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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 279

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at Mike Grell’s Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters…


This is the mini-series that led to Grell’s acclaimed Green Arrow ongoing series. It is particularly notable for five major things:

1. It took a more “realistic” approach to comic book aging and sexuality

2. It made the book a lot darker, with Oliver killing bad guys

3. It introduced Shado, a popular Green Arrow supporting character

4. It introduced Eddie Fyers, another popular Green Arrow supporting character

5. It has a very controversial scene where Dinah Lance (Black Canary) is tortured to the point where she can no longer use her sonic scream or have children

Let’s examine these, as we look at pages from the series.

To the first, here’s a nice sequence from where Ollie is complaining about getting old…

That is one of the more realistic character interactions you’re going to see in a 1980s superhero comic book.

One of the over-arching plotlines of Longbow Hunter was Shado getting her revenge on the government operatives who, when they were in the military in World War II, had dishonored her family…

Shado was an interesting character.

Here is the controversial scene where Dinah’s torture drives Ollie to become a killer (and thus becoming the “urban hunter” of the ongoing series)…

I’m not a fan of HOW Grell got there, but Ollie as an urban hunter certainly did have a lot of story potential.

The Shado plotline coincides with a plot involving the CIA and drug money.

Here we see Eddie Fyers in his first appearance, being badass as usual…

I cannot believe that no one has killed Eddie Fyers off yet. I’m pleased that they haven’t, but I’m also surprised.

In any event, this was a good series with strong artwork, good characters and just one iffy moment (with the Dinah stuff).

The ongoing series might even be better than this first mini-series, but this story was nice and concise.


Curse you Brian for pointing out Eddie lives- now someone is going to turn him into an orange rainbow lantern… One of my favorite supporting characters. I’m with you, not a fan of what grell did to the canary, but great way of revitalizing one of DC’s oldest characters. I cringe when I see what they are doing with him now.


I’m not a huge fan of the “urban hunter” thing, but Grell did a really good job with the concept. I always liked that he wrote Ollie as a flawed man who was still very clearly a good man. Just about everyone post Kevin Smith has written him as an asshole.

Oh, and Grell’s artwork on LBH is stunning. Maybe the best thing he’s done.

Damn… I have this in a long box somewhere. I gotta go read it!

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

October 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I can’t believe that DC has yet to release a decent collection of the Grell run.

I would not advise this for other 12 year olds, but that was the age I was when I read it. It was powerful, horrific stuff that felt authentic and not exsploitive in it’s storytelling, and thus still resonates with me. It was not easy to pull off.

I so remember this when it came out. It was right after the Dark Knight Returns. This excited me more then than DKR and still does. And I relate to Ollie getting older now a lot more when I get closer and closer to 50.

Yeah, I can see why Brian wouldn’t like how Grell got Oliver to where he needed to be for this story. Poor Dinah…

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