Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One Good Thing And One Bad Thing About Justice League: Rise And Fall Special

GOOD THING: J.T. Krul has a real feel for most of the characters and how they should sound. There's a lot of good character moments here, particularly the scenes written from Ollie and Dinah's perspectives and the scenes of Dick Grayson and Wally West working together.

BAD THING: Notice how I said MOST of the characters? There's a reason for that and the reason is that either Krul has seriously missed the mark on several characters or there's more going on here than meets the eye.

Case in point. Barry Allen and Hal Jordan go looking for The Shade, to see if he knows anything about how to find Prometheus. Shade helpfully takes them right to Prometheus' home in The Ghost Zone and notes that "they are not the first ones he's brought there." Cue the shot of Prometheus' body, with an arrow through the forehead.

Now, I know what you Starman fans are thinking - Since when is The Shade - granting that he is more anti-Hero than anti-Villain now - ever directly this helpful? Since when does The Shade rat people out for crimes? Particularly crimes of revenge? Particularly murders?

That's a very good question.

And when Shade says "first ones", is he referring to someone besides Ollie? If not, then why does he say "first ones" with the emphasis on the plural?

That's also a good question.

Yet another good question is what happened to Prometheus' helmet. The one that Ollie shot an arrow through which is now curiously absent, despite the arrow being intact inside Prometheus' shaven-skull.

And where is the drooling imbecile I.Q. (last seen in The Ghost Zone when Ollie killed Prometheus) in all of this?

It's possible that all of this is hinting at something bigger and - quite probably - Prometheus having found a way to cheat death and masquerade as another person... Perhaps The Shade? Unfortunately, it seems equally likely that Shade's characterization was screwed up and that the missing helmet is a MacGuffin that doesn't signify anything other than someone else is running around with a very dangerous weapon. Either way, it's a sad commentary that after two issues of handling these characters, I still can't tell if Krul is being clever or stupid.

The Final Verdict: Good character moments throughout, but one can't tell if there is something bigger going on here or if the clues are just plot-holes given some of the characterization. The art styles of the three artists don't blend well, either, with Black Canary's costume looking just plain ridiculous in the final pages.


  1. I think it's just meant to suggest the helmet is still out there.
    It's possible the Shade was so pissed by Prometheus' actions he'll help anyone against him. Also he might have assume the killing was JL approved and gained some respect for them.
    It's possible they meant to suggest others had gone there(such as Roy?) but try this sentence on for size. "You two aren't the first one to want to go there." Doesn't really work.

  2. I dunno. I can't buy Shade just assuming Ollie was acting with JLA sanction. Particularly after the scene in the most recent Justice League issue where Shade asks Ollie if he's SURE he wants to go through with what he is planning to do to Prometheus. It's pretty heavily implied that Shade knows that Ollie is going behind everyone's backs.
    Another thing I can't buy is that Shade would care one way or the other. He's certainly picked a fine time to start getting squeamish if he does. :P
    And I really can't believe that Shade would rat out Ollie like he did here...