Green Arrow (GA) is enjoying something of a renaissance these days!
While his new comic has changed hands pretty consistently, the new CW series Arrow has been doing well on television, garnering good-sized audiences and a strong fan base. I particularly enjoyed the recent discussion on the show that instead of being called “the Hood,” the vigilante should get a better name. “How about Green Arrow?” said John Barrowman’s character. “Lame!” responded Stephen Amell, who plays the titular character. Nice inside joke. If you aren’t a comics fan, you probably don’t care about lines like that, but if you are, it’s a fun bonus!
Based on the success of Smallville: Season 11, DC immediately started up an Arrow digital series, which comes out in print a certain amount of time after the chapters have been released online. (A great way to double dip, in my opinion.) Longtime Green Arrow comics writer/artist Mike Grell has been involved, a treat for fans.
Recently word came that rising star Jeff Lemire would take over writing on the Green Arrow comic that’s part of the New 52. I’ve been buying the book regularly anyway, but I’ll buy with more interest with him involved. (Hey, I’d do that no matter what comic he was working on!)
As a “seasoned” comics reader, I remember Green Arrow’s glory days. He was originally a Batman-like hero who even had an Arrow plane, an Arrow cave, and an Arrow car. Thankfully, he didn’t have an Arrow dog named Ace.
Neal Adams revamped his costumed in the late 1960s, then the artist joined Denny O’Neil to send the hero going across the country with Green Lantern in an attempt to make the Lantern’s book more “relevant.”
Green Arrow became more liberal politically as time went on, and we saw (and some of us even enjoyed) his occasional debates with Hawkman, who was perceived to lean more to the right.
When Smallville couldn’t bring on Batman because the character’s TV rights belonged to another company at the time, the show’s producers brought in Justin Hartley to play the Emerald Archer. Hartley had previously played Aquaman in a failed TV pilot.
After appearing on Justice League Unlimited quite a bit, Green Arrow became a semi-regular in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series on Cartoon Network.
Since the 1970s, Green Arrow has been romantically tied to Black Canary, who came to Earth-1 from Earth-2. They’ve teamed up in the comics several times, although Mr. Lemire has said in recent interviews that he would prefer to keep her out of the picture for now.
One similarity the actors Hartley and Amell share is their inability to remember to put their shirts on when the camera runs. Maybe we should take a collection of funds to buy shirts for those actors. (Just kidding! I know the ladies enjoy shirtless scenes no matter how often they make guys gag.)
Where will Green Arrow go from here? I hope his star continues shooting high and that he’ll carve out his own place in comics, TV and the movies.