Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters

green arrow the longbow hunters cover trade paperback
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Good, darker story

Seems dated by today's standards

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Green Arrow:  The Longbow Hunters

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Mike Grell

Artist:  Mike Grell

# of Issues:  3

Release Date:  1989


Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #2

Reprints Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1-3 (August 1987-November 1987). Oliver Queen and his girlfriend Dinah Lance are starting a new life in Seattle. When they begin to investigate a series of murders, they discover a deeper plot involving drug trafficking and an archer sworn to vengeance going back decades. When Green Arrow is forced to cross a line that he’s never crossed before, he realizes there is no going back and that he must fight to protect what is his.

Written and illustrated by Mike Grell, Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunter was a relaunch for the emerald archer and well received by fans. The comic was printed in the prestige bookshelf format and was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Finite Series.  It has been collected a few times in trade paperbacks since its initial release.

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters was part of DC’s post-Crisis on Infinite Earth re-imagining of the DC Universe. Much like the Hawkman relaunch Hawkworld, the series shows the ’80s trend of darker, grittier heroes.

Green Arrow is no stranger to grittier tales however and neither is Mike Grell. His period of time on Green Lantern/Green Arrow was known for being controversial and pushing the boundaries of the Comic Code. This “adult” Green Arrow did not worry about the Comic Code and had swearing and more graphic art. The story also tapped into real world events such as the Vietnam War and Iran-Contra scandal…it was a very different world from Green Arrow who previously had used boxing glove arrows to take down suspects.


Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #3

Along with the darker storyline, Grell make Green Arrow darker. He ditched the Errol Flynn Robin Hood outfit for a more functional hood…but did stick with a rather superhero style costume. Grell’s art is strong and much more realistic than many other comics at the time. I particularly like the fun covers and the collected edition feels like it has cleaned up the quality even more.

One of the most interesting aspects of Green Arrow has always been his relationship with Black Canary. Here, we get to see how two superheroes function together as a couple. It feels much more real than Superman and Lois Lane and in Green Arrow:  Longbow Hunters issues like having children and marriage actually come up…something that feels new and different for a “mainstream”comic at the time.

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters feels a bit dated today, but I can imagine when it was released it was kind of shocking. Despite some age, it is still worth seeking out. The series did form a jump on point for Green Arrow’s first solo series which started in February 1988 and ran for over ten years until Green Arrow (1) #137 (October 1998) which was followed by the finishing Green Arrow (1) #1,000,000 (November 1998).

Related Links:

Green Arrow 1:  The Midas Touch

Green Arrow 2:  Triple Threat

Green Arrow:  Quiver

Arrow—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Arrow—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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