Green Arrow

From Academic Kids

Template:Superherobox Green Arrow (Oliver "Ollie" Queen) is a DC Comics superhero. Created by Mort Weisinger and Greg Papp, he first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (1941).

Dressed like Robin Hood, Green Arrow is an archer, who invents arrows with various special functions, such as a glue arrow, a net arrow, a punching glove arrow, etc. Originally, most of his other traits were borrowed from Batman. Like the caped crusader, Green Arrow was a millionaire, mentored a young sidekick (Speedy) and policed a fictional metropolis (Star City).

Throughout his first twenty-five years, Green Arrow was not a significant hero. But in the late 1960s, after he lost his fortune, writers gave him the unique role of streetwise crusader for the working class. In 1970, he was paired with the more law-and-order-oriented hero Green Lantern in a groundbreaking, socially conscious comic book series. Since then, he was been popular among comic book fans and most writers have taken an urban, gritty approach to the character.



The Green Arrow character was inspired by a few different sources, including Edgar Wallace's The Green Archer (and the 1940 Columbia Pictures serial of the same name based on the novel) and Fawcett Publications' earlier archery-themed hero Golden Arrow. Green Arrow was also obviously created as an archery-themed version of the earlier character Batman, as several similarities between the two characters can be spotted, especially in Green Arrow's earlier incarnation: Green Arrow has a teenaged sidekick named Speedy just as Batman has Robin; Green Arrow and Batman are both millionaire playboys in their secret identitites; Green Arrow has an Arrowcar and an Arrowplane similar to Batman's Batmobile and Batplane; while Batman is summoned to police headquarters by the Bat-signal, Green Arrow is summoned by the Arrow-signal. The Arrowcar is yellow in color and shaped reminiscent of the land-speed record holder of the 1920s, the British Golden Arrow.

Publishing history


Created in 1941 by writer/editor Mort Weisinger and artist George Papp, who remained with the series for almost twenty years, Green Arrow and Speedy first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (cover-dated November 1941).

Incidentally, another Mort Weisiner-created character called Aquaman also appeared for the first time in that issue, and these two back-up features continued to run concurrently in More Fun Comics until the mid-1940s, and then in Adventure Comics from 1946 until 1960. Green Arrow and Speedy also appeared in various issues of World's Finest Comics until issue #140 (1964). The Green Arrow and Speedy feature was one of five back-up features to be promoted in one of the earliest team-up books, Leading Comics.

Green Arrow was one of the few DC characters to keep going after the Golden Age of Comic Books. The longevity of the character was due to the influence of creator Mort Weisinger, who kept Green Arrow and Aquaman as back-up features to the headlining Superboy feature first in More Fun Comics and then Adventure Comics. The Green Arrow and Speedy feature had a relatively undistinguished publishing history, though the main exception in this period was a short run in 1958 by Jack Kirby.

After the last original Green Arrow and Speedy features in the early 1960s, Green Arrow was made the first non-charter member of the Justice League of America, a team which guaranteed the character's being continually featured, in some way or another, continuously until 1998.

Neal Adams and Dennis O'Neil

Missing image
Green Lantern #76, April 1970. Art by Neal Adams.

In 1969 artist Neal Adams decided to update the character's visual appearance by giving him a goatee beard and costume of his own design. Inspired by Adams' redesign, writer Dennis O'Neil followed up on Green Arrow's new appearance by completely remaking the character's attitude in the pages of Justice League of America #79 (cover-dated November 1969), giving his personality a rougher edge like that of Marvel Comics' archery-themed hero Hawkeye. This revision was explained by having Oliver Queen lose his fortune and become an outspoken and strident advocate of the underprivileged in society and the political left wing. In short, he became a kind of superheroic hybrid between Robin Hood and Abbie Hoffman. In addition, the Green Arrow began a long running romantic relationship with The Black Canary. As a member of the Justice League, he became an argumentative figure who tended to get on the others' nerves while in his better moments, acted as the political conscience of the team.

In the early 1970s, he became a co-feature with Green Lantern in the latter's series in an acclaimed, but shortlived series of stories by O'Neil and Adams that dealt with various social and political issues in which Green Arrow spoke for the liberal argument (and thus a voice for O'Neil himself) and Green Lantern was a half-hearted conservative advocate. In addition, Queen got a job as a newspaper reporter which allowed him to articulate his political beliefs in a more public field. It was during this period that the most famous Green Arrow story of all time appeared, in Green Lantern #85-86, when it was revealed that Speedy was addicted to heroin.

In 1984 Green Arrow appeared for the first time in his own comic book, a four issue miniseries.

