DC Universe Comics Review #5: Green Arrow- The Longbow Hunters

I have the DC Universe app and they have COMICS on there, so I decided to review comics on my blog.


Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters
3 Issue Series
1987


Written, Covers, Inks and Pencils by Mike Grell

Rating:
(First time I am giving 2 ratings)

Overall:

Artwork:


(Taken from the DC Universe app, linked above)

Green Arrow and Black Canary try to settle into their new civilian lives in Seattle as florists, but can’t seem to avoid getting drawn back to their old lives of crime-fighting. There’s a slasher on the loose, as well as a city teeming with drugs and violence. As the two heroes start their own investigations, Green Arrow finds he’s not the only archer in town…

I decided to read this because I have never really read a lot of Green Arrow comics. He always just seemed like Robin Hood to me, which I have never really been much of a fan of either. It is strange though because Hawkeye from Marvel, I do like. Not sure what the difference between the two is. Oh, I think I know what it is (had a bit of a moment while reading this). I like Hawkeye with Mockingbird (his female counterpart), whereas I like Black Canary (Green Arrow’s female counterpart) being separate. It is more of a proxy like. That makes more sense to me. This being said, I went into Green Arrow because of a randomizer that I did. I knew that I had not read some of the bigger names in DC Comics (i.e. Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, etc.) so I put some of those titles within the randomizer and had it pick one. The choice was Green Arrow. I said I would read something with Green Arrow then. I noticed immediately that they had this three issue series on the DC Universe app. I decided to read it.

If you look above, you will notice I gave this 2 different ratings. I did this because I realized that I had 2 different experiences with this particular comic book. Here is the first experience about story. The story revolves around Green Arrow basically feeling like he is starting to get old. He also is trying to turn away from the trick arrows that have kinda held him back as a character, which I can appreciate that Grell was trying to make him a more serious character. Some characters really fall into this gimmicky limelight and I think Green Arrow had done that within Justice League especially. Grell throughout this book seems to be trying to make Green Arrow more relevant. More gritty even. It just doesn’t work for me, as a comic book reader. I use comics as escapism and I honestly do not want gritty. This is my comic book preference. I want a story that is lighthearted. Heck, I personally want gimmicky trick arrows. That is something I appreciate. Wondering what item they will utilize to escape the big bad guy of the issue or arc. This story seemed more focused on heavy issues, even Black Canary’s story (which we don’t directly see fully) is a bit heavy. It become even more heavy when it collides with Green Arrow’s story. I won’t delve into that too deeply to avoid spoilers, but when they collide I almost felt like I had had enough of the overall story. There was a female archer introduced in this mini named Shado. Normally I would be all up on a new female character. Being excited. Being cheerful. Being happy about it, but I didn’t find that I was like this with this particular character. She seemed rather dark as well. Her entire story seemed like that. Again, for me, I am not into that. I am not into that heaviness that sometimes comics taken on. I think the next thing I read on DC Universe needs to be a slightly less heavy story or a more comedic type of read. I know they have “The Joker” on there, so maybe I will read those issues and review them. See if they are a bit more my particular type of comic book. The thing is that even though I personally did not like this story, I can see that this moved the character forward. The characters have to evolve with time and Green Arrow does that here. He becomes a little less Robin Hood and a little more of his own entity with these pages, so I appreciate that Grell was successful in that vein. I can see that this laid the foundation probably for things like the “Arrow” show to exist. It allowed him to be more.

The second experience that I had with this book was where I was excited. The fact is comic books are about more than just a story. They also are about the artwork. Grell not only wrote the story here, but he drew the entire darn thing. While I did not enjoy the overall story, I found myself mesmerized by Grell’s artwork. His breathtaking eye for detail. Creating pages that were not the static column boxes, but pages of masterful artwork that I almost could see someone wanting on their wall in their home. The most beautiful pages were those featuring the backstory of Shado. There was a certain life drawn into those 2d pages that only someone that understands what they are wanting to present can do. Someone that understands their vision for something and Grell definitely understood what he wanted to do with Shado and Green Arrow, in particular, with this series. While I don’t think I would ever want to read this again, I would love to thumb through it just to smile at the artwork again. It is just stunning. 

So this is why there are 2 different ratings for this particular comic book series. Do you think that maybe I should do ratings for various aspects of comics? Artwork? Story? Overall rating? I am still getting used to the rating aspect of the blog, so definitely open to suggestions here. Let me know what you think I should do for ratings for comic books in the comment section below. I will definitely take any advice into consideration for future installments of my DC Universe comics reviews. 

Green Arrow has other series within the DC comic book world, which my favorite issues were during the above run. He also has a CW show called “Arrow” that I do not watch.


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