Here's my own stab about how one might re-establish Green Arrow with a unique spin.
In this, I am taking my cues from James Robinson's work on Starman and Palmiotti & Gray's work on Hawkman. Even Johns on Aquaman, really.
They, and other creators, have taken similar paths to revitalizing sidelined or messed up characters
- Start with some of the essentials of the characters; start with the original version.
- Add in some of the traditional elements of the mythos (like supporting characters and villains), tweaked if necessary.
- Take scattered, pre-existing elements from DCU history and cluster them around the center figure through some logical link(s).
- Look for gaps and fill those with new but consistent elements to round out the themes.
I call this approach "retrovisionistic".
In the usual approach to Green Arrow, the 'essential' toward which the writers gravitates is "Green Arrow is like Robin Hood". I mean, he certainly looked like (the pop culture image of ) Robin Hood when he was created and in every visual redesign he's pretty much been update to whatever the pop culture image of Robin Hood is at the moment.
And there is nothing wrong with that. But it's not really the angle from which he began.
The original Golden Age Oliver Queen was a wealthy (like Bruce Wayne) archaeologist (like Carter Hall and Kent Nelson) who was a great expert in Native American cultures.
|Wow; Ollie was always a pompous know-it-all, huh?|
Mort Weisinger (with Mort Meskin) had, a few months earlier, create a costume "cowboy-theme" vigilante. Named, easily enough, "Vigilante." You know him; country singer Greg Sanders, who became a part-time crime-fighter to avenge his father's murder. Like you do.
So, then, Mort Weisinger (with George Papp) created a costumed "Indian-themed" vigilante: Green Arrow.
That's why when they introduced, Roy Harper, Ollie's ward (? Adopted son? Pet? Houseboy? Toady?), his origin was: a white boy raised by an Indian raised in the wilderness.
Apparently, among its many fascinating aspects, Earth-1 has isolated mesas large enough to support entire forest ecosystems. Given how bizarre it is, Earth-1 should really be one of the biomes in Civilization: Beyond Earth.
|Wow, Roy and Ollie pretty much started OUT doubting each other, huh?|
BTW, nice dress, Roy.
Give Robin Hood a rest. Start with THAT for a change: Green Arrow as a modern-day 'Indian', a lover of native culture and nature.
But, where can you go with that? I'll discuss that in my next post...