When Green Arrow first came out in 1938, he was a big part of the DC world. In 1941, Mort Weisinger and George Papp came up with the idea for Oliver Queen and Aquaman, and they made them happen. Oliver Queen made his debut in the same issue. Robin Hood was originally an urban mix of Robin Hood and the popular westerns of the time. The Batman and Robin model of the time was then used to make Green Arrow and Speedy, and the rest is history.
Then, you’d think,
The Green Arrow of 2021 is very different from the one from 1941. As a child in the 1950s, Jack Kirby gave him a new name and sent him into space. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams took him across the country. During the 1980s, Mike Grell made Ollie a hunter of the city. She killed him and replaced him with someone else in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, Kevin Smith brought him back to life. A moving target: He isn’t a stable point of attack. Some of the best Green Arrow comics of all time have to be left out of a list like this one. ‘What Can One Man Do?’ is the Green Lantern #87 backstory written by Elliot S. Maggin and illustrated by Neal Adams. The character accepts his role as a man, legend, and possible mayor in the story. From Mike W. Barr and Trevor von Eeden, the 1983 limited series “Green Arrow” is an art-driven gem that was Green Arrow’s first main title. It was written by Kelley Puckett and Chuck Dixon, and they gave us an alternate Connor Hawke. He would be the Green Arrow for more than seven years on his own.
Green Arrow is the most human character in DC Comics. He went from being a blank slate to being the heart of a TV universe. The best Green Arrow comics of all time show both our best and our flaws.
1. The Outsider’s War
The “New 52” era of Green Arrow had a lot of problems, to say the least. As far as I know, Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s run was one of the brightest lights (as collected in Green Arrow By Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino Deluxe Edition). There was nothing left of Oliver Queen’s old life. He was broke and on the run, so the show cut him down to the basics.
In rebuilding Ollie’s world, Lemire added to the official origin story for the first time in decades, creating what he has called a “Green Arrow-centric mythology,” which he has written about. Green Arrow returns to the island that made him after he recovers from his fight with Count Vertigo. There, he meets the Arrow Clan, one of several weapon clans that are all connected to the ancient Outsiders. Like the best remixes of origin stories, Lemire adds things that help us learn more about the character but don’t change it. It doesn’t stop there: He also brings Shado, Robert Queen, Richard Dragon, and Ollie’s half-sister Emiko into the DCU today.
If Lemire’s soft reboot is creative, then Sorrentino’s art is nothing short of mind-blowing. Sorrentino is one of the more bold and experimental comics artists out there. He uses inserts, overlapping panels, bold monochromatic color, and sometimes no color at all to make sure that every page hits the reader and stays in their minds.
2. Justice League: Rise and Fall
There was one last great Green Arrow story to tell before the pre-Flashpoint universe died. This story was called Justice League: Rise and Fall. A few days after the events of James Robinson’s Cry for Justice, the daughter of Roy Harper/Arsenal is dead. Roy has lost his arm and is in a coma now, so he can’t move or talk. One day, Star City will be back to how it was. People are to blame for this, and Green Arrow breaks a rule that no hero should ever do. He kills the bad guy in cold blood.
One of the most controversial stories in Ollie’s recent history is written by J.T. Krul, with help from the main artists Federico Dallocchio and Geraldo Borges. Green Arrow has been at the center of many Justice League stories, but rarely has his humanity been put so clearly on the line as it was in this episode. This isn’t the first time that Ollie has turned away from the League because they don’t agree with his politics. This time, it’s because his desire for revenge is more important than the League’s idea of justice.
In the end, Ollie is confronted by the League, gets his engagement ring back from Dinah, and turns himself in for his crimes. New Green Arrow stories were born out of it, but it also showed that his worst moments were also the best.
3. New Blood
Since Mike Grell, Judd Winick has been one of the creators of Green Arrow for a long time. He made a lasting impression on the character. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams made “relevant comics” famous with their work. In “New Blood,” Green Arrow: Moving Targets, Winick uses the framework of a great action story to talk about social issues and keep up the work he started in the early days of his writing.
Mia Dearden, who was introduced by Kevin Smith and was going to be Speedy’s replacement for five years, was one of the most talked about parts of his time on the show. During this arc, she tests positive for HIV, coming out to her new family and classmates, and taking on the roles of both hero and teacher. It is very touching when Winick puts Pedro Zamora’s words into one of Mia’s speeches. Winick was close to Pedro and he was an activist.
