In the last few years Green Arrow as a property has become as much about the mythology of his extended cast and family as much as or more than the man himself, Oliver Queen. Whether in the CW television show where “The Arrow” is part of a larger team who assists him, or in Joshua Williamson’s new #1 which is squarely about the character’s legacy and family. But the seminal 1987 miniseries The Longbow Hunters is about Green Arrow as a man, and what it means to live a life of violence. The series becomes something like Green Arrow’s Dark Knight Returns. But writer/artist Mike Grell doesn’t have his hero saving American democracy or starting a revolution. This is a story about aging, mortality, and defining a legacy to be remembered by. And unlike Dark Knight, Longbow Hunters has become an indelible part of canon, a defining story about how Oliver Queen views himself and operates within the world.
In today’s DC Universe, Green Arrow will be remembered by his extended family and adopted (spiritually if not legally) children . But in Longbow Hunters that family is nonexistent and closed to him completely. Dinah Lance, Ollie’s longtime girlfriend and the superhero Black Canary, rejects his proposal to start a family and tells him she doesn’t want to bring children into the world just to make them an orphan. Ollies believes himself to have failed his ward and former sidekick Roy Harper, who struggled with addiction and eventually moved on from him. Being Green Arrow has cost him nearly everything.Continue reading “Green Arrow: Hunting For the Past in The Longbow Hunters”