Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Green Arrow Stories Ever Told!
10. The Brave and the Bold #85 “The Senator’s Been Shot!”
This Bob Haney/Neal Adams story is the debut of the “new look” Green Arrow that became so famous during Hard Traveling Heroes.
9. Green Arrow (Vol. 2 – the 80s mini-series counts as Vol. 1, right?) #21-24 “Blood of the Dragon”
Mike Grell would often have major storylines wrap around Oliver Queen’s birthdays, and in this sequel to the previous year’s storyline involving the mysterious Japanese archer, Shado, she returns for Ollie’s help with rescuing her infant son who has been kidnapped by her former bosses in the Yakuza, in an attempt to force her into assassinating someone. Dan Jurgens did the art.
8. Green Arrow (Vol. 3) #16-21 “Archer’s Quest”
Brad Meltzer made his comic book debut with this tale of Ollie, now returned from the dead, traveling to collect all the items across the country that might give away his secret identity (and that of his family) in case he were to die once again. Phil Hester handled the artwork.
7. Green Arrow (Vol. 2) #9-12 “Here There Be Dragons”
In this first of an annual tradition of Shado stories by Mike Grell, Shado, the Yakuza archer introduced in the Longbow Hunters, now wants out of the Yakuza, and she enlists Green Arrow (who is celebrating his birthday) in getting herself out. Ed Hannigan did the artwork.
6. Green Arrow Year One
Andy Diggle and Jock combined to tell a thrilling re-imagining of Oliver Queen’s beginnings as Green Arrow. They managed to keep the essence of the original origin but update it in a very strong fashion. It doesn’t hurt that Jock’s artwork is amazing.
5. JLA #8-9 “Imaginary Stories”
The only Connor Hawke story on the countdown, this two-parter shows Oliver Queen’s son joining the Justice League as the new Green Arrow. He must fight the Key, who has captured the Justice League within their own fantasies. Oscar Jimenez drew this Grant Morrison story that has perhaps the best use of a boxing glove arrow ever.
4. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76-82 “Hard Traveling Heroes Vol. 1”
Handling the Hard Traveling Heroes stories was hard. I should have said from the get-go, either pick Vol. 1 or Vol. 2. But anyways, #76 is specifically the vote here, but since adding in the other early issues would not change the rankings (as not many of them received votes), I figured I would just count the whole first volume here.
Anyhow, this is the beginning of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams’ acclaimed team-up series between Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen as they take to the backroads of America to find themselves.
3. Green Arrow (Vol. 3) #1-10 “Quiver”
Kevin Smith and Phil Hester combined to tell us the story of Oliver Queen’s return to the land of the living, in this launch of the third volume of Green Arrow. We’re now on the second volume SINCE this one. Weird, huh?
2. Green Lantern/Green Arrow #83-87, 89 “Hard Traveling Heroes Vol. 2”
Again, Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86 is the specific vote here, but even adding in the votes for the other stories wouldn’t move this beyond #2 on the list (and none of the other stories would have made the list on their own), so I figured I’d put them all together. This section of stories by O’Neil and Adams (plus Elliot S! Maggin) includes the famous storyline where Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy, becomes addicted to heroin.
1. Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters
This mini-series (which involves Oliver Queen’s birthday, which as I noted above, became a tradition in Grell’s comics) by writer/artist Mike Grell established Green Arrow as more of a vigilante than a superhero. It also involved some pretty rough violence, including Black Canary getting tortured so badly that she lost her superpowers (again, Grell wanted to downplay the superhero aspect a lot). The story also introduces erstwhile government agent Eddie Fyers and the mysterious Yakuza archer, Shado. This acclaimed mini-series set the stage for Green Arrow’s first solo ongoing series ever, which Grell would write for 80 issues!!
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!