Friday, March 12, 2010

Rise and Fall Falls Hard

When I wrote about Brad Meltzer's "The Archer's Quest," I allowed as how it wasn't the worst Green Arrow story that I've ever read.  This may have inspired you to ask yourself, "Hmm. What, then, is the worst Green Arrow story that Ray Tomczak has ever read?" (If so, please, I beg you, get a life.) 
When I wrote that post, I probably would have said "Heading Into The Light" by Judd Winick mostly because it spins out of Meltzer's execrable Identity Crisis and features as the main villain the new, improved, badass Dr. Friggin' Light. 
That was, of course before I read the Justice League: Rise and Fall Special
As I stood before the racks of recently released comics at the Laughing Ogre on Wednesday taking a peek at the first page of Rise and Fall, the very one shown to the left of these words, I considered not buying it.  There had to be better ways to waste four bucks, like maybe giving it to my ex-roommate who'd put it toward buying crack. Sure, I had sort of promised to read and review the book here, but was I really obligated to follow through?  After all, it's not like this is my job.  I'm not a professional writer, I'm just an opinionated fanboy sitting at a cluttered computer desk in a small, dimly lit one bedroom apartment with a pack of cigarettes, a cup of coffee, and a stack of old comic books at my side.  I am doing this, as the saying goes, "for fun," and that first page, which seemed to confirm my worst fears about the awfulness inherent in the very concept of Rise and Fall, foreshadowed that reading the rest of the book would not be anything even remotely resembling "fun."  Besides, it's not like I've got millions of readers who would be bitterly disappointed and outraged if I just put the thing back in the rack and backed away slowly.
Nevertheless, despite these misgivings, I picked up Rise and Fall and Doom Patrol #8 and headed toward the counter.
While the story didn't get any worse after the first page, it utterly failed to get any better, either. The story is called "Green Arrow Unbound," which apparently means unbound by any obligation to act in a manner at all consistent with how he's been portrayed in the past.  
Do I really have to go into more detail?  Must I relive the horror? Isn't it enough just to know that this book utterly sucks and is to be avoided at all costs?  
Seriously, I'm doing this Green Arrow Month thing to celebrate what it is that I love about the adventures of Oliver Queen, so I will waste no more time with this garbage, and I urge you to do likewise.
On the bright side, Doom Patrol #8 wasn't bad.  It looks like the various subplots Giffen devoted the previous issue to might actually turn into a pretty good story or two.  And Crazy Jane's back, which could be cool if she's handled correctly, which I certainly think that Keith Giffen is capable of doing.

1 comment:

  1. Ray,

    I'm so very, very sorry...
    No really, I am. As one of your loyal(and probably the most vocal about it) readers, I feel that part of your reading this, what looks like a truly awful characterization of Green Arrow, is my fault. That money you spent on this rag could have been better spent refreshing your supplies of coffee and cigarettes, or, more appropriately, on comics you'd actually enjoy reading.

    Worse still, your buying this book now figures into DC's sales research, which means that if enough GA devotees like yourself buy it, they'll get the idea into their noggins that the comic-reading public wants to see chiesel-chinned old-timers like Green Arrow act like cold-blooded murderers. This kind of depiction will continue to spoil the character of Green Arrow and the taint may spread to other stalwarts in the DC cannon.

    I always thought that if readers wanted a vengeance-driven protagonist who wantonly hunted down and killed people, there were comics made with that kind of guilty pleasure already in place; Vigilante and the Punisher come most easilly to mind. Heck, if mounting a body count through a comic series is your thing, read Hitman. At least with these books, the violence is in-character.

    Back when Fleer and Marvel comics were all buddy-buddy in the mid 90's, I saw a Fleer ad in a comic book promoting superhero trading cards. The sample card used for the ad was one of Spider-Man. Along with vital statistics, first appearance, and all that other hoo-ha, there was a "defining moment" on the back of the card. The story picked out for Spidey's "defining moment" was his fight to the finish with the Green Goblin on top of the George Washington Bridge after the death of Gwen Stacy. Spidey had vengeance on his mind when the Goblin's actions lead to Stacy's (Spidey's ladylove at the time) death, but all throughout that battle, he kept himself from landind a death blow to the Goblin. A similar version (with a different damsel in distress) of this moment found its way to the Spider-Man movie. Again, the wall-crawler was pushed to the brink but held true to his principals.

    If I keep ranting like this, my responce is going to rival the size of your original posting. You probably got my point a long time ago...

    I'm not even going to ask if the Electrocutioner bites it on the following page. I don't want to know.

    - Jonathon