Red Arrow's Gruesome Fate
Newsarama takes a look at the latest Titans-related maiming: "SPOILERS FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #5 AHOY: You’ve either seen or heard what happened in last week’s issue of Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 by now. In the last few pages, an apparently mind-controlled Freddy “Shazam!” Freeman is revealed to have ripped off Roy “Red Arrow” Harper’s right arm above the elbow. Supergirl cauterizes the wound with her heat vision prior to taking on Freddy (whom it would seem is doing the bidding of Prometheus) on the final page. I have a variety of thoughts on this, so I’ll just separate them out and take them one at a time."
A lot of fans feel betrayed by what they see as the frequent maiming and killing of heroes that they enjoy following. And Roy’s not exactly a new guy; he’s been around in some form for 68 years as of last month. The most obvious manifestation of this discontent where the Justice League is concerned in centered around characters associated with the Justice League International. In recent years, Blue Beetle II, Rocket Red, and more have been killed off. Most recently, Tasmanian Devil, a JLI supporting player and one of the few gay super-heroes in the DCU, was killed and skinned for a rug by the villain of this very series. While it’s a truth of both comics and the real world that terrible things happen to heroes, a number of readers feel disenfranchised when actions have been taken to these extremes.Is this sort of thing even surprising in the current DCU? Willl Red Arrow become the "big villain in 2010 who isn't a villain yet," according to Didio? Are Titans fans getting too apathetic to care much anymore?
Also, for a character with a lengthy history and presence in the DCU, the move (which could be very easily overturned, as noted above) feels a lot more like a cheap shock, an easy jolt to punch up a cliffhanger. In recent years, that seems more likely to frustrate and anger fans rather than get them back for the next thing.