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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Green Arrow Quitting the Justice League

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).

Today, anything Hawkeye can do, so can Green Arrow (and often first), so here are five instances of Green Arrow(s) quitting Justice League(s)!

Enjoy!

First we have Justice League of America #61…

This story then goes off on a delightfully bizarre tangent. I’ll have to feature it some day. Suffice it to say that Green Arrow’s departure is short-lived.

Longer-lived was his departure in Justice League of America #181…

This time around he was gone for almost 20 issues before returning to the fold.

He stuck around until Aquaman disbanded the League and would only allow members who were willing to make the Justice League their top priority join the new league he was forming. Green Arrow could not say that it would be, so he did not make the new team.

I don’t really think that qualifies as quitting, so I’m not counting it. It is worth noting, though.

Ollie would not re-join the League for nearly two more decades (unless you count a short stint with Justice League Task Force), but in the meantime, his son, Connor Hawke, did join the newly reformed Justice League of America (back when Ollie was dead), but did not last very long…

A returned from the dead Ollie joined the JLA for a mission when the main members of the team went missing, but when the main guys returned, Ollie left. I don’t think that is quitting, either.

Soon after, though, Ollie joined up with the new team, the Justice League Elite.

Just four issues into that title…

After the events of Identity Crisis, Green Arrow re-joined the Justice League, but in an amusing twist, everyone ELSE quit, leaving just Ollie and Black Canary left, at which point they disbanded the team (since, you know, two heroes is not a “Justice League”).

When the Justice League started up again after Infinite Crisis, Ollie was not initially a member, but eventually effectively joined.

Just in time to quit!

In Cry for Justice #1, after the events of Final Crisis (when the Martian Manhunter and Batman seemingly died), Hal Jordan was pissed off and he wanted, you know, JUSTICE!!!!! Then this happened…

If you have suggestions for future installments, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

25 Comments

“No baby, I`m with you. You and me. Old times, New times, all the times”

Oh, Mr. Robinson, you shouldn`t have used your feet to type that series, you are much better when you use your hands.

Huh. CRY FOR JUSTICE really was that bad, wasn’t it?

Neat feature today. What was the context for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #181? I wondered if Ollie might be leaving to be in his own book full time, but it looks like this was several years too early (Mike Barr mini-series was in 1983). Was he just benched for a while?

The cover to Justice League 181 is one of my all time favorites. Also I thought the JLU cartoon used Green Arrow pretty effectively as their everyman character.

What was the context for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #181? I wondered if Ollie might be leaving to be in his own book full time, but it looks like this was several years too early (Mike Barr mini-series was in 1983). Was he just benched for a while?

I believe he was getting his own back-up series (Action Comics? World’s Finest? Detective Comics? I forget where).

Who cares? He’s just a guy with a bow. They don’t need him if they have Batman.

*flames in 3… 2…

I believe he was getting his own back-up series (Action Comics? World’s Finest? Detective Comics? I forget where).

That makes no sense whatsoever. (It was World’s Finest by the way). At the same time as Green Arrow’s resignation, Red Tornado, Elongated Man and Aquaman had backups in various places at the same time.

I don’t think there was any external driver to it whatsoever. I think it was genuinely done to create conflict and soap opera within the League itself– While Green Arrow had resigned, he certainly made several appearances (in fact the following issue hinges on the League trying to convince Ollie to come back) and it created tension between Green Arrow and Black Canary.

Yeesh, Ollie has always been a whiner (well from the Bronze age up) so I hardly cared when he quit.

Also, why does the League keep offering membership to any hero that pops up? It isn’t like they needed another guy with gadgets and no powers. OK, Ollie HAS won great victories in his time, but they seemed a little too perfect, as in, the writer fixed it so he’d win (see: Prometheus in Cry for Justice.)

Now, organizing all the heroes to work together when needed (you never know when you’ll need say, Damage’s powers) is one thing. But full League membership? Should be only for the most powerful (and responsible) heroes.

