Green Arrow (GA) is enjoying something of a renaissance these days!
While his new comic has been changing hands on a semi-regular basis, the CW series Arrow has been doing well for that television neltet, garnering good-sized audiences and a strong fan base for five years now. I knew I’d be a big fan wayyyy back in the early days of the show when they discussed 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 actually plays the main character. I liked that inside joke a lot! The good news is that 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!
As a “seasoned” comics reader, I remember the past “glory” days of Green Arrow. For instance, GA 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 with Green Lantern driving across the country in an attempt to make GL’s book more “relevant.”
GA became much 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 due to the TV rights of the character at that time belonging to another company, the show’s producers brought in Justin Hartley, the actor who previously had played Aquaman on that show, to take on the Emerald Archer’s role.
After appearing on Justice League Unlimited quite a bit, GA also was a semi-regular in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series on Cartoon Network. He’s now on Justice League Action, which I really love. It’s on Cartoon Network early Saturday mornings, so set your recorder!
Since the 1970s, Green Arrow has been romantically tied to Black Canary, who came to Earth-1 from Earth-2. They’ve been 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 between Mr. Hartley and Mr. Amell is their inability to remember to put their shirts on when the camera is running. Maybe we should take a collection to buy shirts for those actors? (Just kidding! I know the ladies enjoy it when this happens no matter how many of us guys gag.)
Now that the sixth season of Arrow has been greenlit (sorry, couldn’t resist that one), we’ll get another year of action, adventure and drama from that stellar cast. I know some people think that this program is the least of the New “DCW” superhero line-up, but I’m still looking forward to it when it comes on. I often wonder if the fact that the other shows has powered characters makes Green Arrow seem less exciting, but I remember the days before The Flash when it was the only DC show on the tube! I was happy to support it then, and continue to do so now. I’ll be really sad when the time comes for it to conclude.
In the Rebirth comic, GA is going back “on the road again,” reminiscent of the classic GL/GA comics from decades ago. We’ll see how that goes.
Where will Green Arrow go from here? I hope the hero will still find his star shooting high, and that we’ll see him carve out his own place in comics, TV and the movies.