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CSBG Archive

2011 Top DC Characters #11-10

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…

11. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) – 1495 (17 first place votes)

Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, millionaire Oliver Queen was basically like Batman-lite throughout the Golden Age. It was only during the Silver Age, when writer Denny O’Neil decided to change Arrow around that Queen became a standout creation.

O’Neil decided to strip Queen of his fortune, and make him a liberal “man of the people,” who would clash with his friend, Hal Jordan, who was cast as the more conservative of the pair. The two would travel America, trying to explore it and see its people from a way impossible when you are hanging out on the moon.

Around this time, Queen began a relationship with his fellow Justice Leaguer, Black Canary. The two remained together for many years, with some time apart.

In the late 80s, writer Mike Grell recast Queen as a more serious, older hero. Grell used Green Arrow to explore various political themes in a pretty mature manner for comics.

After Grell left the title in the mid-90s, Green Arrow was killed off and replaced by his illegitimate son, Connor Hawke, for a number of years. Later on, Queen returned, and took up the hero game again.

For a time, Queen was mayor of Star City. After that ended, he proposed to Black Canary and they married. Their marriage did not last long, though, as Star City was ravaged by the villainous Prometheus and Ollie’s granddaughter, Lian, died in the attacks. Green Arrow then murdered Prometheus to gain his own personal form of justice for his razed city and his dead granddaughter. Although he was cleared of murder charges, Black Canary could not accept his actions and the two separated.

A mysterious forest appeared in Star City and Ollie worked there for awhile before the DC reboot. Now, Oliver Queen is a younger man who fights crime with assistants and technology supplied from his company, Queen Industries.

10. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) – 1569 (20 first place votes)

Created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon, but was also secretly the crimefighter, Batgirl. Barbara was brilliant, and eventually realized she could do more good in the world with her mind than by patrolling Gotham City at night, so she retired as Batgirl.

Tragically, soon after her retirement, Barbara was paralyzed when the villain Joker shot her, in an attempt to rattle Batman. Thanks to the efforts of writer Kim Yale and her husband, John Ostrander, Gordon was re-modeled as Oracle, the wheelchair bound computer genius of the DC Universe.

Chuck Dixon made Oracle a major player in the Batman books, as support for Batman and his fellow crimefighters. Eventually, Dixon created a title called Birds of Prey built around Oracle, who would employ superhero operatives to do missions for her. Her most prominent operative was Black Canary, and the two women became great friends. The Huntress was Oracle’s second major operative (not chronologically, as a number of heroines had preceded Black Canary).

Oracle was so important in the DC Universe that she even joined the Justice League!! Barbara continued running her Birds of Prey operation for years, all the while supplying superheroes with information if they need it, making Barbara one of the most prominent heroes in all of the DC Universe.

During the DC “New 52″ relaunch, Barbara has now regained the ability to walk and has returned to crimefighting as Batgirl (like Ollie, she has been de-aged).

NOTE: For the record, most voters just called her “Barbara Gordon” on their ballots.

Check back tomorrow for Marvel’s #11 and 10!


The Crazed Spruce

September 20, 2011 at 5:09 am

Green Arrow was #9 on my list. He went from being a Batman clone with a gimmick to being the Justice League’s moral compass. That, and I’ve always gotten a kick out of the character. (It’s no surprise that he was pretty much the only tolerable character on Smallville.)

Sadly, I completely blanked on Barbara Gordon when I put my list together. If I’d thought about her, I probably would’ve squeezed her into my Top 10. (Then again, I didn’t want to dominate my list with Batman characters, so she might’ve placed in the high teens.)

nice to see Oracle make the top ten. for still think of her as oracle. even though read her adventures as batgirl also. and nice to see green arrrow almost near the top.


Two very good characters… though Green Arrow has not been used well in a while.

Totes gross. A guy with a bow and arrow and shitty facial hair and weird opinions and then a frickin ginger. Bleah.

Ollie being on Nr. 11 shows the potential of the character. The low sales number are due to poorest writing. If done right his book could become a success,


I thought that Barbara Gordon was created by the TV show. Gardener Fox and Carmine Infantino just brought her into DC continuity.

@bernard: barbara was created as the result of a request of the television show’s production team. schwartz asked for a female character that could be used in the comics as well as the tv show. fox and infantino created barbara. i’m unsure if she first appeared in print on the small screen; both her debut issue and the season of the show in which she first appeared came about in 1967.

Thanks Jeff – in my heart of hearts, I knew Brian wouldn’t be wrong about a thing like that.

An archer and a wizard! Well, a technowizard, anyway. Or a former one. With batarangs.

Rusty, the best Green Arrow of recent times has been the Year One mini

First and last this time. My #1 (Barbara) and #10 (Ollie.)

I’m pleased to see Barb in the top 10. I hope her solo Batgirl series helps add to the character’s appeal and does her justice. Though I’ll admit to missing Oracle some. But I quite enjoy the classic Batman Family and Detective Comics with her and wonder how a solo series back then might have worked for the character. Lord knows she was pretty mainstream and had a good deal of merchandise appeal then. Oh well, better decades late than never I guess.

I expected to see Green Arrow sooner and had just about given up on him making it. Seeing him this high is a pleasant surprise though. Hopefully he gets book coverage worthy of the character in the near future.

Obviously Joe Rice’s mom is being screwed real good by a red-haired man. Who swings a mean arrow. My sympathies.

Two great and distinctive characters now rebooted into bland genericness. Blech.

Too bad the things I liked most about both characters have now been effectively eliminated. The new DC seems to be about eliminating the things that made characters different, be it disability, body type, or even facial hair.

Green Arrow being a moral compass for the JLA made me laugh!

I’m actually surprised Babs is so low. Did a stiff like Barry Allen really get more votes? But seriously, I thought it was a no brainer that Babs would at least place higher than Wonder Woman. Obviously Wonder Woman is the more iconic character with more history, but Barbara Gordon seems to resonate with people more as a female character, as well as having a more fully formed personality.

My big hopes for the list now are that Dick and Wally place higher than Hal and Barry.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 21, 2011 at 2:55 am

Probably my last two DC characters to make it. I’m shocked GA is out of the top ten. Connor Hawke, sorry you didn’t make it.

Green Arrow is fine.

I really liked Babs as Oracle. As Batgirl she’s going to have a lot to prove to me.

No no, I voted for Xeen Arrow and Bat-Girl, with a hyphen! Do-over!

There were some awfully impressive misspellings, let me tell you. But I managed to nail them all, from your Wolverins to your Supemans to a whole ton of Spidermans.

Green Arrow is one of my favourite characters but I haven’t been able to read a consistently good run on his titles for a long time and keep picking up and putting down the title. I wish they could sort it out.


Oh, oh, sorry, I guess they probably retconned that story away already…

I was hoping to see Ollie higher.

I loved the Brightest Day run, and everything before GA vs BC, that arc suuuucked.
Whoever the hell gave Ollie a damned compound bow in the Reboot needs to be tied to a chair, and have the Mike Grell series force fed.

Compound Bow, please.

Has the writer NOT read The Longbow Hunters? Pssh. Fail.

Other than that, not too bad for the reboot.

*SMH* Compound Bow…..

Admittedly I didn’t actually vote for Xeen Arrow, but I would if I’d thought of it. That guy was awesome. If the whole world wasn’t starting over I’d say they should bring him back. A giant archer from Dimension Zero who happens to dress like Green Arrow? I’m not sure it’s even possible NOT to love that.

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