Why is Green Arrow not a top notch character?

#1 Posted by pewsplosions (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I have my own thoughts on this but I'd like to know what everyone else thinks.

Sure Ollie is popular enough and his inclusion in Smallville I think really helped that out a lot(as is obvious by the upcoming Arrow show.) but lets face it; Nobody really thinks of him being on the level of say Batman, Superman, Wolverine, Spider-man, or lots of others, even Daredevil(Who I think Green Arrow creative directions could take a huge queue from.)

I have been thinking about this way too much as of late because I really think Green Arrow is a really awesome character himself but when I read his books or try to think of what defines him, I just come up kind of blank. He is just simply not as interesting as he should be. He has too much potential. I stopped getting the new 52 issues after 6 issues because it just felt like a totally under achieving book. I will say that a bright spot in it was his little team though. I really like that idea of him having the behind the scenes team helping him build his toys and feeding him info and such. Good supporting characters. I hope they continue to be there and build up, when I can afford it I definitely plan on going back and catching up with the book still.

So my thoughts are this: What do characters like Batman and the others have that he doesn't?

First thing that comes to mind is the Rogue Gallery. Every great character is very much shaped and defined by his villains but Green Arrow just lacks in this department I feel. I have about 60 Green Arrow comics(Maybe I just haven't read enough of him yet?) and I could not even tell you who his arch-nemesis was. I had to look it up! From what I can tell a lot of people say it is Merlyn. I have never really even heard of Merlyn... that is really a bad sign(unless I am alone here which I'm betting I am not.)

I think the Green Arrow books could really benefit from better villains and a very knowable, well done, arch-nemesis. Since it is quite late in the life span of the emerald archer it may be too late really to just thrust a new villain on everybody and say it his greatest enemy though. So for now I think borrowed villains would help a lot. Daredevil for instance also does not have the best villain list, other than bullseye, a lot of his biggest enemies and best stories tend to borrow villains(from spider-man a lot.) This of course wouldn't completely fix the problem but I think it'd make the book a little better over all. Villains like The Riddler(probably a lot of batman villains really.) would be appropriate.

One villain I think they could really bring out of the depths and not just borrow but completely steal from Superman would be the Toyman. In the smallville series the episodes where Ollie and the Toyman were at it actually worked really well. If he would be worked in a lot over the years who knows, maybe would turn into Green Arrow's Joker?

Another villain that I think could be fun to read if done correctly would be Mirror Master from Flash books. Though he is quite well established as a Flash villain so he couldn't just steal him but I think it'd be a fun situation(come on... an archer shattering mirrors with his arrows... could be pretty cool.)

Two other options would either be; try to implement an entirely new foe and morph him into a nemesis over time, or take Merlyn(or another of his bigger villains) and just do a huge overhaul with a very exceptional creative team that could re-establish and bring more life to the character.

Aside from the villain thing another possible idea is to just make him the best at something besides accuracy with a bow. I think, at least with what I read in the first 6 issues of the new series, technology should really be Green Arrows thing. He doesn't have to take anything away from Batman and his wonderful toys but if Queen could top him in this department it would do wonders for him. He doesn't really have to beat Batman or even REALLY have better stuff. But if they could write stories(perfect opportunity for the borrowed villains who are surprised by how different or better his things are than Batmans.) but basically that his tech is 'the best' in the DCU it would create his niche in the fan base too I think. Marvel kind of did this with Iron Man for example. If technology is involved in the Marvel U, Tony Stark comes to mind. It would obviously have to be a little different here since it would be more like Queen Industries or his little team of techs, but it would still be his. This could also be done in a way as to not take anything away from Batman or Bruce Wayne, which is important(Batman is obviously never going to be topped in anyway by Green Arrow so DC would make sure this stays true, kind of why a lot of the comparisons in this post have been directed toward Batman, well.. that and they are similar characters in a few important ways).

So I don't know if anybody will ever read this since it has turned into quite a large post or if I'm waaaay off base but I was wondering if anybody else had anymore thoughts on the matter.

#2 Posted by SoA (4838 posts) - - Show Bio

i like older ollie not the new 52 one so much

#3 Posted by RoboShark (1271 posts) - - Show Bio

Cause he has been handled so poorly.

#4 Posted by Imagine_Man15 (1801 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Green Arrow, one of my favorite characters. I think that he definitely doesn't get the love he deserves.

I don't like it, however, when he is written like Tony Stark. I prefer him to have slightly lower grade tech; the trick arrows are fun, but they shouldn't get too fancy. I like it when Green Arrow is forced to innovate, to make things work with whatever resources he has at hand.

