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Author Topic: Mike Grell's Green Arrow  (Read 4946 times)
Jimmy T
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« on: January 10, 2015, 02:48:40 PM »

I had a legendary comic-con once upon a time. Going through the dollar bins, I had come across another issue of Grell's prestige mature reader's format 'The Longbow Hunters.' Well, this the second time I've seen an issue for this...but they were in different booths/auctions. Backchecking between the two, I found out they were issues 1 and 3. Well, hell...I buy them from both retailers, and then I start thinking..."The hunt is on!" Another hour or two later, from yet a third vendor, looking through Green Arrow back issues, I find only one issue of TLB...and it's issue 2~I did it! Found them all!

Well, I read them then, and man, what a great treat! For these 3 issues, in 1987, Grell got to re-vitalize Oliver Queen for yet another time in the character's long history. The pages were formatted in whatever style of storytelling he chose. He broke panes and borders, did multi-page shots, visuals that weren't framed, watercolors, charcoal pencil on rough grey boards, colored charcoal prints. Amazing expansion of art for the time!

That, and the 'graphic novel' was truly graphic back then. Ollie and Dinah had loving, open panels of sex (but, carefully shown in shadowed blacks.) There was rage and fury at killings and murders, with swearing that occurred in place due to the tragedy witnessed. There was killing...by the titular hero. A killing that hung heavy and weighed down the soul and heart of the hero. Done in anger, done in fury, done in the heat of the moment...but one that echoed!

So, I loved this little book, and what I found on Amazon in the last few months was that Grell's work was being reprinted in trades-I snapped up the first 2 trades, with trade 3 to come in April or May or August. Some time this next year.

The art? Holds up. Ed Hannigan with Dick Giordano on inks has a beautiful, full, well rendered look. It's not as immediately memorable as Jim Aparo art (where I seem to remember Giordano mostly from), but I'd say that Hannigan actually had a better overall visual acuity to his work.

I've only caught up on the first trade of Grell's work from 1988, 'Hunters Moon.' The stories are 2 parters-done well! The world outside is a large place of aliens, Justice leagues, villains beyond thought, but in Ollie's stake, there are still bad men & women, and innocent citizens who need to be looked after. There are plenty of minor characters who grow quickly over the framework of the first 6 issues. The police liason. The worker in Dinah's floral shop. A therapist with links to a terrible crime in the past. Everyone has an amazing voice to be heard-singular to themselves, but just as important as the Emerald Archer. Their lives, their wants matter.

Reading this, I think to current titles-which I love. But the same gripes still seem to keep occurring. Where are the life moments of our heroes occurring? Where is Clark Kent with his journalist peers? Where is Peter Parker with his old friends having a drink; sharing a moment? Where are our heroes enjoying the fruits of their labors? I believe there is still time for these moments, and I want them back.

Yet, going back to this, 'Arrow' has helped me come more and more into the Green Arrow fold. I've had more than a few runs of GA comics. I had the Longbow Hunter, read of some of the Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams hard traveling heroes, Kevin Smith's return of the character, Brad Meltzer's Arrow Quest, the strength of Ollie in Identity Crisis, Cry for Justice, the pivotal arcs under Lemire & Sorrentino...

I guess I'm a Green Arrow fan. Gimme more! Cheesy
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Jimmy T since 2001
Perry
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 05:45:05 PM »

The playoffs are on so I can't read this large post yet. Jumping in during commercials and I think this may be one I need to spend some time with. Be back later.
 Grin
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Perry
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2015, 07:00:39 AM »

Good stuff, Jimmy.
About time we had a really strong, actual review around here.  Cheesy A nice change from from the jumbled, incoherent ramblings of this old coot or the occasional short views posted by our dear Jeff (no offense meant at all, Jeff ... I enjoy your thoughts greatly, it's just you are usually a 'hit 'em fast' poster ... and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that Cool)

Glad to hear DC is pushing out that GA run he did and happy about that 3rd one on the horizon!! Means there is hope for the entire 80 issue run!!!

You really have me pumped with this, Jimbo. Much like the old Warlord comics by the same guy, I do need to revisit these arrow books. It has been many a moon since I even seen the inside of the covers. Hell, I just may have to think about a total Grell revisit. GA, Warlord, Jon Sable ...
 Grin
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Jimmy T
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2015, 08:19:09 AM »

Thanks Perry.

I admit; I was trepidatious about jumping in whole hog on these 2 trades. It's always a talking point that 'Mike Grell's GA run is one to know!' Yet some runs...don't always hold up. I'm extremely happy to find that Grell's work can still ring loudly and truly as good comic reading. Also, it helps me to find the first origin of a man named Fyres, and the Japanese archer Shado (both used in great detail in the 'Arrow' show, as well as having a great impact on the N52 DC GA as well).

There is really no clue about what will happen to DC after Convergence. Can I read Lemire's GA in a 'place' that occurs before the moutachioed Ollie tales we know so well? Sure! I'd love to have the 'older' history of Lemire's run take place in Ollie's true youth, but still have the impact of Grell's work stand with a resonance for the character.

