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Oh dear. That wasn’t very pretty now was it.
Spoilers a plenty. You have been warned!!!
Prometheus, he of the Dr Evil monologue, has stolen a host of super technology and built, rather badly as it turns out, a set of teleportation devices he intends to use to scatter our heroes’ cities through space, time, and last Tuesday. Unfortunately for him he was captured by the Justice League before he could use then. The bad thing for them is that Prometheus has a failsafe, an automatic countdown that started the moment he was captured. The first city hit is Star City, Green Arrow’s home. The heroes race there to try to stop the damage, but there is only so much they can do. Speedy, Arrow’s sidekick is saved, but the League are unable to save Lian, Green Arrow’s infant granddaughter, and 90,000 other inhabitants. The growing devastation continues and Prometheus refuses to anything to stop it until the League release him.
Between the twin cities of Central City and Keystone City the Flashes attempt to disable another devise, but it’s hidden at the bottom of the river and only accessible to the Sea Devils. The other heroes have found the devices in their own cities, but each is keyed so that it can’t be stopped by the obvious means – the one in Opal accelerated when the Shade tried enveloping it in Shadow and the one in Fawcett reacted to Freddy Freeman’s lightning (after he’d been freed by the Bulletteer and Mr Scarlett). Again Prometheus makes his demand that only by freeing him can they save their cities.
Vixen broadcasts Prometheus’s demand over the JLA radio system with some heroes automatically refusing to negotiate with murderers while others are more pragmatic. However, its Green Arrow, the person’s who has lost the most to Prometheus’s attacks, who speaks up. He convinces them to think of the living and to release Prometheus. The League reluctantly agrees to follow Arrow’s request and Prometheus honours his part of the Faustian-bargain by giving them the deactivation codes. The heroes “win”, the villain escapes, and everybody does back to rebuilding their homes. However, Green Arrow’s can’t. He tracks Prometheus back to his extra-dimensional hideout and shoots an arrow between his eyes, killing him instantly.
Is killing Prometheus justifiable? I certainly don’t think so. This wasn’t in the heat of battle to save another person’s life. This wasn’t Barry with Zoom and Iris. This was premeditated murder; just petty revenge. Something that a Justice League member should be above. Re-read that page again. Green Arrow surprised Prometheus with a clear shot. He had time to use a stun arrow, boxing glove arrow, or whatever he wanted to do. He could easily have captured the villain, but instead chose to murder him. One thing I would concede is that criticising Green Arrow for killing Prometheus because he caused Lian Harper’s death is a lot harder to argue against than if he’d just maimed Roy. And I guess from a plot point of view that is why Lian was killed off.
My friends who read Marvel comics use to use the phrase “Sledgehammer of Angst” (borrowed from the old rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks group) to described the hilarious levels of stress and angst that one writer could inflict on the X-Men. Well it looks like somebody’s smuggled the Sledgehammer into DC’s offices because it’s pounding on poor old Green Arrow throughout this entire series. I’m beginning to wonder if I should skip the Rise of Arsenal/Fall of Green Lantern as it’s going to be bloody depressing whatever they do. (No I won’t actually skip it – it’s not JT Krul’s fault he’s got to clean up this mess).
I think I’ve almost given up worrying about the quality of this train wreck of a series. The art has at times been great, but has unravelled towards the end with the usual influx of pitch hitting DC artists. The writing has at times been great, but at other times its been stiff and has used so many clichés that it bordered on parody. What I find hard to understand is that every person involved in the creation of this mini-series is incredibly talented, how could they all have had such a spectacularly coordinated collective failure? It just doesn’t make sense. I am seriously beginning to wonder if James Robinson has a split personality – one side writes Starman and the main JLA title the other one wrote Cry For Justice and the LEOG screenplay.
In one way this series should never have been commissioned. It is a big series, something that should really have been a headlining crossover, but its been scheduled opposite Blackest Night and has just faded into the background. The basic idea is sound, but the entire thing just needed a lot more polish, thought, and time.
Luckily the last two issues of the main Justice League of America series have been a lot, lot better than this.
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