Justice League: The Rise and Fall Special #1

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

Wed, March 10th, 2010 at 7:24PM (PST)


Telling the story of "Cry for Justice" through the words of Oliver Queen, J. T. Krul sets the stage for this issue and what's to come after. In the retelling, and with some distance from that story at this point, Prometheus' plot seems like the grand scheme of a mustache-twirler. That scheme claimed the lives of over eighty thousand residents of Star City, including Green Arrow's beloved "granddaughter" Lian. The personal attack -- and subsequent loss -- changes Green Arrow. He begins to refer to himself as a hunter, and his prey are those who worked with Prometheus.

There is a gray area as to how much time has passed between the end of "Cry for Justice" and this issue, giving some cushion to play with. Star City is still a shambles, rife with looting and civil unrest. Roy Harper -- Red Arrow/Arsenal -- is still unconscious and recovering, and makes no appearance in this issue save for the mention of his name. This is, without doubt, Oliver Queen's story. We get peeks into the thoughts of characters around Ollie sprinkled throughout the issue, but Ollie's quest for vengeance drives the story.

This is another one of those DC comics that suffers from an identity crisis brought upon it by the crew of artists working on it. The three different styles do not seamlessly blend together, and many of the characters' costumes shift due to this. Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Batman alternate between having white, opaque mask lenses, semi-transparent mask lenses, and no mask lenses whatsoever.

There is a bit of a surprise to the ending of the main story, but that is dulled a little with the replication of an article from the "Star Gazette." The newspaper motif is a nice addition to the comic, but doesn't add much depth to the story. Mike Mayhew contributes some "staff photos" that are decent enough for the figures, but weak on the surroundings. The final image is supposed to portray the utter destruction of Star City, but it looks like a city square was leveled. The scale of destruction is off.

The deconstruction of Ollie Queen is a bit off, too. This is one of the characters who voted not to mindwipe Dr. Light and the other villains. His accuser in this issue, however, voted to do so. The tables have turned due to circumstances and time, sure, but this type of waffling with characters makes them less convincing. I hope DC decides to stick by its guns here and make Ollie finish his journey down this path completely.

Krul does a good job of working with the situations and characters handed to him -- he performed marvelously in the "Blackest Night: Titans" series -- so I am interested to see how this continues to play out. At the end of the seven issues this story is going to play out in (this issue, the four-issue "Arsenal" series, as well as two issues of "Green Arrow"), I'd like to see a sea change in the DC Universe. If there's a big group hug at the end of this and Ollie is welcomed back with no consequences, I will be sorely unimpressed.