Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters
Writer / Artists: Mike Grell
Distributed By: DC Comics
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I had never purchased a comic book from the Green Arrow series before, even though I had enjoyed reading the Justice League of America comics which included the character. However, being a Black Canary fan, I wanted to get a hold of the Green Arrow Longbow Hunters series, because I had heard that this particular series had a great deal of influence on the Dinah Lance of todayís Birds of Prey comic books. Thus, I searched far and wide for the series and, discovering that the four part series was compiled into a trade paperback, snatched it up as soon as I could.
The first thing that struck me was the darkness of the comic and the amazingly detailed artwork. The work was entirely different from most of the DC series I had read in the past. Not that DC artwork isnít up to par, but I wasnít expecting to find artwork that would fit as easily on the wall in an art gallery as it would within the pages of a comic book. The characters in The Longbow Hunters trade paperback are often drawn to scale, with details that lend a lifelike quality. I also wasnít prepared fro the nudity, which one wonít see often in comic books like Justice League of America or Birds of Prey. But I must say that the artist is rather talented in drawing the human form.
The storyline of this series was something new to me as well. I was used to reading a Oliver Queen (AKA: Green Arrow) that was self-assured to the point of being cocky. Brash, cock-sure and conceited Ė this was the Green Arrow I had always known. In the Longbow Hunters series, we come across a Green Arrow who is beginning to go through somewhat of a midlife crisis. His longtime sidekick, Roy Harper (AKA; Speedy, Arsenal), who Oliver Queen has come to see as a son, has recently had a child of his own. Oliver is none to pleased at the thought of becoming a grandfather. He starts to think about his life, the path he has chosen and the direction he wants it to take.
This all comes to a head as Dinah and Oliver go in separate directions Ė Dinah hunting down an illegal drug ring, while Oliver tracks down a serial killer whose weapon of choice just happens to be identical to that of the Green Arrow. Unbeknownst to the two crime fighters, their paths are leading in the same direction. If Oliver canít get his head together, the results could be disastrous for them both.
Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters was incredibly engaging. I found that I couldnít put the book down until I had reached the last page. I was mesmerized. This was the Green Arrow in a new light and I loved every minute of it. However, I must warn anyone who might partake in the reading of this adventure - the Longbow Hunters series is extremely graphic. It definitely deserves a Mature Readers Only rating. And Iím not just talking about the nudity Ė no squeamish readers allowed!
I must say that for the artwork alone, the Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters graphic novel was worth every penny. Add to that an intriguing storyline and I ended up with an incredible bargain. Be advised, this graphic novel is not very easy to find. Patience and perseverance won me this little gem on eBay, but Iím pleased to say that this is one purchase I do not regret waiting for in the least.