Phil Hester and Ande Parks are very good artists, and they make Mia look like she’s real. She’s a fictional character who teaches the reader and picks up the two legacies of Speedy and Zamora at the same time. Before: “I thought one hero story should follow another.”
4. Identity Crisis
If you say “crisis” in DC, it usually means that one continuity is ending and a new one is taking its place. If we thought we knew everything about DC heroes, then Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales would change that. Even though the stakes were more personal in the controversial seven-issue limited series, it still managed to make us think we didn’t.
Following the death of Sue Dibny, the wife of Elongated Man, the superhero community looks into it. That’s when Sue was raped by Dr. Light, and the League decided to erase his memories so that he wouldn’t remember it. They didn’t stop there. They also erased the memories of other villains and heroes when the need arose. Heroes line up on opposite sides of the fence, with Green Arrow standing by to watch what is going on.
There were a lot of things that happened because of this split in the Justice League. Green Arrow is the conscience and moral memory of the Justice League, and this split caused a lot of things to happen. It’s a post-9/11 story that has a lot in common with Marvel’s Civil War. It’s both a reaction to the Patriot Act of 2001 and a look at giving up personal freedoms for the “greater good,” which is what the Patriot Act is about.
5. Year One
As of the time Green Arrow: Year One came out in 2007, Jack Kirby, Chuck Dixon, and Mike Grell had already told and retold the desert island story many times. Yet, when they used it, it was new and important.
Diggle’s script changed a lot of things, but it still kept the core of Green Arrow’s origin. Ollie’s costume and name, for example, were functional necessities. Oliver Queen, a playboy who washed ashore on an island, has to stay alive while he fights a drug cartel that runs out of the otherwise peaceful place. It’s a complete character arc that doesn’t need to rely on previous knowledge, but it still has a lot to do with it.
It has some references to Mike Grell’s book, “The Longbow Hunters,” as well as a brief tryst with heroin that makes his famous reaction to Speedy’s addiction look a little different than before. Jock’s dark shadows and minimalist style make this story even more like a Batman origin story by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. This is a crime story about Andy Diggle, but Jock’s work makes it even better.
A few elements from this new origin story made their way into the Arrow TV show. They served as a model for the flashback sequences that helped to establish a style for the show. This new story only lasted until Flashpoint, four years later. Also, China White was one of the show’s main villains in the show’s first few years.
6. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86: Snowbirds Don’t Fly (1971)
Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams have done a great job with Green Lantern and Green Arrow. It’s hard to put into words how important they have been. “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” is one of the main books used to help shape the Bronze Age. It talks about the problem of teens taking drugs. Snowbirds, on the other hand, used Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s young sidekick, as the drug addict. Other stories would have used a random person, or a character who was just there in the background. These events put Oliver Queen in an unusual situation. It makes the fact that he’s watching a friend go down this dark path even more real.
7. Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (1987)
As Oliver Queen is now 43 years old, he made his first major appearance since the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Oliver is no longer the young man he was when he was in his 20s. He has grown up and looks at the world in a different way now. A new book called The Longbow Hunters changes Robin Hood’s style from a fun one to one that is more realistic and street level. While the story has some controversial parts, it set the tone for the character going forward, just like Batman’s The Killing Joke and Superman’s Man of Steel did for them. Mike Grell would keep working on the character, but it was this three-issue arc that started the revival of Green Arrow.
8. Zero Hour: Crisis in Time (1994)
I’ll be shouting about Zero Hour: Crisis in Time to the end of my life. Green Arrow is a big part of that. List: We talked about this in our previous Batgirl best of list. The emotional core that leaves a lasting impression on the reader comes from both Batgirl and Green Arrow. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, time moves and resets in the DC universe. This story is about that. There are many touching moments in the story, but the bond formed between Green Arrow and Batgirl at its end is both surprising and even more haunting than any of them could have been. It shows us a side of Green Arrow that doesn’t come to mind right away, but one that is very scary by the end of the story.
9. Green Arrow: Quiver (2001)
Oliver Queen has been dead for a long time, but he comes back with no memory of his life or death. It all comes down to Oliver’s adventures in the early 1970s, and there’s nothing else. Even if you look at Ollie’s body, he doesn’t have a lot of scars or injuries from when he was hurt. Mystery and celebration: Quiver put Green Arrow back in the spotlight and gave him attention he didn’t deserve. It was a great book.