Superheroes: The Green Arrow


The character of Green Arrow was introduced in the 1941 November’s issue of More Fun Comics No.73. He was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp who both served their country during World War II.

The inspiration for Green Arrow came from the 1923 book The Green Archer by Edgar Wallace, English journalist, playwright and novelist.  Columbia Pictures released a 15-part serial based on the novel in 1940.

Green Arrow was Oliver Queen’s alter ego.  Like Bruce Wayne, Queen was a super-rich businessman who found an outlet for his quest for justice as he saw it.

He had a sidekick, Speedy.  Like Batman he had an arrow car, lair, etc.  In many ways Green Arrow and Batman were two sides of the same coin.

Unfortunately, the readers kept the Green Arrow side of the coin faced down.  Green Arrow hovered in the shadows as a secondary character for decades.


In 2006 Green Arrow made his debut on the CW’s Smallville since the Bruce Wayne/Batman character was restricted to the film franchise.  Justin Hartley gave the character flesh and bone and became a regular member of the Smallville universe.

The Green Arrow’s history was incorporated into several episodes.  Hartley’s Green Arrow/Oliver Queen was a flawed human being who made mistakes, especially one big one for which Clark Kent took a long time to forgive him.  His weaknesses would cause a multitude of problems, but in the end his superhero status was well earned.

However, as the series entered its tenth and final year, it would be Clark and Oliver who were best friends and the core of Smallville’s Justice League as they faced many obstacles.  They stood together as Darkseid and his disciples attempted to take over the world.  For in the final analysis Green Arrow always had Clark’s back as the climax of the series deftly revealed.


On October 10, 2012 the CW will premiere ARROW based on the Green Arrow character.  After 70 years Green Arrow will have his own show.

It was a major disappointment to Smallville’s fans that Justin Hartley would not reprise his role in the new series.  ARROW is a darker interpretation of the character much like Batman in the Dark Knight series.

Based on the previews Stephen Amell will bring this quality of darkness to the series as well as the strengths and weaknesses which every superhero has.  The series has promise if it allows Olive Queen to evolve from a masked vigilante who kills the bad guys to the Green Arrow who fights for justice and truth without using murder as his signature arrow.  The supporting cast is a fine ensemble, and if “Speedy” is who they implied in the trailers, then it definitely has promise.

In 2002 the WB gave viewers Birds of Prey which lasted 13 episodes.  Tarzan in 2003 lasted 8 episodes.

Let’s hope the CW gives ARROW a full 22 episodes since DC and Warner Brothers seem to be taking forever to get a Justice League movie up and going.  With the Dark Knight series over, and the new Superman film in 2013 an unknown quality and a potential fiasco, DC fans need something to keep their interest besides the excellent reruns of Smallville, Lois and Clark, Adventures of Superman, Wonder Woman, and the DC Universe animation films.

G. D. Williams       © 2012

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