Thursday, March 04, 2010

Some questions I have about Justice League: Cry for Justice, after having

read a couple of reviews of the seventh and final issue, as well as DC's promotion of the storyline to follow it:

(Spoilers, obviously...I'll throw up an image to put some space between the spoilers and any spoiler-sensitive eyes in the reading audience)


—Why didn't Lian Harper return as a Black Lantern to mess with Roy Harper in any of the Blackest Night Titans tie-ins...besides the obvious reason that it might have spoiled the ending of Cry? (And why didn't Roy's right arm return as a Black Lantern)?

—If they had to kill someone close to Green Arrow in order to make him the dark, grim and gritty urban hunter of men that he was during Mike Grell's run on the title—i.e. regress the character to a previous status quo—why not kill Speedy II or Green Arrow II?

The former is DC's second blond, teenage girl archer (after Arrowette), and is closer to Green Arrow and someone he'd feel more directly responsible for. The latter is DC's second blond, male archer codenamed "Green Arrow," and is obviously much closer to Green Arrow Oliver Queen than Lian, his not-really-granddaughter (I love Conner Hawke personally, I should note, but he sure seems more redundant than Lian, and DC's not doing anything at all with him anyway).

Lian's not going to be starring in her own monthly comic any time soon, naturally, but her existence made Roy Harper the only single father superhero in the DCU that I can think of off the top of my head. Without her, he loses one of his biggest defining factors.

—You know how in movies and stuff you'll see gambling boats or drug usage or something, and they'll show the police or coast guard or whoever unable to intervene because the boat is floating in international waters or outside U.S. territory and thus the law doesn't haven't jurisdiction? Well, is it really murder if you shoot someone in the head with an arrow in the Phantom Zone/Ghost Zone/White Martian Sub-Space...? They weren't even in the same universe as the United States or any earth government, so can anyone accuse Green Arrow of breaking a law there?

—Is it murder to kill a dude who's committed a grand act of terrorism, like partially obliterating an entire city? Like, I'm pretty sure the U.S. government would deem Prometheus an "enemy combatant" and have no qualms about dropping a bomb from a Predator drone on him.

—Should Green Arrow even be able to get the drop on Prometheus, under any circumstances? Prometheus is basically Batman, only with some technological augmentation that makes him a threat to the whole Justice League. Green Arrow couldn't ever take Batman, ergo he shouldn't be able to take Prometheus, right? (Did I do my math right?)

—Is the Justice League really going to be all that upset with Green Arrow for killing a bad guy if Batman Bruce Wayne and Superman aren't around? Barry Allen killed a dude, Hal Jordan killed everyone in the universe (except for Superman and about a dozen other superheroes) in his attempt to un-make and re-create all existence in Zero Hour, hell, even Dick Grayson beat the Joker to death at the climax of The Joker's Last Laugh (Don't worry; the mass-murdered was successfully resuscitated to kill/sell comics again). Black Canary watched Green Arrow put some arrows into thugs before, she's going to be mad this time? The superhero community has apparently made their peace with the fact that Green Arrow has killed some folks before, are they really going to attempt to bring him to justice now?

—Did Brad Meltzer pay James Robinson an ungodly amount of money to write Cry, just so Identity Crisis won't forever be known as the most melodramatic, logic-defying, mean-spirited-for-mean-spirited-ness' sake Justice League story?

8 comments:

Patrick C said...

Really hard to argue any of the points you made. I really hope that the next storyarc isn't the entire Justice League hunting down Green Arrow for shooting Promethous in the face with an arrow.

After all the effort they went through to show that Prometheus IS badass, and someone else has been posing as Prometheus for all these years, it seems a waste to just kill him.

Well, whatever happens I'll keep getting Justice League but I won't be getting the "rise and fall of Arsenal" or whatever, so it don't matter much to me.

Ed said...

Thanks for this post. I wondered many of these things myself.

As for Lian not haunting Roy during Blackest Night, I think that's because Roy is still in coma during Blackest Night. I'm pretty sure the story is supposed to take place almost immediately after Cry. But maybe the weirder thing is that all the symbolic superhero memorial services are so well-attended at the beginning of BN, when it's, at most, only days after 90,000 people in Star City were killed.

thokstar said...

Is it murder to kill a dude who's committed a grand act of terrorism, like partially obliterating an entire city? Like, I'm pretty sure the U.S. government would deem Prometheus an "enemy combatant" and have no qualms about dropping a bomb from a Predator drone on him.

The relevant doctrine here is Necessity, which would argue that Green Arrow was committing a justifiable homicide to prevent future crime (for example, one could argue that Green Arrow needed to kill him to prevent Prometheus from repeating his plan, which he threatened to do a page before GA shot him.)

It's unclear that Green Arrow has the authority to make that decision, however, and proving necessity would be difficult in this case. Also, it wouldn't answer the question of what his friends would think of his actions.

LurkerWithout said...

Red Tornado also has a cute pre-teen daughter. She should probably go into hiding in case Dan DiDio is looking for her...

LurkerWithout said...

Also why wouldn't having Lian be avenged by her assassin mom make more sense? Not that making sense seems to be the point of this series...

snell said...

Isn't it a tad bit terrible writing to have the big payoff of your mini-series be the death of a random character who was never even mentioned in the previous 6 1/4 issues? If we're supposed to care about Lian, dramatically speaking, shouldn't she have at least gotten a panel previously to her sudden death? In the xontext of the story, it was so random, they might as well have killed Angel or the Ape...

Jacob T. Levy said...

so very glad that I didn't let my residual Starman affection overcome the awfulness of the premise and pre-order this miniseries.

A Hero said...

IANAL , but from what I understand the US Government can claim jurisdiction in the murder of Prometheus because he is a US Citizen. If someone murdered you while you were gambling in international waters, the US Government could arrest the suspect if they returned to the US or demand extradition of the suspect from any country we have extradition treaties with.

While the US Government could claim jurisdiction, it seems unlikely that they would choose to pursue prosecution for the murder of someone who, as you note, is a domestic terrorist.