Green Arrow has a small role in Frank Miller's 1986 dystopian Batman story, The Dark Knight Returns. Miller's future Green Arrow was imprisoned by the government but escaped, and has evidently undertaken a clandestine career of political terrorism. This Green Arrow is an older man; he is bald, and has lost his left arm, but remains defiant. He carries a grudge against Superman for the loss of his arm. Batman has him shoot a single Kryptonite arrow at Superman; Green Arrow draws the bowstring with his teeth.

Mike Grell to Chuck Dixon

In 1987, the character was changed once more in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, written and illustrated by Mike Grell. In this three-issue prestige format mini-series, Green Arrow abandons his gadget arrows and fights crime in Seattle, Washington; the series took on a more gritty, violent, and urban tone. The Longbow Hunters mini-series led to a long-running regular series (Green Arrow volume 2), which Grell wrote for 80 issues. Grell tried to write Green Arrow as a 'realistic' real world character, purging the series of any superhero characteristics. Green Arrow lost his mask a couple of issues into the regular series when someone pointed out it did not disguise his identity at all, Black Canary remained his partner for most of the series but lost her 'sonic scream' ability, and Hal Jordan's appearances made no mention of his identity as Green Lantern.

Connor Hawke

Missing image
Connor Hawke and Oliver Queen. Art by Matt Wagner.

Under later writers, such as Kelley Puckett, Kevin Dooley, and Chuck Dixon, some superheroic elements of the DC Universe were re-introduced, such as Green Lantern's transformation into the villainous Parallax, whom Green Arrow was forced to kill in order to save the universe. Puckett introduced a young monk named Connor Hawke, who teamed up with Green Arrow and eventually discovered that Oliver Queen was his father. In 1995, Dixon and other DC editors decided that Queen's storytelling possibilities had been exhausted, and he died in Green Arrow #100-101, triggering an explosion that would have destroyed Metropolis. This death scene pays tribute to The Dark Knight Returns: Superman intends to rescue Green Arrow by removing his arm, but Ollie refuses to let him.

Like many DC superheroes in the mid-1990s, the "old" Green Arrow was immediately replaced with a young successor, in this case his son Connor Hawke. Connor starred in the series (as "Green Arrow II") from issue 102 until issue 137, when it was canceled. Chuck Dixon, Green Arrow's writer during this period, explored Connor's difficulty adjusting to the world after spending years in an ashram. Dixon also tried to resurrect the traditional parternership of Green Arrow and Green Lantern, who had also been recently replaced (by Kyle Rayner).

The 21st century

Missing image
Cover to Green Arrow #1 (2000). Art by Matt Wagner.

In 2000, Oliver Queen was revived in a new Green Arrow series, written by Kevin Smith and illustrated by Phil Hester and Ande Parks. Smith's storyline returned the character to life from a point before the Mike Grell period, although the world around him still reflected the changes that had taken place — for example, the introduction of Wally West, Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke to replace Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and Queen himself, respectively. Smith's fifteen issues were followed by a story arc by Brad Meltzer, who in 2002 handed the title over to Judd Winick. Hester and Parks remained as the art team throughout these changes.

One of Winick's most-publicized innovations was to reveal that Mia Dearden, a former prostitute unofficially adopted by Green Arrow during Kevin Smith's run, had tested positive for HIV. Winick had published a graphic novel (Pedro and Me) about a gay friend who died of HIV/AIDS, and subsequently wrote a Green Lantern storyline about homophobia, so some critics have pigeonholed him as a writer of social-commentary storylines, or for being overly didactic. Winick argues that his writing range is wider than simple liberal propaganda, that socially relevant storylines are part of the Green Arrow tradition, and that he intends to show Mia living a normal life, "living with HIV, as many people do." [1] (

Green Arrow also appears in Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited cartoon series. He is voiced by Kin Shriner.


Oliver Queen bears an uncanny resemblance to the Warlord (Travis Morgan), who was created by Mike Grell, and Deathstroke the Terminator. Deathstroke, however, is missing one eye, and both Warlord and Deathstroke have white hair, while Green Arrow is blond. During the Mike Grell run of Green Arrow, he had Warlord appear in Seattle leading to a few cases of mistaken idenity (and thus a rather perterbed Warlord).

Secret origins

The character Green Arrow has had several official "secret origins" attributed to it.

Washed overboard from an ocean cruise, the wealthy Oliver Queen lived like Robinson Crusoe on a desert island, hunting with a bow. He vowed not to kill when he discovered how much he liked it. When criminals came to the island, he captured them and returned to civilization, where he joined the Justice League

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