It’s rare for me to read a book more than once. I recently sat down and started going through all of my old comics and graphic novels and got the urge to read through one of, if not the best, graphic novel of all time. Here’s what I think of Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell.
Mike Grell did something amazing with Green Arrow. He took away all of his childish trick arrows and even moved him into an entirely different city. He’s no longer in the fictional city of Star City. He fights crime in Seattle now and The Longbow Hunters is a very gritty take on Green Arrow that would appeal to Batman fans.
I think I enjoyed reading through this book more my second time around than I did the first time. The first time I read this was Christmas of 2018. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it the first time around. I fell in love with Mike Grell’s version of Oliver Queen and his relationship with Dina. I loved how he questioned his abilities after losing a fight against a much younger archer on a rooftop, and I loved that he was considering hanging up his quiver and contemplating having kids and being a dad. It’s very deep stuff and it made for an excellent story and is backed by absolutely fantastic art, which was also done by Mike Grell. Is there something this man can’t do?
Oliver is much older here. He’s in his early to mid-forties and once he got settled in Seattle it didn’t take him long to find his first case of investigating a serial killer. His longtime girlfriend, Dina, is also working a case of her own. She’s trying to stop a drug trafficking ring and everything surrounding that is equally interesting. It’s obvious that Oliver and Dina are madly in love with each other, but they never married and never considered having any children until this book. At one point Dina flat out tells Oliver that she would love to have kids with him, but she won’t make orphans. That hit deep because she knows how dangerous a life they both lead and so she won’t entertain the thought of having children and potentially having them grow up with only one or no parents.
Oliver struggled with that throughout the book and it was masterfully done. This book is masterfully written and to top it all off the main villains are well written too. They’re just really bad men that do really bad things and you can’t help, but root for the Green Arrow and his mysterious rival/ally to take these guys out.
The Longbow Hunters is the best Green Arrow story ever told. Mike Grell making the decision to get rid of Green Arrow’s trick arrows was a good one and tell a more gritty story turned out to be the best decision he could’ve ever made. This book is a great start for those of you that want to get into Green Arrow.
The Longbow Hunters is fantastic. I love that Mike Grell was brave enough to change some of the dumb stuff about Green Arrow and take him in a bold new direction by having him leave Star City. I love that he constantly called himself old and questioned his own abilities. I loved everything that this book was about and I really love how well written this story was and how Mike took his time and fleshed everyone out in the story. It never felt rushed and I loved it both times I read it. I can't recommend this book enough. If you want to become a fan of Green Arrow start here. This is the peak of Green Arrow and it's still a very enjoyable book today.