Or – “How To Do The Unthinkable…”
Prometheus went from incredibly dangerous uber-villain to just another joke in a funny helmet (see also: Doctor Polaris, Sonar, the Shining and Silent Knights, Kang, Ultimate Captain America, and the current iteration of Iron Man’s armor) in record time without the guidance of creator Grant Morrison.Â If it does nothing else, this series will be remembered as the one which returned him to prominence and menace in the DC Universe…Â And yet, the greatest atrocities are yet to come, folks, and if you know me, you probably know where that thought process lies.
Justice League – Cry For Justice #7
Previously, on Justice LeagueÂ - Cry For Justice:Â Green Arrow and Green Lantern’s big day out turned out to be pretty much a red herring, as their missions led them straight back to the JLA.Â The team came together with members new, members old, and members from the future (which, due to the vagaries of comic publishing, actually started about two months ago) as well as one giant gorilla to take on the menace of Prometheus.Â Having returned to the satellite, the team was surprised to ralize that the villain they had been seeking was actually onboard the satellite, disguised as one of their own.Â In the chaos, Red Arrow (ugh) lost an arm, Green Arrow lost his cool, and the heroes were barely able to capture their prey.Â But Prometheus had taken a play from the Adrian Veidt handbook and set up his master plan in advance.Â While the heroes interrogated him, Prometheus triggered his ultimate weapon: a series of bombs that would destroy major cities in the DC Universe, starting with Green Arrow’s home of Star City.Â
Green Arrow’s rage is barely able to be contained by Jay Garrick and Hal Jordan as he roars at the trussed-up villain to tell him how to stop the bombs.Â The injury to his adoptive son has pretty much pushed Oliver to the edge, but Prometheus just smiles quietly to himself.Â “Killing me won’t save Star City…Â Star City is lost.Â The team mobilizes at maximum velocity, and teleports in to the Star to try and save as many innocents as possible.Â I’m very disappointed in the art here, as there don’t seem to be any people in the entire metropolitan area save for the heroes and one villain (the Electrocutioner, who is working for Prometheus.)Â The team hits the streets looking for survivors, but only find Speedy fighting against the villain.Â She realizes that she’s left Lian (Red Arrow ((UGH))’s daughter by the villain Cheshire) alone at the house.Â Donna Troy grabs her and they fly across the identical brown piles of what I can only assume are rubble to find…Â Green Arrow kneeling over the body of his fallen grandchild.
The fact that there are about 20 heroes in this issue works against it, as we see Animal Man, Starfire, The Atom and more, as well as JSA member Doctor Mid-Nite tending to the fallen heroes.Â Green Arrow isn’t the only hero who is in danger of losing his home, as Central City, Keystone City, Opal City, Fawcett City and St. Roch are likewise collapsing.Â The team mobilizes, and a dozen more heroes show up, including Bulleteer (who was a Justice League member for about ten minutes during the events chronicled in ’52′) who has a missing piece of the puzzle:Â Freddy Freeman.Â Prometheus has WIRED HIS LIPS SHUT (ewww) to keep him out of trouble, but the heroes are still in danger of losing millions more innocent lives.Â Promethus clearly lays out his terms:Â If they set him free, the other cities will live.Â The Justice League debates it all before Green Arrow makes the swing vote.Â “We have to think of those lives we CAN save.”Â Prometheus is set free, and the heroes are left to clean up the mess.Â A bit later, we see Prometheus in his hideout, monologuing to the mindless shell of I.Q., when he is suddenly surprised by footsteps.Â “How did you–” he asks, just as an arrow bisects a line between his pupils.Â “Justice,” says Green Arrow, as the slain villain’s blood pools on the stone floor…
So, here’s the problem that I have with this entire series:Â It was initially set up as a second ongoing JLA book.Â As such, it was fine telling an offbeat story with unusual characters, because there would have been another book to counterbalance it’s darkness.Â After this first arc, it might have gone anywhere.Â With the timing of things being what they are, this book was delayed until the main JLA title was essentially meaningless, and it’s dark storyline was promoted to “big event” status and used to relaunch the Justice League’s new era.Â What could have worked in a short arc didn’t work for me in a self-contained mini, and Mauro Cascioli’s art, while beautiful, was stiff and took forever.Â Last issue was actually an improvement over previous ones, but this one just depressed me.Â With Roy Harper maimed, I cannot imagine the thought process that went into murdering his daughter, adding insult to injury.Â Certainly, Lian isn’t a major character in the DCU, and there is a precedent for this sort of thing (Arthur Curry, Junior ring any bells?) but I keep remembering the cute moments in the Kevin Smith Green Arrow series or in the Devin Grayson Titans book wherein Lian was such a nice bit of characterization in the midst of all the angsty hero blah blah blah fishcakes.Â The art in this issue seems to be another jam session, and the figure work is looser and less posed than previously, but the story leaves me cold.Â Green Arrow is now an unequivocal murderer, and the ramifications of that worry me.Â It’s a less than satisfying conclusion to a less-than-satisfying comic series, and Justice League – Cry For Justice #7 earns a very disappointed 1 out of 5 stars overall.Â I just can’t get past the thought that this horrifying series of developments was created to somehow make Roy and Ollie more Punisher-esque, and we’ve been down that road before.
Faithful Spoilerites Question Of The Day:Â I’ve made no secret of my aversion to endangering/injuring/killing a child for drama, and how it immediately drags me out of the narrative EVERY SINGLE TIME.Â Is there any particular plot twist or development that ruins a story for you?