Review-a-day: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1

Posted: September 28, 2014 in Review-a-day
Tags: , , , ,

GreenArrowTheLongbowHunters1

With the premier of the third season of ‘Arrow’ just about a week and a half away, it seemed like an appropriate time for me to dig into my comics backlog and pull out ‘Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters”, arguably one of the most influential Green Arrow stories there is.

Forget the publication date, just take one look inside this book and there’s no mistaking that it comes from a different era of comics (it was published in 1987). Sure methods have changed in the last 27 years, but nothing in The New 52 looks like this (if I’m wrong, please, show me), and while I won’t go so far as to call this art style superior, it’s definitely a welcome change from all the modern comics I read. Get past the art though, and the content will drive the point home. When was the last time you saw two DC heroes naked in bed together (ok, that one may be relatively recent)? How about bare breasts in a DC comic? How about a vial of crack rocks? Yeah, this was a different time for sure. None of this is gratuitous though, it’s just there without ever seeming strange or out of place. What is strange, at least for a reader like me who’s used to a much younger Green Arrow, is to see the character in his 40’s and in his own words, a grandfather (of sorts anyway).This is probably a much more introspective Oliver Queen than modern readers are probably used to as well. He doesn’t even officially don his costume (brand new and given to him by Black Canary) until 30 or so pages into the double-sized issue, and up until that point the narrative is much more focused on him looking back, contemplating and philosophizing, not thinking of his next adventure.

From this first of three issues, it seems this is likely to be a significantly dark story, perhaps even a hard one to read at times. There is a conversation this issue between Green Arrow and Black Canary that already has me anticipating an unhappy ending, but in the end, I have no doubt that I will come away from this story with a better appreciation for the character than ever before. And to bring it back to the ‘Arrow’ TV show for just a moment, this issue showed me something I wasn’t aware of, that there is a precedent for Black Canary being blonde in her hero guise and dark-haired as a civilian. Just sayin’.

Score: 9.0

Written By: Mike Grell
Art By: Mike Grell, Lurene Haines and Julia Lacquement
Letters By: Ken Bruzenak
Price: $2.99 (on ComiXology)

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