I agree he needs a better rogues gallery; he doesn't really have any "stand out" villains.

#5 Posted by pewsplosions (13 posts) - - Show Bio

You know what would actually be pretty cool. If there was a compromise between being written like Tony Stark and make him be adaptable to the resources at hand. Like his team of techies can just be that good and he can start whatever missions he goes on geared up and high tech. But then as in all good stories things go wrong. So after so much happens he often loses his high tech edge and is forced to adapt. And of course large story archs involving him losing his company and fortune are bound to happen(don't they always?) This could also force him to adapt while his supporting cast also has to adapt if they are forced out with him or something.

The ups and downs of his life are one of things that make him such a good character.

#6 Posted by clevelamison (1 posts) - - Show Bio

I too am a huge GA guy. i too am hugely disappointed with how he's been handled. i think part of the problem is ollie's origin. most of the a-listers have some big triggering event or events that lead them to fight crime, like the murder of a beloved family member. their origin stories tend to be epic, full of loss and tragedy. at the end of the day, green arrow is just a rich guy playing robin hood dress up. sure, bruce wayne is is just a guy dressing up as a flipping bat, but he's also a half-deranged fanatical vigilante obsessed with avenging his parents' murders. that's kinda' hot. sets a tone. grim. just as superman sets the opposite tone. one is the night, the other literally takes his power from the daylight. vengeance and hope. the last (acknowledged) son of a financial empire and the last son of a dead world. but what is ollie? a guy with a robin hood fetish. unless handled really well (and he has yet to be in the new 52), that's gonna' lead to some pretty lame stories.

#7 Edited by CODYSF (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

GA is the man he got's his own dam show but I feel bad for his crappy new 52 comics.

#8 Edited by The_Tree (7465 posts) - - Show Bio

@clevelamison said:

I too am a huge GA guy. i too am hugely disappointed with how he's been handled. i think part of the problem is ollie's origin. most of the a-listers have some big triggering event or events that lead them to fight crime, like the murder of a beloved family member. their origin stories tend to be epic, full of loss and tragedy. at the end of the day, green arrow is just a rich guy playing robin hood dress up. sure, bruce wayne is is just a guy dressing up as a flipping bat, but he's also a half-deranged fanatical vigilante obsessed with avenging his parents' murders. that's kinda' hot. sets a tone. grim. just as superman sets the opposite tone. one is the night, the other literally takes his power from the daylight. vengeance and hope. the last (acknowledged) son of a financial empire and the last son of a dead world. but what is ollie? a guy with a robin hood fetish. unless handled really well (and he has yet to be in the new 52), that's gonna' lead to some pretty lame stories.

He's not just some rich guy playing dress up, and he did have something to trigger him becoming a hero. His mother and father were mauled by lions when he was young. He was shipwrecked and forced to survive on a fairly desolate island, where he learned that he needed to grow up. He then became a hero of the island by facing a drug lord. He wasn't just fooling around and randomly decided that it would be fun to be a superhero.

On topic, I don't think he currently reaches the top notch because of the fact that his rogue's gallery is incredibly small, and most writers don't know how to handle him. Not to mention that the relaunch f***ed him up almost irreversibly, erasing his history of flaws, and making him into some generic swashbuckling superhero.

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#9 Posted by jpblair88 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

Green Arrow is one of my favorite characters. and honestly the New 52 version is a complete sham. Green Arrow was already well established as the street level vigilante more concerned with helping the little guy than keeping running a billion dollar company or attending charity poker games. I also dropped G.A. around issue 6 because it was so terrible but i picked it up again when Ann Nocenti started writing it. granted i still completely disagree with the direction of the character it is now actually a little fun to read with the potential for character development. If they could craft a good long reaching story about how he loses his company permanently and returns to his roots as they were under Mike Grell i would be happy beyond words. As it is now Green Arrow is one of my biggest complaints in the DCnU.

On the subject of tech. Really he has excelled as a character more when he is just going out in the night with a classic bow and arrow and not so much the super gadgets. He's not DC's Tony Stark. if you want to read Tony Stark go pick up an issue of Iron Man.

#10 Posted by midnightmare (98 posts) - - Show Bio

I also dropped the title but after issue 3. Yes i prefer the street level G.A. too, but i tought that if he was going to be a supervillain hunter that could work, but he became a costumed version of Steve Jobs. Besides, speaking like he was from the hood when in costume while whining like and old man in the narration squares mede him look like a tool.

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