Book Review: Green Arrow: 80 years of The Emerald Archer

"Green Arrow: 80 Years Of The Emerald Archer"

Credited Writers: Mort Weisinger, Ed Herron, Dennis O’Neil, Mike Grell, Chuck Dixon, Grant Morrison, Kevin Smith, Brad Meltzer, Judd Winick, Jeff Lemire, Marc Guggenheim, Benjamin Percy
Credited Artists: George Papp, Lee Elias, Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Mike Grell, Jim Aparo, Rodolfo Damaggio, Gerry Fernandez, Robert Campanella, Oscar Jimenez, Chip Wallace, Hanibal Rodriguez, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens, Cliff Chiang, Denys Cowan, Joe Bennett, Jack Jadson, Craig Yeung, Otto Schmidt
Credited Color Artists: Neal Adams, Julia Lacquement, Lee Loughridge, Pat Garrahy, Guy Major, James Sinclair, Trish Mulvihill, Marcelo Maiolo, Jim Charalampidis, Otto Schmidt

Credited Letterers: Ken Bruzenak, John Costanza, Ken Lopez, Sean Konot, Pat Brosseau, Taylor Esposito, Deron Bennett, Nate Piekos, Blambot

Additional art and covers by: Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Rob Leigh, Rodolfo Damaggio, Robert Campanella, Howard Porter, John Dell, Matt Wagner, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens, Cliff Chiang, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Juan Ferreyra

Articles and commentary by: Mike Gold, Mike Grell, Ann Nocenti, Greg Berlanti, and Oliver Queen (as told to Marc Guggenheim)

Review by Steve J. Ray

The last few years have been remarkable ones for DC Comics, as many of their greatest characters have been celebrating milestone anniversaries. First, there was Superman's 80th, back in 2018, followed by Batman in 2019, and Robin, The Joker, and Catwoman last year. 2021 will see the 50th anniversary of Green Lantern John Stewart and has already seen the 80th of the original GL, Alan Scott. The gentleman I'm talking about today, however, while still green in hue, is a far different - yet closely related - character. Yes, folks, I'm talking about Green Arrow: 80 Years of The Emerald Archer.

DC Comics frequently releases massive anniversary specials featuring brand new stories, but this beautiful volume looks back at, and re-presents, classic stories going all the way back to Oliver Queen's debut in More Fun Comics #73.

The amazing thing about this particular book is the way that the stories, even though they were released years, or even decades apart, seem to flow into each other or even follow on from each other. The people that curated the contents for this book have done an incredible job in, not just selecting some of the finest Green Arrow stories ever published, but presenting them in a way that will help any fan of the Emerald Archer understand the character and familiarize themselves with Oliver Queen's amazing supporting cast.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Every era, Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age is represented and, in my opinion, every story collected is a winner. I mean, look at the roster of talent in this book! From GL creator Mort Weisinger to legendary creators like Dennis O'Neil and the man who brought Oliver into the grim and gritty real-world of late 20th Century Seattle, Mike Grell, and modern-day masters like Grant Morrison, Kevin Smith, and Jeff Lemire. Yes, I loved every bit of it, but even if you're not a die-hard fan like I am, there's something in this book for everyone.

Not only are readers treated to vintage GA adventures, but some of the greatest writers and editors behind them have also written great little intros and essays regarding the character. All of them are fantastic, though the one where Mr. Queen himself recounts his trials and tribulations to Arroweverse writer, and all-around good guy Marc Guggenheim, is a particular favorite.
Of course, Oliver Queen isn't the only character to have fought crime under the sobriquet of Green Arrow, his son Connor Hawke also used the names, and related weaponry. A couple of Mr. Hawke's adventures also appear in this volume, and they brought back many fond memories.

Fans of Roy Harper, Mia Dearden, Dinah Lance, and Ollie's teammates in the Justice League will also find themselves very well served. Yes, indeed. This book really represents a terrific cross-section of the life and times of the Emerald Archer of Star City and Seattle.

Conclusion

Green Arrow: 80 Years Of The Emerald Archer is pure joy, from cover to cover. I loved it so much that it had me scrabbling for my long boxes, seeking out the rest of "The Longbow Hunters", and "Quiver". If this book does the same for you, then it's done a great job. If you don't own these stories, and the collection makes you want to seek them out, then that's a plus too!

This is one of those books that stands up beautifully by itself, but will also entice fans to read more. What could be better than that?

Review copy courtesy of Penguin Random House, Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

ISBN: 978-1-77950-914-7

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