First Published: January 2006
Contents: Green Arrow stories from Adventure Comics #250 (July 1958) to #269 (February 1960), Green Arrow stories from World’s Finest Comics #95 (July-August 1958) to #134 (June 1963), #136 (September 1963), #138 (October 1963), and #140 (March 1964), Justice League of America #4 (April-May 1961), and The Brave and The Bold #50 (October-November 1963), #71 (April-May 1967), and #85 (August-September 1969),
Key Creator Credits: Jack Schiff, Ed Herron, Gardner Fox, Bob Haney, Jack Kirby, Lee Elias, George Papp, Mike Sekowsky, and Neal Adams
Key First Appearances: William Tockman/Clock King, Bonnie King/Miss Arrowette,
Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Green Lantern Vol. 5
Overview: This Showcase volume collects the Silver Age stories of the Emerald Archer from Star City. Green Arrow was introduced in 1941 in More Fun Comics #73 (Aquaman also debuted in that same issue!). For the next 25 years, Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and his sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper) fought crime in offbeat adventures that are clearly products of their times.
In many ways, Green Arrow was a duplicate version of Batman during this era. Green Arrow was a millionaire playboy who takes on a young ward to share his life fighting crime. Green Arrow had an ArrowCave, an ArrowPlane, and an ArrowCar. The local police would summon Green Arrow by launching a flaming green arrow into the night sky. Green Arrow’s trick arrows, such as the Boxing Glove arrow or the Net Arrow, were the equivalent of Batman’s utility belt. Many stories contained here feel like rewrites of Batman stories. For example, the “Batman of All Nations” story (Detective Comics #215, January 1955) appears to be the inspiration for “The Green Arrows of the World” story (Adventure Comics #250, July 1958).
Also included in this volume is Justice League of America #4, when Green Arrow joins the league, becoming one of the most regular members of the team for the next 25 years. The best highlight of the book is the final issue, The Brave and the Bold #85, when artist Neal Adams redesigned Green Arrow’s costume and introduced Ollie’s trademark goatee.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: Green Arrow has always been one of my favorite characters, and I have a certain fondness for his original Silver Age costume. These stories are fun, but not great. Better Green Arrow stories can be found in the Denny O’Neil/Neil Adams run on Green Lantern, when Ollie lost his money and found a political voice.
Footnotes: Green Arrow is one of the five DC Comics characters that was continuously published from the Golden Age of Comics to the Silver Age of Comics. The other characters are Superman, Batman (and Robin), Wonder Woman, and Aquaman.
Adventure Comics #250 is considered as the first issue of the “Earth-1” Green Arrow. Anything published before that is considered to be adventures of the “Earth-2” Green Arrow, who served as a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
If you like this volume, try: Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell. Issued in 1987 as a prestige format miniseries, Grell redefined Green Arrow into a more realistic character. The trick arrows were put away, the hooded costume was introduced, and Green Arrow relocated to the Pacific Northwest. While this series gets overshadowed by Moore & Gibbons’ Watchmen or Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, both of those stories took place outside of DC continuity. Longbow Hunters took place in the current DC Universe, and its changes were felt in other books. This miniseries served as a launching pad to give Green Arrow (under the continuing direction of Grell) his own ongoing monthly comic book.
If you happen to be in central Kansas this weekend, Mike Grell is one of the featured creators at the Smallville Comic Con June 20 and 21. If you are trying to find Smallville on a map, locate Hutchinson and you will find the show at the Kansas state fairgrounds.
The full review can be found at EssentialShowcase.com.
To find the original issues, or reprints, of these Green Arrow comics, check with your local comic book. In the Midwest, I strongly recommend Clint’s Comics in midtown Kansas City. Clint’s has been in business for nearly 50 years at the intersection of Main St. and Westport Rd. The back-issue selection is incredible, and what you see in the store is just a small fraction of their total inventory. In addition to the back issues, Clint’s stocks current issues, trade paperbacks, toys, T-shirts, and more. Check out Clint’s Comics to build your own essential collection!