Review-a-day: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #2

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Review-a-day
Tags: , , , ,


The longbow Hunters continues with its second double-sized issue and it continues to remind me just how much comic books, at least so far as the big two (Marvel and DC) are concerned, have changed over the last number of years. My understanding is that this story is regarded as something of a classic, essential reading for fans of the Green Arrow character, yet looking at this issue, I doubt DC Comics would dare to even print it today.

Be honest. Look at the DC Comics of today, or the landscape of mainstream comics in general. Can you imagine, even for a second, DC printing a book in which one of their hero characters is strung up, bloodied and left just barely covered while her captor/torturer implies that she may soon (if she hasn’t already) be raped. I certainly can’t see that being printed today, but evidently in 1987, with the likes of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen already on shelves and ushering in a darker era, such scenes were nothing to fret over. Stepping away from the dark and bloody closing scenes of this issue, there is another, lighter aspect of the story I want to discuss. Last issue saw the first appearance of the character Shado, who fans of the current run of Green Arrow and the Arrow TV show are probably quite familiar with. This issue offers up a bit more of her background with glimpses of her upbringing/training and the philosophy she operates under. It also features the first meeting between her and Green Arrow in a classic archer duel scenario. I really like Shado in this story, not so much because of who she is herself (because even with the backstory we get in this issue, we still don’t know much about her), but because of how she stands as such a counterpoint to the Oliver Queen of this story. Seeing how much younger, and apparently better, Shado is than Oliver really serves to drive home where Green Arrow is in his life at the time of this story. He is already having thoughts of settling down, of having a normal life and family and now he has a younger, better archer in front of him to show him just how far past his prime he really is. It’s this kind of obstacle that can make for a great heroic journey.

One more issue to go and i really can’t wait to see how it plays out. I’m looking forward to seeing how old Oliver and young Shado come together in the end, or if they are even able to. “One arrow. One life.” is not something they both follow, so the pursuit of justice may not be enough common ground for them.

Score: 8.5

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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