In the back of my house, I keep my most prized possessions. My long boxes. Filled with issue after issue after issue (Guess you could say I have issues) of comic books dating back thirty years or longer.
This is just one of them.
Green Arrow #1 (3rd series)
Written by Kevin Smith
Pencils: Phil Hester
Inks: Ande Parks
Color: Guy Major
Letters: Sean Konot
Rebirth. Something that is so common in comic books these days that it’s become a trope. Original character dies. Only to be brought back months or years later because they MUST come back.
The subject of this rebirth in this case is Oliver Queen, the original Green Arrow.
Green Arrow was created in 1941 by Mortimer Weisinger and designed by George Papp in More Fun Comics #73.
In 2001, the character was turning 60 years old. Not that anyone would notice; the character had died in issue #100 (second series), preventing a group of eco-terrorists from destroying Metropolis with a bomb. He was replaced by his son, Connor Hawke, as the Green Arrow. During the last issue of the second series, #137 (October 1998), Hal Jordan, who had gone crazy and had become the villain Parallax, resurrected Oliver.
Years later, we got a new number one issue, written by writer/director/producer/fanboy Kevin Smith with pencils by Phill Hester and inking by Ande Parks.
The issue starts during the Final Night with Batman and Superman (Damn, I miss when Batman and Superman used to be “super-friends”) talking about the seeming cold apocalypse when Supes feels something leave him, but with his weakened powers he can’t tell what.
We then visit the grave of Oliver Queen where we see Parallax visit before he leaves to kill the Sun-Eater and resurrects the sun. As he fades out, another pair of green boots show up. We see Green Arrow, Connor Hawke, sprawled out at Ollie’s grave.
We spend the rest of the issue revisiting Ollie’s other friends and associates, the former Speedy — now Aresnal — Roy Harper. He recounts his time with Oliver.
We then visit Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, she recounts a time when she and Ollie made love.
Next on the wheel of former Oliver Queen friends and family, we visit Connor Hawke, who is now in the ashram where he came from trying to find inner peace, as well as himself.
We then find ourselves on the last two pages where a mysterious trick arrow wielding vigilante emerges…
Artwork: Phill Hester and Ande Parks’ art style is pretty good, if a bit squared off. I’m still not a huge fan of this kind of art style. But Hester and Parks make it look pretty good. Some other artists who do this style, make it look kind of undone or exaggerated.
Story: This is the opening to a story arc, so it reads more like a preamble then an actual story. It serves as a sort of introduction to the Emerald Archer’s return. (“Hey remember the guy who used to be in this title?” He’s back and a bit rebooted.”) This arc brought Oliver Queen back without the memories or scars he received during “The Longbow Hunters” storyline. He got some of the grim-dark removed that was weighing the character down. After all, he shouldn’t be just Batman with arrows. We have a Batman. He should be a bit more Robin Hood. Daring and Dashing.
That put aside, the real value here is Kevin Smith’s words. If there is one thing Kevin Smith can do (other then talk) is write. Kevin Smith is a wordsmith extraordinaire.
I’ll admit it, I’m a bit biased toward old “Silent Bob”. He took a character that had been shoved so far aside, he didn’t even have a title (or a life) and brought him back and put him on a strong foundation. The third series of Green Arrow lasted for 75 issues and ended in 2007.
There are plenty of Green Arrow stories availiable. You can find Green Arrow in your local comic book store and on Comixology.
So start reading today!