Silverwolf’s Den: Silverwolf’s Sayonara: Ode to Green Arrow

This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. As you can probably guess from the first half of the title, this will be my last post on Moar Powah. I’ve been writing for this site for four years, and in that time I’ve certainly improved as a writer, but more importantly I was allowed the chance to collaborate with some amazing peers. Everything I did on this site was au gratis, but the real payment was the camaraderie of my fellow writers.

I’ve been thinking about leaving for some time now. Not for any one reason in particular, but a confluence. I love talking about and reviewing comics, but as it stands it’s just become harder for me, not easier. I find myself becoming more critical of comics as I read them, trying to find a number in my head before the issue even ends. I’ve bought and read some comics I knew I wouldn’t like, simply so I could review them.

But I can’t dwell on the negatives. I still love comics, and think retiring from reviewing them regularly may help strengthen that love. That’s why, as a final post, I want to talk about Green Arrow.

green arrow futures end

For those that have followed Silverwolf’s Den regularly, you probably know that Green Arrow is my favorite super hero. I’ve never met another person who shares this feeling, and there have been a number of times I’ve had to explain to people why I like Green Arrow so much. Thus, I figure my exit post can be a good way to perhaps convince people how awesome Oliver Queen is, and show you why you need to follow him in the comics.

Oliver Queen will never be the best. Even as far as street-level heroes go, he’s always outmatched by the slides of Batman and Lady Shiva. Nevertheless, Green Arrow isn’t appealing because he’s overly strong or successful. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I love him because he struggles against challenges out of his league and, even if he fails, fights his hardest to do what’s right.

Green Arrow Justice League Unlimited

My first exposure to Oliver Queen, as far as I can remember, was the first episode of Justice League Unlimited. When I first saw the character, I found him utterly ridiculous: a modern Robin Hood? Who still uses a bow in the 21st century? But as I continued to watch the episode, I became enamored with Green Arrow’s dedication to justice for the “little guy.” While most heroes concern themselves with world shattering events and maniacal supervillains, the Emerald Archer fights to end poverty, racism, homelessness, and a host of other social issues. Sure, it’s great when Superman takes down Brainiac, but there’s something endlessly meaningful about watching Green Arrow stop a slumlord from kicking his tenants onto the street so he can sell the building for a massive markup.

It wouldn’t be until 2011, long after Justice League Unlimited ended, that I revisited Green Arrow at my local library in the form of Green Arrow: Quiver by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks. At this point in my life, I was slowly returning to reading comics after not touching them since Civil War. Thanks to a few days with nothing to do during a school break, I had the chance to check out some graphic novels at the library, Quiver among them. I remembered loving Green Arrow in JLU, and thus attacked this comic first, loving every page which told the story of Queen’s return from the dead (which also mirrored my return to comic reading). Flash forward to that summer, and I became a writer on this very site.

Green Arrow Quiver

Oliver Queen resonates with me as well because of his deep humanity. He’s constantly screwing up and making bad decisions after immediately taking positive steps, much like any human being. Sure, he may save the lives of dozens of people and reduce crime, but at the same time he’s abandoned family members and shattered personal relationships.

I couldn’t end this post without making a list of what are, in my opinion, the “must-read” Green Arrow stories. You don’t have to take my word for it, but I think any and every comic fan should read these volumes at least once in their life. So, without further ado:

  • Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams
  • Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell
  • Green Arrow: Quiver and Green Arrow: Sounds of Violence by Kevin Smith, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks
  • Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock
  • Green Arrow: The Kill Machine, Green Arrow: The Outsiders War, and Green Arrow: Broken by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, and Marcelo Maiolo

Green Arrow Year One Cover

With that, it’s time to take my final bow. I’ve really enjoyed writing for this site these last four years: it was a passion project, no doubt. I appreciate all of you who have read my work, whether it was just one post or all of them since I reviewed Superman: Red Son way back when. It’s hard for me to believe I’ll be leaving on some level. The posts, the conventions, the hashing out of new ideas…it was all new territory for me, and it was great fun. I hope you’ve enjoyed what I have to say, and wish this site all the best going forward.

Au revoir.

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