WIn recent years, Green Arrow has seen resurgence in popularity. He starred in a new series in 2000 written by director-actor-writer Kevin Smith and has made his presence known elsewhere in the DC Universe. He has been a recurring character on Smallville... But how did this character become so popular? Where did he begin?
Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, Green Arrow made his first appearance in the DC Comics published More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. Dressed in a Robin Hood-like costume he is an archer in green garb, with the hood low concealing part of his face. The Green Arrow was inspired by various characters including Robin Hood, the Green Archer from Edgar Wallace’s novel, Fawcett Publications earlier character Golden Arrow, and the name Oliver Queen is reminiscent of Ellery Queen, the fictional detective character of the time period. Of all the characters Green Arrow is linked to, none is more apparent than his connection to Batman. His everyday persona is billionaire Oliver Queen, much like Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne. As an archer, Green Arrow creates trick arrows including arrows with glue, nets, explosives, time bombs, grappling gear, tear gas, and more, much like the gadgets used by Batman. The similarity extends as both playboy billionaires have caves, signals, planes, and cars, even similar clown-like foes.
Unlike Batman, the forever bachelor, Green Arrow has had a long running relationship with Black Canary also known as Dinah Laurel Lance. Black Canary isn’t like many damsels the superhero boys meet; she doesn’t stand on the sidelines or need habitual rescuing. Her fiery attitude produces a strong reaction in the emerald-clad archer, creating a passionate relationship. In Green Arrow Vol. 3 issue #75 in June 2007 he asked her to marry him, but she did not answer. Following the end of the ongoing series, DC created a four part Black Canary mini-series in which she and Green Arrow help Sin, a young girl who was previously an assassin-in-training with the nefarious Lady Shiva, start a new life. After performing a selfless act to save Sin, Black Canary accepts Green Arrow’s proposal.
DC published an arc of three issues telling the story of their wedding. At the ceremony, with numerous superheroes in attendance, a group of villains led by Deathstroke attack but with all the super-energy in the room, their efforts are thwarted and the wedding continues. Then on their wedding night, Oliver’s eyes go blank and he attacks his new wife Dinah. The pair fight from their wedding bed to the floor, ending with Black Canary putting an arrow into Green Arrow’s throat.
The grieving widow, however, does not believe that the man she killed was her husband. Though fellow superheroes try to convince her to move on, she refuses and an autopsy reveals that she is right. Dinah recalls an out of place comment made by Athena after Ollie’s “death” and discovers that he is being held captive by Athena and the Amazons. Black Canary, Connor the new Green Arrow, and Speedy save him from the Amazonian warriors...
And that's just one story of the Emerald Archer! There are, of course, many others, including some that will be told on the CW network TV series Arrow.