WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Green Arrow #45 by Julie and Shawna Benson, Javier Fernandez, John Kalisz and Deron Bennet, as well as Heroes in Crisis #1 by Tom King, Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles. Both issues are in stores now.
If you’ve read Heroes in Crisis #1, or if you’ve been at least keeping up with comic news, then you’ve heard the bad news: A whole lot of superheroes have died. While there were some obscure characters on that list, two of the casualties are bonafide fan-favorites: Wally West, aka the Flash, and Roy Harper, aka Arsenal/Red Arrow.
But while the series’ first issue dealt with the initial carnage inside the Sanctuary, and the two prominent suspects so far, it didn’t have time to examine the proper fallout of these deaths.
Green Arrow #45 slows things down a little bit, giving the superheroes of the DC Universe some time to breathe and grieve. The issue is relatively quiet, taking place entirely during Roy Harper’s public funeral. Here, Oliver Queen reacts pretty much the only way he knows — with anger and self-loathing. But he doesn’t stop there. He also decides to blame every single member of the Justice League, to the point that he almost declares war on them.
It was only two issues ago, in Green Arrow #43, that Roy revealed to his former mentor that he had checked into Sanctuary, the haven-turned-crime-scene at the center of Heroes in Crisis. At the time, Oliver didn’t even know what Sanctuary was. ButJust a few months later, and Green Arrow is attending the funeral of his old partner. Naturally, before Oliver’s blame falls on himself, he turns his anger towards the people who set up Sanctuary in the first place.
During the funeral, all of the heroes are dressed in their civilian attire, given that they are also surrounded by non-super powered friends and family. However, this doesn’t stop Queen from walking up to Clark Kent and punching him in the face, knowing full well that the hit won’t have any effect. And he doesn’t stop there. Not only does he blame Clark, Bruce, Diana, Victor Stone and even his good friend Hal Jordan all receive their share of Oliver’s ire. In fact, he’s so caught up in his anger, he almost declares war on the Justice League then and there.
“You think nothing can hurt you,” he tells them, “but you have no idea what I could do to you.” Oliver is, of course, referring to the secret box that Martian Manhunter entrusted him with after the events of Justice League: No Justice. The box’s contents are unknown, but it’s said that whatever it contains is powerful enough to destroy the League. J’onn gave it to Oliver as a failsafe, with the instructions to use it should the League ever step out of bounds.
At the funeral, before Oliver can finish his threat, he is interrupted by J’onn, who intervenes telepathically. Green Arrow truly believes that the Justice League’s failures led to Roy’s death, and that this equates to them essentially killing his sidekick. To him, it’s an offense that warrants the use of the box. Thankfully, the Martian Manhunter’s words calm Oliver down, and the box remains closed.
The tragedy at Sanctuary has affected the entire community of superheroes, and the loss of Arsenal is understandably extremely hard on Green Arrow. He may have been calmed down just in time, but he still remains the one character who could take down the entire Justice League. If the death of Roy Harper won’t get him to use the box, then we can only wonder… what will?
KEEP READING: Every Superhero Who Dies in Heroes in Crisis #1
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