Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Green Arrow issue #1 – February 1988 (DC Comics)

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TITLE: Green Arrow issue #1

YEAR: February 1988


Writer: Mike Grell

Illustrated by Ed Hannigan & Dick Giordano

Colorist: Julia Lacquement

Letterer:John Costanza

Editor: Mike Gold

One of the most well-known artist/writers in which fans can expect quality is Mike Grell.

Known for his work on “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes”, it was his work on “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” but most importantly, his work with “The Warlord” that would earn him the respect from the industry and fans from all over the world.

But unlike other artists who would stay with a major comic and be content with the success, Mike Grell is different.  Yes, he is a man who walks his own path and does what he feels is right, in the ’80s, leaving DC Comics and working on creator-owned comic book titles such as “Jon Sable Freelance” (First Comics) and “Starslayer” (Pacific Comics) was his calling.

In 1987, Mike Grell came back to DC Comics to work on the three-issue prestige format limited series, “Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters”.

A storyline that featured a 43-year-old Oliver Queen, the story featured a man who wanted to live a normal life, would never want to kill anyone and just wanted to enjoy life with his girlfriend, Black Canary (Dinah Drake), move to Seattle and open up a flower shop, Sherwood Florist.

Unfortunately, something terrible happens to Dinah and what happened to her will carry-on in the pages of Mike Grell’s “Green Arrow”.  And suffice to say, what happened in “Longbow Hunters” would change both characters.

The first issue begins with a group of punks trying to steal from three people walking out in the woods.  Fortunately, Green Arrow is there to save them and take on the thugs.

Meanwhile, convicted murder Al Munch, heir of the Muncy Brewery Empire who tortured and killed at least seven Seattle-area children has been released after 18-years in prison.

One of the survivors, Annie Green, has become a marriage counselor and is assigned to help Olly and Dinah.  And Lt. Cameron has to break the bad news to her that her tormentor is being released from prison but he swears that he will protect her.

As Olly and Dinah finish their session with Dr. Green, they see her opening her mail and immediately she goes into shock and runs out unexpectedly.

Olly runs after her and he tells her that because she helped them, he wants to help her.  She tells him what happened and how she was kidnapped and tortured.  How she was able to escape and now she received a package which happens to be the nose of a teddy bear that was on her outfit that he made her wear as a child.

Sickened by what happened, Olly decides to pay Muncy a visit.

Needless to say, this was an excellent issue and a great way to kick off the series.  Released in 1988, Mike Grell brought us a Green Arrow that was darker, more human with a dark side, a man that can’t live and peace and put him in an environment that was more real than fantasy.

This was the beginning of greatness and a version of “Green Arrow” that many fans of the character have come to enjoy, despite DC Comics tweaking of the character years after Grell’s run.


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