I find it funny that the same guy who took Hal Jordan to task for enforcing the status quo is later ripping the Elite a new one for “cross[ing] the line” by permanently taking out bad guys who are responsible for social ills.

I think that ultra left wing individuals like Ollie are the reason why in the real world liberals get a bad name. They go around pointing out all of the problems of the world, telling us everything that is wrong with society. But they do not actually offer any solid, constructive solutions for those problems.

Of course, I can say the exact same thing about ultra right wingers :)

His justification for leaving in issue #181 seems kind of…flimsy to me. It’s like the writer needed him gone to generate some drama, but couldn’t be bothered to come up with a good solution for it.

If he came up with an idea none of the others wouldn’t have come up with, and that idea won the fight, wouldn’t the fact that he does things differently be more of a reason for him to stay, not leave? That’s like saying I’m leaving because I have too much of a unique and necessary contribution.

I recall hearing that there was “buzz” in the fan world that someone would join the Justice League and someone would quit that year. I don’t remember if DC had made an announcement or not. In between the JLA/JSA teamups, there were the following two-issue storylines: Black Lightning refuses membership; Red Tornado ponders quitting; Martian Manhunter reappears from outer space; Firestorm joins; Green Arrow quits.

T, he didn’t quit as a result of what he did with Star-Tsar. He quit (and this is stated throughout the issue) because he felt the JLA was forgetting the little guy and the street level problems that were on earth– in essence it was all too cosmic. Stopping Star-Tsar the way he did, with a smog arrow is, to him, an illustration of that: the JLA has become too lofty to consider things like smog.

I’m not saying that will necessarily be to your satisfaction, (it sure worked for me as an 11 year-old) but his reasons are a bit bigger than the one given in the final page excerpted here.

Good lord those CRY FOR JUSTICE pages are painful to read.

So in those Cry for Justice pages, does the S on that blue guy’s chest stand for Straw?

So Aquaman wanted members who made the Justice League their top priority… what about Atlantis? Was he away from his role of king at the time? Just curious…

I’m not saying that will necessarily be to your satisfaction, (it sure worked for me as an 11 year-old) but his reasons are a bit bigger than the one given in the final page excerpted here.

You’re right. In context it’s not so bad.

I don’t know why, but Cry for Justice reminds me that whenever DC tries to do the bickering dynamic of Marvel books, 80% of the time they really REALLY overdo it and just end up making the heroes look like arrogant dicks. The only DC book that I recall consistently pulling it off right was New Teen Titans.

The teleporter riff is kind of funny. Not God-awful, anyway. I didn’t read the rest of the series, which I know has a terrible reputation, and I can certainly imagine that it is terrible. But the first issue wasn’t so bad. About average.

@Derick: Aquaman had indeed left Atlantis at the time (he had a falling out with Mera, among other problems); his old friend Vulko was king in his place. Still the whole JL Detroit deal was obviously just the writer deciding that he wanted to write a stable team of characters whose fate he could control, and he included Aquaman in it just because he wanted to.

T.

The Legion of Super-Heroes also does bickering well.

And JL Detroit was just DC trying to replicate the formula of New Teen Titans.

Yeah, the Legion is always giving each other grife.

And after all that — Aquaman was the first of the Detroiters to quit — Vixen talked him into reconciling with his wife when she saw how distracted he was. God, what awful stories…..

OH MAN DID CRY FOR JUSTICE SUCK!!!!!!!

…but the art is gorgeous!

I like how in #61 Jonn just looks bemused, like he’s already read the end. “Wait, there’s a secret reason you’re quitting? Sorry, you might want to phone ahead and ask the telepathic cop to leave the room before you come storming in all dramatic with your secret. I pretty much scan everyone routinely for that villain-brainwashing thing.”

At least his tirade explains one thing. Green Arrow is the “secret identity” and Oliver Quinn is the public one.

In the issue with Connor Hawke, what is the deal with those Batman chairs?

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