All this does is make me want to pull out Gruenwald's entire Captain America run. There was an old review of an series arc on CBR about Cap being replaced, and well, I loved Gruenwald's amazingly patriotic take on Cap, the hard stances he (Steve) rode, as well as the issues, and villains he faced. I wonder what Gruenwald's stories would look like in today's America....illegally grazing ranchers holding up with armed weapons against the gov't coming to take him...radical tea party groups... militirized watchdog groups...the proliferation of lying, circus hyped media "reports".

I think my next month goal IS to read Gruen's Cap again!!!
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Jimmy T since 2001
Jeff
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2015, 12:56:37 PM »

About time we had a really strong, actual review around here.  Cheesy A nice change from from the jumbled, incoherent ramblings of this old coot or the occasional short views posted by our dear Jeff (no offense meant at all, Jeff ... I enjoy your thoughts greatly, it's just you are usually a 'hit 'em fast' poster ... and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that Cool)

No offense here.  That's how I like them - in and out.  Hmmm that didn't sound how I meant for it to.

I like trying to start conversation.
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"If I could go back in time and like tell 11 year old me that like not only do you get to go to Comic Con but you go every year.  So much so that you get greeted by Stan Lee when you show up.  And 11 year old me would be like - How did we get so fat?" - Kevin Smith
Perry
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 07:00:18 AM »

About time we had a really strong, actual review around here.  Cheesy A nice change from from the jumbled, incoherent ramblings of this old coot or the occasional short views posted by our dear Jeff (no offense meant at all, Jeff ... I enjoy your thoughts greatly, it's just you are usually a 'hit 'em fast' poster ... and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that Cool)

No offense here.  That's how I like them - in and out.  Hmmm that didn't sound how I meant for it to.

I like trying to start conversation.

Absolutely what I was going for. Well, except for the in and out thing ...  Grin
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Perry
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 07:22:00 AM »

All this does is make me want to pull out Gruenwald's entire Captain America run. There was an old review of an series arc on CBR about Cap being replaced, and well, I loved Gruenwald's amazingly patriotic take on Cap, the hard stances he (Steve) rode, as well as the issues, and villains he faced. I wonder what Gruenwald's stories would look like in today's America....illegally grazing ranchers holding up with armed weapons against the gov't coming to take him...radical tea party groups... militirized watchdog groups...the proliferation of lying, circus hyped media "reports".


I can aprreciate a lot ... A LOT of what Gruenwald did with Cap (His Red Skull voice is still in my head to this day) and I truly love with a passion a ton of his other works (his co-writing one of the great Avengers arc with Wanda and Pietro on Wundagore, his entire DP7 title, his fabulous Squadron Supreme - whom some say his ashes are the ink that resides in the first print trades), but I don't know man, I can't in good conscience think about going back and reading about Wolf-Cap again
 Cheesy
That was one of the deciding factors in me realizing the comic industry (and the art, being more precise) had just went to shit. Started noticing it fully around Cap #402 waaaay back in 1992 and by #406 or so (but not JUST that title) ... I was done with comics.
 Undecided
And I have honestly thought on many a night that what we in the comics world often refer to as "the 90's", is what really killed Mark Gruenwald. His heart just couldn't take that crappy ass art any longer.
Undecided  Cry
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Jimmy T
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 08:39:43 AM »

Indeed (on Cap after #400), Perry.

There was a small stint around 415 where it became a bit more of what I wanted with Diamondback in the title, more Serpent Society and Hydra, but the biggest change came with that 425 (I think) with the serum starting to break down in his blood....the difficulties with Steve continuing...the art Wink ....and then the armor...*sighs wearily* yeah, things went down hill at that point.

However, there was almost 70 or more issues before that Cap-Wolf beginning, and I like to enjoy that!! Cheesy

I think, more than anything, I just miss Gruen's patriotic Steve Rogers. The uniform was just what he put on to go to work with.
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Jimmy T since 2001
Perry
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 09:04:14 AM »

For sure!!

And I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Serpent Society. So much so that while reading Kirkman's Invincible (spoilers about that title below) -
I got so pissed when he killed off his version of that group, the Lizard League!!!

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Jimmy T
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 10:13:07 AM »

I forgot about that (re:Invincible).

Man...that's 9 Ultimate HC to reread! And I do love me some Invincible!!!

Through the first 5, I kept rereading all the HC up to the next one I purchased. I think at 6 I just started reading what I bought.
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Jimmy T since 2001
Jimmy T
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 09:34:54 PM »

Volume 3 will be coming my way in about a month or so! wahooo!!!
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Jimmy T since 2001
Jimmy T
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2015, 09:03:32 PM »

and Volume 4 was listed in November solicits! So cool! That only takes the volumes up to issue 28 I think, and Grell wrote until 85 or something like that! I wonder how far they plan to take it!!

EDIT-just checked Amazon, vol 5 is going to be solicited in February 2016, and that takes the issues up to 35.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 07:25:07 AM by Jimmy T » Logged

Jimmy T since 2001
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