Must Have: Green Arrow

Saturday, March 12, 2016  By  Matt Morrison     No comments

Today’s graphic literature fans are enjoying a golden age of television undreamed of. Whether you’re a fan of superheroics, spy-thrillers, or horror, there’s something for virtually everyone. But what happens when someone goes looking for the books that inspired their favorite shows? More often than not they get confused,.

It’s fairly simple to track down The Walking Dead books. iZombie and Preacher (soon to be a series on AMC) have been collected into neat little volumes. Even the various volumes of Hellblazer aren’t too difficult to navigate for those proud Constantine fans still hoping for a revival on The CW Network. But where do you send the little girls who want to see more Supergirl? The tweens who want to read about The Flash? The teens who want more Green Arrow?

Face Front, True Believers! We’ve got the reading lists to help you save the day!

(List Updated November, 2016)


Written by Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim
Art by various

Arrow Vol. 1 (9781401242992)
Arrow Vol. 2 (9781401246037)
Arrow: Season 2.5 – Vol. 1 (9781401257484)
Arrow: Season 2.5 – Vol. 2 (9781401263294)

Much like The Flash: Season Zero, these volumes are set in the same universe as the Arrow TV series and written by the show’s writers. The Season 2.5 series, set between seasons 2 and 3 of Arrow, is noteworthy as it introduced a new Brother Blood who was closer in spirit to the original comic character as well as an excellent Suicide Squad story.

Arrow: The Dark Archer (9781401263294 )
Written by John Barrowman & Carole E. Barrowman
Art by Daniel Sampere & Juan Albarran

Written by Malcolm Merlyn actor John Barrowman and his sister, novelist Carol E. Barrowman, this volume features some impressive artwork. The story is—much like Barrowman himself—gloriously over-the-top, telling the secret origins of Malcolm Merlyn and his past association with a rival group that opposed The League of Assassins. While action fans will find this volume pleasing enough, those hoping for more insight into Merlyn’s character will be sorely disappointed.

yearoneGreen Arrow: Year One

Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Jock

Green Arrow: Year One (9781401217433)

This mini-series was basically the foundation for Arrow as a series and would have redefined the character of Oliver Queen for a new generation of comic fans had it not been for the New 52 reboot only two years later. Written by Andy Diggle with art by Jock, the two topped their previous work together on the Vertigo series The Losers. A must have.

longbowGreen Arrow by Mike Grell

Written by Mike Grell
Art by Mike Grell and various

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (9781401238629)
Green Arrow Vol. 1: Hunters Moon (9781401243265)
Green Arrow Vol. 2: Here There Be Dragons (9781401251338)
Green Arrow Vol. 3: The Trial Of Oliver Queen (9781401255237)
Green Arrow Vol. 4: Blood of the Dragon (9781401258221)
Green Arrow Vol. 5: Black Arrow (9781401260798)
Green Arrow Vol. 6: The Last Action Hero (9781401264574)

For many fans, Mike Grell is the definitive Green Arrow writer and artist, his Longbow Hunters mini-series having earned The Emerald Archer his first-ever ongoing solo series. Although he didn’t do the interiors for the new book, Grell did create most of the covers for his 80-issue run, which DC Comics has only recently begun collecting in TPB format. Be warned though that this comic was intended for Mature Readers and should be kept firmly in the Adult Graphic Novel collection. It does not shy away from blood, nudity or adult subject matters.


52New 52 Green Arrow

Written by various
Art by various

Green Arrow Vol. 1: The Midas Touch (9781401234867)
Green Arrow Vol. 2: Triple Threat (9781401238421)
Green Arrow Vol. 3: Harrow (9781401244057)
Green Arrow Vol. 4: The Kill Machine (9781401246907)
Green Arrow Vol. 5: The Outsiders War (9781401250447)
Green Arrow Vol. 6: Broken (9781401254742)
Green Arrow Vol. 7: Kingdom (9781401257620)
Green Arrow Vol. 8: The Nightbirds (9781401262556)
Green Arrow Vol. 9: Outbreak (9781401270025)
Green Arrow By Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino Deluxe Edition (9781401257613)

As with the Supergirl New 52 series, we mention these volumes only to warn you away from them. The New 52 Green Arrow title has been erratic at best in terms of quality. The creative team changed three times within the first year and most agree the book was a complete mess until Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over for volumes 4-6. While critics loved these three volume, many long-time Green Arrow fans felt Lemire’s story, while interesting, was not in keeping with the general mythos of Green Arrow as a character. This may be what led to two writers of the Arrow TV show taking over the series with Volume 7: Kingdom. Unfortunately, the readers who liked Lemire and Sorrentino’s work balked at the new writers’ efforts to introduce Felicity Smoak as a recurring character along with other elements of the classic pre-New 52 Green Arrow comics. Volumes 8 and 9 haven’t been as well received, despite writer Benjamin Percy’s promise to restore the mystique of The Mike Grell years. You might consider getting Volumes 4-6 as they are good comics and Volume 7 as a curiosity, but you can safely avoid the New 52 Green Arrow series if your budget is tight. Helpfully, DC recently reprinted volumes 4-6 as Green Arrow By Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino Deluxe Edition.

quiverGreen Arrow by Kevin Smith

Written by Kevin Smith
Art by Phil Hester and Ande Parks

Green Arrow: Quiver (New Edition) – (9781401259426)
Green Arrow: The Sounds Of Violence (9781401200459)
Green Arrow by Kevin Smith (9781401265267)

I don’t have much to say about these volumes that I didn’t already say in my Classic Fantastic review. What I can say is that DC Comics recently put out a new edition of Quiver—the first story arc of Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Park’s legendary run on Green Arrow. A reprint of their second story, The Sounds of Violence, has yet to be released, but it is still available and well worth tracking down. Be warned, however, that these volumes—while not as raw as the Mike Grell Green Arrow run—do still deal with some adult themes and humor. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with Kevin Smith’s work as a filmmaker, but anyone interested in these volumes would be advised to keep them in the Older Teen or Adult collections.

Helpfully, DC Comics recently printed a new TP collection of all 15 of Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow comics simply titled Green Arrow by Kevin Smith.

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