[identity profile] uadlika.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
The Arsenal mini-series ran from October 1998 to January 1999 and was written by Devin Grayson with some pretty bad art by Rick Mays. It features Roy Harper aka Speedy aka Arsenal aka Red Arrow and his Issues. And boy, does he have a lot of them, from "Green Arrow never raised me right" (Ollie had died 3 years earlier in our time, more recently in comics time) to "I used to be a drug addict" to "I don't know where I belong!" and the most important one "I can't find a good babysitter!"

I concentrate here on the scenes with Lian Harper, Roy's daughter with the assassin Cheshire and the cutest member of the Arrow Family.

And then women ninjas dress up in nurses costumes come and attempt to kidnap Roy and Lian (no, not making this up). However, Dinah being the bad ass that she is manages to fight them off and Roy grabs Lian and takes her to the Emergency Room.

The doctor tells Roy and Dinah (who makes the Nurses run away) that Lian has a rare disease and needs a kidney transplant. Dinah shows Roy a slip of paper with a bunch of names on it; apparently they are all related to Vandal Savage, who likes to harvest his descendent's organs to keep himself alive. Roy naturally jumps into costume and goes off, leaving Dinah to care for Lian.

In order to find Savage, Roy enlists the aid of Oracle:

He goes to the clinic and fights more of the nurse ninjas, discovers he's knocked them all out so he can't ask them where Savage is, and gets pissy. Then Green Arrow shows up:

See? Daddy issues. And anyone else remember when Connor was awesome and obviously not white (though here he is awfully pale) and not a mind-wiped self-healing shadow of his former self that got shipped off to a monastery? Yeah, me too. I miss him. D:

Connor and Roy discover a lab where Vandal's scientists are growing cloned babies with no brains for parts. There is more ninja nurse fighting, they meet Savage who tells Roy that he arranged for Lian's kidney condition and then poofs away. Roy returns home, changes out of the Red Arrow suit into a new Arsenal one and hears a boom:

Part of me can't wait until Lian is grown and is Jade Arrow or whatever. She would totally kick the shit outta everyone. The other part of me is tired of super-aged kids done wrong and wants Lian to stay little for a VERY LONG TIME.

Savage takes Roy through a "This is Your Life" and shows him his history (father was a park ranger who died in a fire, he was adopted by Navajo, he became Green Arrow's ward, he became Speedy, he became a heroin addict, met Cheshire, when Ollie died, etc). Savage then offers Roy Lian's kidney if he prevents the authorities from blowing up the lab. Roy agrees...then halfway through realizes he wants Lian to have a dad she can be proud of. He succeeds in blowing up the lab with Savage inside it.

And now a bonus panel, from DC Universe Last Will and Testament, because Lian is always adorable and I want to see more Ollie and Lian interaction:

(For those that count, there are 17 pages from 4 books, with less than 7 pages per single book)

Date: 2009-04-28 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
I'm not really a Devin Grayson fan...except for her versions of Roy Harper, in both this mini and the novel Inheritance. I'm not sure how "canon" her take on Roy is, but it's the only version of him I've seen that makes him a fun character, as well as a comically horrible parent.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
I've never read Inheritance, but I've heard extremely opposing opinions. Is it any good?

Date: 2009-04-28 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
It's not good in the way a good novel is good, but it's good in the way good fanfic is good. I don't mean that as a jab at Devin Grayson either, because...what I consider really good fanfic (http://offpanel.net/potatoverse/) with those characters is rare and wonderful. I just think if you're going to read it, you shouldn't expect Neal Stephenson or Charles Stross. Expect a fangirl who's story is equal parts talent and personal canon.

Date: 2009-04-28 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parsimonia.insanejournal.com
It's definitely a fun read, and I enjoyed it. There's a healthy dose of slashy subtext, and some of it is a little off-beat, but it's still fun.

It centres on Dick's relationship with Bruce (which was pretty good), Roy's relationships with Ollie and Dinah (which, as [insanejournal.com profile] jarodrussell says, is *very* good), and Tempest's relationship with Aquaman (which is kind of meh, and just makes me feel really really bad for Garth).

