Billionaire trust-fund child Oliver Queen was at sea on his family’s boat when a storm hit. He was washed ashore on a remote island where he had to learn how to survive on his own. He became very skilled with a bow and arrow during this ordeal. When he was rescued and returned to his home of Star City (or Seattle, if you’re reading the New 52), he learned that he could not go back to his old life. He then decided to use his new skills to help the downtrodden of his city, becoming the emerald-garbed vigilante, Green Arrow!
Green Arrow became quickly dedicated to using his considerable funding to help the less fortunate as much as he could. He also took on a sidekick by the name of Roy Harper, aka Speedy. Ollie Queen quickly became known as a very opinionated super hero as well, often voicing his liberal ideology to teammates as well as his close friend, Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern. He also joined the Justice League early in its existence.
He travelled the country with Green Lantern in an attempt to help ground his space-faring friend and show him the “real America.” It was at this point that Roy Harper developed a heroin addiction that resulted in Oliver dismissing him.
He retired from the mask shortly after when he accidentally killed a criminal with a misfired arrow. He settled down with longtime love interest Dinah Lance aka Black Canary.
The retirement was short, however. It was at this point that he ran across the assassin, Shado. Shado quickly grew a respect for Green Arrow. At point when Ollie was injured, Shado cared for him. While he was unconscious (and I am not even kidding here), Shado raped him in his sleep, later giving birth to a son named Robert (this all happened, I swear to Jack Kirby, look it up). Shortly after this, Dinah and Oliver split up.
He then went on another road trip to rediscover himself. It was during this soul-searching that he first ran across Deathstroke in Las Vegas, who would become one of his most hated foes.
He was instrumental in stopping Hal’s initial rampage as Parallax, and Ollie believed he killed him in doing so. He retired from the bow once again, this time being replaced by Connor Hawke, who turned out to be a(nother) long-lost son of Oliver Queen.
Oliver Queen was killed by a bomb created by an eco-terrorist organization called the Eden Corps. Connor Hawke took over the mantle of Green Arrow in his absence. However, Hal Jordan reemerged as Parallax and resurrected his deceased friend, Oliver.
Oliver Queen later returned to Star City and took on a new apprentice, the orphaned Mia Dearden. She became the new Speedy. Oliver became the mayor of Star City and made his identity as Green Arrow public. He then finally married Black Canary.
After a vicious attack on the super hero community by Prometheus that ended in him bombing Star City, Roy Harper was left maimed and lost his daughter, whom Oliver viewed as a granddaughter. This sent Green Arrow on a rampage that resulted in him killing Prometheus. After being hunted by Green Lantern, Black Canary, and Connor Hawke, Ollie turns himself in. Dinah divorces him. Green Arrow isn’t incarcerated, but he is exiled from Star City,
After the events of Blackest Night, a forest sprouted within the destroyed section of Star City. Green Arrow decides to dwell within the forest and finds it to have many supernatural elements. This comes to a head when it takes the form of Swamp Thing during the Brightest Day event.
I spent far more time on his backstory than I usually would, but Green Arrow’s history is quite insane and extensive. I found stuff digging around that even I didn’t know about. Some of it surprised me quite a bit, so it seemed worth sharing.
I would go into his New 52 story, but there’s not much to tell. DC doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do with this character now. Beyond a convoluted prophecy about him being the heir to the “Arrow Clan” of the Outsiders (not those Outsiders, though), and him joining up with the Justice League of America and the Justice League United, not a whole lot has happened to this character.
That being said, Benjamin Percy is doing some interesting stuff with the rejuvenation of Rebirth though, and the book is becoming really interesting again. He’s brought Ollie back to his liberal roots and has teamed him up with Black Canary once more.
I love the hot-headed, loudmouth aspects of Green Arrow. He’s confident, but he’s aware of his limits. He has had his ass kicked more times than he can count, but he always gets back up to fight some more. He’ll call anyone out when he feels that their making a mistake, even Superman and Batman. He cares for the less fortunate and will do whatever it takes to help them. He knows he’s not the most powerful hero, but he’ll take on whatever challenges come his way.
Plus, the gimmicky trick arrows are really cool.
Tomorrow, I will have an honorable mentions list up. Then, it will be time for the lightning-fast Number One! See you then!