Green Arrow (1988) v1: Hunter’s Moon (DC)

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Rating: 4/5 – A darker Oliver Queen protects the streets of Seattle.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Jeff Bouchard.

In 1987 Mike Grell brought Green Arrow back as a solo title through a mini-series titled The Longbow Hunters.  Grell wrote and drew the series, which was only three issues but popular enough that it led to Oliver Queen returning the following year in a Green Arrow ongoing series.   Grell was tapped to write  the ongoing series while art duties were turned over to Ed Hannigan.  Dick Giordano handled the inking and Julia lacquement, the colorist on The Longbow Hunters, continued to color the ongoing series.

Green Arrow volume 1: Hunters Moon collects the first six issues of the series, for a cover price of $14.99, broken into three two part stories.  One of the first things you notice about Grell’s Green Arrow title and Oliver Queen in general is the tone.  This is real and gritty, grounded in the issues and headlines of the times. From child kidnapping, to gang violence and hate crimes, this volume runs the gamut on issues facing metropolitan areas in the 80s and unfortunately still to this day.  In order to combat these issues encroaching on Oliver Queen’s streets and sometimes hitting too close to home, you find a more cold-blooded and calculated Queen.  One that is older, wiser and a little more ruthless.  This is not the young pup seen in the pages of the New 52 title.

The volume takes its name from the first two-part story which finds Green Arrow protecting a kidnapping victim.  The trade quickly switches gears as The Champions two issue storyline finds Queen reluctantly pulled into a game of cat and mouse between nations as they vie to secure a lethal virus that they jointly built in space but fell to Earth.  Describing how different these two stories are is one of my favorite things about the Green Arrow character and this volume.  Armed with only his expertise with a bow, Queen is put into situations both big and small.  The creative team has stripped away the trick arrows, a staple of the character in older comics and there were never any super powers to begin with.  What you have left is a resourceful individual who stands up for the victims he comes across and tries to right the wrongs in his neighborhood, no matter what consequences those choices may make for him.

Green Arrow volume 1: Hunters Moon collects a nice sampling of small storylines that are emotionally charged and tied to real life situations that affect you as a reader.  This trade gives new readers of the character a good idea of who Oliver Queen is and what he represents while longtime fans of the Green Arrow should be pleased to see the beginning of Grell’s 80 issue run on the character being collected for the first time.

Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard
(jeff@comicspectrum.com
)
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