Lian Harper’s death has been condemned by many different comics’ fans, and I’ll add my name to that list. The death was done purely for shock value, and it destroyed what I believe was the only interesting aspect of Roy Harper’s character. However, that isn’t the worst part. In Cry for Justice, Lian is never shown on panel until her death.
She is mentioned once or twice, but any new readers will have no idea who she is. They are told that she is Roy’s daughter, but we never see her until we see Green Arrow cradling her corpse. And since Roy is unconscious, we don’t even get to see his reaction. New readers will feel nothing over the death. She’s just one of the thousands of people who died in Star City, and there’s nothing to distinguish her from nameless corpse #452 aside from the fact that we actually see the body.
There’s no reason to mourn for her death for the same reason that there’s no reason to mourn for any of the deaths in Cry for Justice. We were never given a reason to care about the characters. They die within a couple of pages of being introduced - some didn’t even last that long – and what little introduction we got was often out of character. This is horrible writing. Creating a connection between characters and readers is essential if you want readers to care about the characters who appear. Otherwise it’s just wasting panels.
This horrible writing has a very different effect on fans of the characters who died. They are not sad. They are angry. Characters that they loved were killed off callously, often for no purpose aside from driving the meandering plot. They didn’t get a last stand. They were forgotten almost as quickly as they were killed.
Lian Harper was an adorable little girl who probably had as many fans as her father. Heck, in my case, I’ve always found Roy Harper to be dull as dirt . . . except when he’s around Lian. Lian forced him to grow as a person and as a character. So few superheroes are allowed to be parents. And now one of the few single fathers in comics lost his daughter.
Why? For shock value? So Roy can go evil? So characters can angst?
It was so poorly executed that any reason you give will be insufficient. A wonderful character was killed in order to completely ruin the characterizations of both Roy Harper and Green Arrow. It’s bad writing that’s destroyed multiple characters. I can only hope that one day another writer will undo the damage . . . and it can’t happen soon enough.