Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Arrow: Year One


I guess it says something about my boring life or my busy work schedule but the most exciting thing I did all weekend was read the hardcover collection Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and artist Jock. I know they are the creative team behind The Losers but I've yet to pick up that title.

I have a bad habit -- or a narrow focus -- of sticking to mainly the superheroes that I grew up with.

And Green Arrow, Oliver Queen, is definitely a character that I can remember "playing at" in my grandparents' backyard.

Though I was probably too young to read the seminal issues with Speedy's drug addiction, I can vaguely recall being aware of the Dennis O'Neil/Neal Adams era of the Green Lantern/Green Arrow title. The art in some of the reprints did jar some memories loose.

I think the overly liberal Oliver Queen seemed to fit in with my sensibilities, having been raised in a liberal Democratic household (hell, who wasn't a lib Dem in that Watergate era?).

And my love of Errol Flynn's Robin Hood probably pointed me in the Arrow's direction as well -- or maybe the Arrow pointed me to Errol?

But now I'm pretty lazy about keeping up with the DC Comics continuity and am a bit unaware of how Green Arrow: Year One fits into the larger DC Universe.

Still, it was a fun read with artwork vaguely reminiscent of Frank Miller's run on Marvel's Daredevil in the 1980s which I did read firsthand.

Green Arrow: Year One is cinematic in its depiction of Oliver Queen's origin story -- it is a bit like Batman Begins in that the superhero that the main character becomes is almost secondary to the larger story of that character's development as a person.

There are a few things I didn't like in this volume -- namely, more of the actual hero would have been nice! -- but I did enjoy what the creators were trying to do by stripping everything away and getting to the essence of the character in as simple a fashion as possible.

You can get the nice, slim hardback from Amazon, among other places.