Date: 2009-04-29 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
If anything, I think Inheritance confirmed what I kind of felt: Ollie's a bad parent, Roy's a survivor of bad parenting, and Roy and Dinah have much better chemistry. One could argue that Dinah abandoned Roy as well when she went to find Ollie/Hal, but if memory serves, she wasn't much more than a child herself at that age, and she certainly manned up (as it were) when Ollie kicked Roy out. A lot of people will probably dislike my saying it, but Devin Grayson's book crystallized my hatred of Green Arrow by summing up in a few dozen pages just what kind of living hell Ollie put Roy through. And through it all, he made it through, and did all right by Lian.

Date: 2009-04-29 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parsimonia.insanejournal.com
One element of Grayson's Ollie in that book that I didn't like was how weirdly forgetful he was in the present time. As if he had extreme memory loss or amnesia or something. I know he'd come back from the dead and missed a few years, but it seemed a little excessive.

But yeah, I think if Roy was supposed be 16 or so there, Dinah would've been early 20s, maybe?

All in all, I actually like Ollie as a character, even if he is often an unlikable guy. If only because he randomly tells people they're fascists. =)

by summing up in a few dozen pages just what kind of living hell Ollie put Roy through. And through it all, he made it through, and did all right by Lian

That is pretty much why I like Roy, yeah.

Preaching to the choir

Date: 2009-04-29 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
All in all, I actually like Ollie as a character, even if he is often an unlikable guy.

Which is why my loathing of Ollie is so...loathsome. Normally I like the unlikable characters: Gregory House, Rodney McKay, Sheldon Cooper, Tony Stark...Courtney Whitmore, back when nobody liked her because she was a b!+@#. Ollie, though, is the kind of unlikable character who not only thinks he's likable, but cons other people (namely Dinah and Roy) into believing it as well. He reminds me of an abusive person who hurts the ones he loves then apologizes without learning anything from it.

I mean, Batman shuts people out and hurts feelings, but it's usually under the misguided logic that he's protecting them. And even then he's got Alfred there to both soften the blow and smack sense into Bruce. Ollie just abandoned Roy and when he came back got upset because Roy, whilst performing with Great Frog to earn a living, fell in with the wrong crowd. Say what they will about Batman, the worst Bruce would have done if that had been Dick would be to go out and patrol until he processed the situation. (Providing he doesn't have some backup plan in place for when one of his Robins gets addicted to drugs, which he might, because he's Batman.)

*shrugs* I'm bitter, because while I know I should like Green Arrow because of the other jerky characters I like, I can't get past what I read about in Inheritance.

Re: Preaching to the choir

Date: 2009-04-29 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] parsimonia.insanejournal.com
Reading Inheritance and Ollie's dealings with Roy just made me think of him as being rather weak, instead of being an abusive person (though his neglect of Roy could be categorized as abuse). I mean, he can't pass up the fun of a road trip with Hal or whatever, and then when he's confronted with his surrogate son shooting up heroin, and by extension his own failure as a parent, he can't deal with it and just takes off.

Yes, it was an awful thing to do, and he should have been there for Roy, before and after that incident, but I do still feel sorry for Ollie. If only because he clearly did not realize how badly he was fucking up until he saw that needle, and when he did, he was not capable of handling it in any mature way.

Which makes him very pathetic and loathsome considering he's a grown man, but like a kid who desperately wants a puppy he is incapable of taking care of, I feel bad for both of them.

What I found more asshole-ish of him was the forgetfulness in the present-day setting.

Date: 2009-04-28 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarodrussell.insanejournal.com
I also LOVE this version, and most all of the late 90's versions, of Dinah. The idea that she'd lecture Roy about the danger of Lian playing with guns, all while teaching her how to break someone's thumb...*sigh* That's just so wonderful.

It's also not something we'd ever see the current version doing. (The current version would likely be leading poor Lian down the road to diabetes with jars of maple syrup and chocos.)


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