(Note: The only way to really truly enjoy this comic is to listen to “Heroin” by The Velvet Underground while reading. Now yes, that might seem a little bit on the nose, but I promise you that it’s totally worthwhile. Also, since there’s nothing on this comic saying that its for mature readers, you could argue that it is not not for kids, which technically means that it’s totally for kids, right?)

So I’m pretty sure things can’t possibly get worse for our friend Roy Harper what with the whole losing-an-arm-losing-a-daughter thing but my fingers are crossed that I’m going to be wrong on this one. So let’s see what’s happening here aw man his crazy ex who is also the mom of his dead daughter and is also a woman who killed an entire country this one time is fighting with him and Responsible Roy is thinking about the times that they’ve “made love” oh man this guy is a total mess. So they keep fighting and Roy is like a redhead so suddenly he decides that he’s actually the Carrot Top of turning everyday objects into weapons!

“See this tennis racket? It’s really a force field!”

Then he picks up a stapler and starts treating his lady’s arm like a term paper but that’s okay because she likes it rough his words not mine. He also makes sure to point out that a woman who kills people for money turned out to be a less-than-successful parent nevermind what’s that joke about the one-armed man the crazy assassin lady and the extension cord?

I forget how it goes but I’m pretty sure this is the punchline:

Also I see ads about this exact situation on the subway like every day.

And that officially marks the third time I’ve read about this sort of male dysfunction in the DC book in the last three weeks if I can’t rely on my superheroes to inspire me then what hope do I have as a man? Well Roy isn’t having any of it he doesn’t need to hear a lady say anything like “Don’t worry, honey. This kind of thing happens to a lot of pointless superheroes that folks don’t really care about.” so he straps on his fancy new arm because he “needs some release.” And what does Roy do when he’s all pent up like this? He goes out and stabs dudes in the street and that’s some Freudian imagery that I am neither qualified nor interested in trying to figure out but if you’re having trouble with your lady and then you work it out by injuring folks with sharp phallic objects well then you might need some help. Then again if someone chops off your arm and kills your child you also might need some help so there’s that too, isn’t there?

Then again if you’re rolling around on the street and looking to stab some people and then your long-dead drug dealer starts talking to you about those things you did with those two classy young ladies in Nashville (confession the comic totally does not say classy young ladies at all) well in that case you’re probably doing okay. And what’s pretty cool is that his imaginary dealer is clearly trying to teach Roy some important life lessons in this difficult situation…

OH GOD MAN WHY WOULD YOU SAY SOMETHING WITH A DOUBLE MEANING LIKE “EASY FIX” WHEN YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S A DRUG DEAL GOING DOWN IN THE ALLEY RIGHT DOWN THERE?

Not to worry guys Roy is totally a hero so when things get tough, he pushes through so he’s going to do the right thing and put a stop to that nasty drug deal oh oh wait hold on actually he’s doing the complete opposite isn’t he? What’s pretty funny about this is that in the real world it’s been like more than 20 years since Roy was actually into the junk but in DC years it hasn’t been a very long time at all but either way our man’s drug language seems to be a little bit out of date because Roy asks for some China Cat and the dealer has no idea what he’s talking about. Now if I had to guess I’d say the writer was doing this to make it clear to the reader that we’re talking about heroin here and this is a really good thing to do for a lot of the kids who are reading this since there’s nothing on this book that says it’s for mature readers and the kids probably won’t know what it means when someone is talking about China Cat but now they totally will thanks DC for the public service that you provide!!!

Hey I’m gonna turn the page and my goodness it’s a two-page spread of Roy sitting in an alley smoking what was called the A Train which is a train I don’t ride very often because it doesn’t really stop near my house but now that Roy is into the A Train I think I’m going to ride it everyday from now on is that weird? What’s happening now Roy is sitting in the alley but now Lian is alive again and talking to him and he’s sweating a whole lot like he needs a fix but he already got a fix and oh no he’s being attacked by a gang of Prometheuses what the hell is the plural form of Prometheus does such a thing even exist? You know what’s funny as I was writing this I’m watching this horrible teen movie with the kid from Heroes with Stalloneface and he just stole a guy’s leg either this stuff is happening everywhere or I’m just suddenly really starting to notice all the magic that happens in the world around me.

Anyways Roy goes and stabs all the Prometheus guys because that’s like his new thing I mean the title of the series implies that he’s going back to the name Arsenal but I’m pretty sure we should just call him “Stabber” from now on. Now this other guy is talking to him and he says it’s too late and then oh my god this THIS THIS THIS A THOUSAND TIMES THIS:

Now first I didn’t know that junk causes hallucination and it actually doesn’t since I checked the Wikipedia page but what this comic is telling me is that Roy was imagining that a dead cat was his daughter and then he beat up a bunch of dudes in an alley to defend the dead cat oh god forget that Supermax nonsense someone really really needs to make this into a movie I gotta get to work on a casting call this one time in college I starred in a student movie in which I showed an alien around campus and then we fell in love. Anyways I’m really sad this comic came out after Eisner nominations this year because this would have been a shoo-in for the single best image in the history of comics.

So it turns out that guy talking to Roy before was actually Batman and Batman says he’s here to help so he beats the crap out of him which is what friends do for each other in times of great need. But I swear to you that Batman is a good friend and he really is here to help and that’s why he locks him up in a facility for supervillains with substance abuse problems and then LEAVES HIM THERE TO WORK IT OUT HIMSELF. This is probably a pretty smart thing to do, right? I bet he’ll be able to work things out on his own, right? Let’s find out.

Yesirreee. Doin’ dandy.

It can’t possibly get worse than this, can it?