Electrocutioner, and Green Arrow, who is being held for his murder of Prometheus. So Roy storms in the facility, brutally beating down any guards that get between him, and the Electrocutioner. The guards are helpless against Arsenal, who possesses such a fury that won't cool until he completes the mission. So in a last ditch effort, the guards release Green Arrow from his cell, and he goes after Roy.

When Roy and Ollie meet, there's a small amount of talk that ensues, right before the two go after each other. In Roy's drug induced state, he's in no position to take on Ollie, but Roy is not concerned with him, only the Electrocutioner. So after the beat each other around, Roy finds a break after spotting the Electrocutioner, so he chases after him with a knife in hand. He finally catches up with the villain, and holds a knife his throat, much to the chagrin of Ollie who is playing the voice of reason here. But Ollie can't help, as Roy puts distance between them in the form of security bars. So Oliver can only watch, as Roy takes his knife, and guts the Electrocutioner, and then casually walks out the prison doors.

Roy's last step for putting his daughter to rest, is burning down their former house, the home he raised Lian that contained so many memories. He longingly watches as the house becomes engulfed in flames.

The story concludes with Roy patrolling the city, showing him being a vigilante, yet in a much more violent way. It then encourages us to follow Roy's further adventures in the pages of Titans.

I'm going to have to pass on following Roy's story again. I mean I just don't see the allure of reading about a misogynistic, violent, druggie, and his constant brooding. Don't get me wrong, I understand that Krul was playing on the irrationality, the disparity and helplessness one would experience after losing a child. But he went way over the top, and made Roy a character you hate, instead of you would feel sympathetic for.

At this point, I feel a lot more warm towards Ollie, who even though murdered a man, he realized his mistakes and paid dearly for them. I haven't had a chance to read Green Arrow #1 yet, but I hope Krul doesn't make us hate Oliver too, because there's not many other Arrow family characters left for him to ruin.

No comments:

Post a Comment