Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Rise and Fall" Begins This Wednesday

I'm going to be spending most of the rest of this month looking back at key moments in Green Arrow's past, but today I'm looking ahead with some trepidation to his immediate future. 
 Since his revival from the dead by Kevin Smith in 2001's "Quiver" storyline, Oliver Queen has at last become a major player in the DC Universe.  This is both a good and a bad thing.  It's good because, as a long time GA fan, I've always felt the character had great untapped potential and deserved a higher profile.  However, that higher profile leaves the character vulnerable to ill-conceived, sales driven "event" storylines that promise, or perhaps I should say threaten, to change the character and his world "forever."  In my experience, these stories, think "Emerald Twilight" in Green Lantern as one of the most egregious examples, are almost never very good and usually end up alienating just as many longtime fans as they gain in new readers.  
So now it's Green Arrow's turn, unfortunately.  The event known as "Rise and Fall" officially begins this week with the Justice League: Rise and Fall one-shot and thereafter continues in two storylines,  the six issue "The Fall of Green Arrow" beginning in Green Arrow #31 and the four issue mini-series The Rise of Arsenal.  Despite my misgivings, I kind of feel obligated to pick this up, at least so that I can write about it, since, by sheer coincidence, it happens to be beginning right smack in the middle of Gutter Talk's self-proclaimed GREEN ARROW MONTH.  
Here's what I've been able to learn about the story from on-line sources, most notably DC's The Source blog:
Apparently, the roots of this story are to be found in the recently concluded mini-series Justice League: Cry For Justice.  In that story, Roy Harper, Green Arrow's former sidekick who has recently been going by the ridiculous name of Red Arrow as a member of the latest incarnation of the Justice League, loses his left arm.  This development has actually recieved quite a bit of publicity, so I've known about it for months, though I didn't particulary care, to be honest.  I've also recently learned that Cry For Justice also features the destruction of a good chunk of Green Arrow's home, Star City (again...see the Green Arrow: Heading Into The Light TPB) with Roy Harper's daughter among the thousands killed in the disaster.  The mini-series ended with Ollie seeking vengeance against Prometheus, the villain responsible for these atrocities.

Right between the eyes.  OUCH! That's gotta hurt.
The Justice League: Rise and Fall special features, according to The Source, "Ollie embracing his role as a hunter." That seems to me to translate as "he kills a bunch more people." Then, in "The Fall of Green Arrow," "...the hunter becomes the hunted," as The Source puts it, and the Justice League comes after Green Arrow, and "Ollie's life will be drastically changed."
I'm not a big fan of Green Arrow going around killing people, but his willingness to do so, especially in defense of those he loves, has been a part of his character since The Longbow Hunters.  So, by itself, the killing of Prometheus doesn't bother me too much.  It all depends on how it's handled, I suppose.  

J.T. Krul, who's writing both "The Fall of Green Arrow" and The Rise of Arsenal, is an unknown quantity to me.  I've never read anything he's written before.  Of course, his most oft cited previous work is a Blackest Night tie-in, so that explains that.  I'm just not interested in DC's current mega-blockbuster crossover.  Anyway, I'm willing to give him, and "The Fall of Green Arrow," a chance, though, as I stated above, I'm not really all that optimistic.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget your promise to read and review "The Archer's Quest" for us. Given your previously expressed strong dislike for Brad Meltzer, I for one am ready to hear you rant and rave about his take on Green Arrow.