Evil Geek Book Report – Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters
Greetings Evil Geeks; it’s been a while, but it’s finally comics time!!! I’ve been pretty busy making sure the Evil Lair is running smoothly and haven’t had much time for comics lately, but I have just put down a great book that I think is definitely worth checking out. Normally my tastes in comics heavily favor the capes and tights set, with a healthy dose of The Walking Dead thrown in to balance things out, but this week’s review strays from that genre, if only slightly. While Green Arrow would normally fit into the former category, The Long Bow Hunters, featuring words and art by Mike Grell, takes Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance away from the Justice League on a “no frills’ straight up, action story that stretches across decades. No trick arrows, no super powered back up, and relatively small time stakes? Can the Emerald Archer still fight crime without all the accoutrements? Read on and find out!
The Longbow Hunters takes place later on in the career of the Green Arrow. Olive Queen and Dinah Lance have moved to Seattle in search of a less crazy life. They haven’t given up the super hero game, but they’re looking to tone things down a little bit. Oliver frets over the idea that he’s too old to be a superhero anymore, because he’s getting on in years. I thought it was kind of funny that Oliver thinks he’s washed up since he’s hit the ripe old age of 44. This story was originally written back in the 80’s and it’s crazy to think that between now and then people’s life expectancy has changed so much that now 44 hardly seems old at all. Or maybe I’m just in denial about my own advancing age. Really guys, trust me, 44 isn’t old, right? Right? Right??? Maybe it’s the lack of action and the fact that he’s spending most of hist time these days decorating the castle/house he and Dinah have purchased, but Ollie is thinking that it’s time to settle down and start a family. Dinah on the other hand…not so much. She still feels like there’s more work to be done by both of them and that it wouldn’t be fair to have a child when they’re both putting their lives on danger.
As I mentioned previously, neither Green Arrow or Black Canary have given up being crimefighters. Dinah has been hard at work trying to throw a wrench into the works of the local drug trade. At the same time, after coming to his senses regarding having a child whilst putting his ass on the line nightly, Ollie decides to start tracking a serial killer who’s been preying on “Street Walkers”, “Ladies of the Night”, and “Any Other Veiled Reference to Being a Hooker That I Can Think Of”. While they super couple are busy handling those situations, there’s also another killer at play in the background, leaving a trail of arrow riddled bodies in their wake. The Phantom Archer turns out to be an assassin named Shado, who’s working on an assignment for the Yakuza. If you’re familiar with the Arrow TV show, you’ll know Shado as Oliver’s love interest while he was marooned on an island, but in this universe she’s got a different story. She’s been raised by the Yakuza specifically to settle an old score involving her parents and some American soldiers dating back to the Vietnam War. Little do Ollie and Dinah suspect, but all three of these stories are about to intersect in the deadliest of ways. In the end, it’s up to Ollie to save Dinah, who ends up getting in a little too far over her head, and put an end to the senseless killings plaguing Seattle.
I really enjoyed this story, even though I’m admittedly not super familiar with Green Arrow. I read the comic back during Kevin Smith’s run on the “Quiver” storyline and I’m a pretty big fan of CW’s Arrow, but comic-wise I just haven’t had much exposure to him. The Longbow Hunters felt like the perfect jumping on point with the character for someone like me, whose main familiarity is with the TV version of Oliver Queen. The Longbow Hunters seems a little darker in tone than what I’ve seen of Green Arrow in the past, so the story doesn’t feel so much like a comic story but more like an 70’s or 80’s action movie, in all the best ways possible. The Longbow Hunters is a story devoid of supernatural elements, in which events occur that are not outside the scope of reality. The fate of the world isn’t at stake, but that doesn’t meant the stakes are low for the people involved. The TV show has hewn close to this semi-realistic style. We haven’t seen any true super powered heroes or villains (yet), and the premise is basically about a guy fighting street level crime in order to make his city a better place. If they ever decide on doing a film adaptation of a Green Arrow story, I think this one would be perfect for it, especially if they could keep it set during the time it was written. Make it a retro, action, thriller and you’ll have the fanboys howling. If you’re in the same boat as me and want to read more of Ollie and Dinah’s exploits in the funny books, then I highly recommend The Longbow Hunters as you’ll see some familiar characters from the show, but not quite as you’ve come to know them. If you just want some good old-fashioned beat ’em up action, again this is your book. Thanks for stopping by for your daily dose of comic talk, be sure to stop back again soon for another Evil Geek Book Report!
Posted on February 2, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Features, Geekology, Reviews and tagged COMICS!, DC, Evil Geek Book Reports, Geeks, Green Arrow, nerds, oliver queen, The Longbow Hunters. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.