GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS (DC, 2012; Softcover)
Collects Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters Nos. 1-3 (cover dates August- October, 1987)
Writer and Artist: Mike Grell
Art assist: Lurene Haines
Colorist: Julia Lacquement
I know very little about Green Arrow. Aside from reading the Denny O'Neil/ Neal Adams run and buying the first issue of the this title off of the stands, my knowledge of the character is limited. That said, I loved this story. I bought the first issue back in the summer of 1987, and I must admit that I absolutely hated it as a 13-going-on-14 year old kid. Reading it here as a 40 year old in 2013, I can see the value in this story. As a kid I wanted to see superheroes in costumes beat up bad guys. Okay, I still do, but I enjoy this older, wiser, Green Arrow too. The desire for roots, for having a family...these are topics that I could never grasp as a kid, but as an adult they are all painfully clear.
This is firmly rooted in reality, with a serial killer stalking the streets and an assassin who makes the elder statesmen bowman realize how old he has gotten. There is much regret and disillusionment in Green Arrow, but at the end of the day he still tries to do right. This adult take on the character really appeals to me now, but I also fully appreciate why I hated this as a kid.
I was a big fan of the prestige format books in the '80s and bought a lot of them. I bought books like this and Batman: The Killing Joke off the racks, day of release. I liked the cardstock covers and better coloring and paper. Little did I realize that I was seeing the precursor to the modern graphic novel or collected edition.
Mike Grell is a seldom mentioned and under appreciated writer and artist. I also really enjoyed Julia Lacquement water colors/airbrushed coloring. There was a real push in the mid-to-late '80s to make comics grow up, both in tone and format. We are still dealing with this push and pull today. The more things change...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- There were at least two printings of the original 1989 trade paperback for this series, and of course DC doesn't bother including the cover art that was unique to that book as an extra. The covers are collected in the back of the book, with boring solid green chapter break pages used.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Four page introduction by Mike Gold.
Linework and Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. Everything looks perfect.
Paper rating: 4.25 out of 5. Decent weight semi-glossy coated stock.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound softcover, or in English: glued.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxlike lamination.