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‘Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal’ Wins Award For Accurate Depiction of Drug Addiction. Really.

Not since Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose won an award for “Best Independent Comic” have we been quite so shocked by an award-winner as we are today. As DC’s The Source reports, last Saturday saw the Prism Awards honor Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal as an accurate portrayal of substance abuse and mental illness.

Yes, that Rise of Arsenal.

The one with the dead cat.A story in Peter Milligan and Werther Dell’Edera’s Greek Street also received an award for its portrayal of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — meaning that once again, Funky Winkerbean was robbed — but Rise of Arsenal was honored alongside The Fighter and Black Swan for what is apparently an award-winningly accurate portrayal of one man’s crippling addiction to China Cat.

The story in question depicts Roy Harper — the costumed hero variously known as Red Arrow, Arsenal and, most hilariously, Speedy — relapsing into an addiction that was first introduced in the ’70s after a man wearing a knight helmet ripped his arm off and used a time-space teleporter bomb to drop a building on his daughter. When the result of all of this is the all-too-common problem of erectile dysfunction that keeps him from having sex with his daughter’s mother, a notorious assassin who once blew up a country with nuclear weapons.

This depression then leads Harper to stab a bunch of criminals with knives, but when the release of vigilante justice isn’t enough to cheer him up, he ends up relapsing into the use of China Cat. The frighteningly accurate sequence sees him unable to inject it — his missing limb having been replaced with a cybernetic robot arm — and thus smoking it, which leads to a karate battle with six hobos, a visit from Batman and a hallucination that the rotting corpse of an alley cat is his daughter’s body.

We hope this leads to the Prism Award adopting the nickname of “The Deadcatty,” but either way, it’s very refreshing to see such a touching work honored for its accurate portrayal of China Cat addiction. We here at ComicsAlliance would like to offer a hearty congratulations to DC Comics for the the work they’ve done raising awareness in this groundbreaking storyline, and we can’t wait for the Pulitzer Committee to finally recognize Clark Kent’s contributions to journalism through his coverage of Superman!

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