Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Emerald Archer fires again

Once again, more than three decades after he helped turn the comics world on its collective ear, the venerable DC hero Green Arrow is being used as an avatar for social activism.

According to this Associated Press story on, Green Arrow writer Judd Winick (best known outside comics fandom as one of the roommates on the third season of MTV's The Real World, shot in San Francisco in 1993) has transformed GA's sidekick, Speedy, into a teenaged girl whose previous life on the streets has rendered her HIV-positive. The series will showcase the personal turmoil of the junior superhero in the aftermath of her diagnosis.

Bronze Age comics fans will recall the now-legendary Green Lantern/Green Arrow series of the early 1970s, penned by the great Denny O'Neil and drawn by the arguably greater Neal Adams (and later in the '70s by such up-and-comers as Mike Grell and Alex Saviuk), wherein the two verdant-clad superdoers clashed over racism, the war on poverty, street crime, and drug abuse. In the latter storyline, the original Speedy — a male adolescent named Roy Harper, who in more recent times has broken away from the Emerald Archer and taken the nom de guerre Arsenal — was revealed as a heroin addict. Who could forget the classic sequence of panels in which an elderly African American man confronts Green Lantern:
"I been reading about you ... how you work for the blue skins ... and how on a planet someplace you helped out the orange skins ... and you done considerable for the purple skins. Only there’s skins you never bothered with ... the black skins. I want to know ... how come?! Answer me that, Mr. Green Lantern!"
To which the Emerald Gladiator could only reply with an anguished, "I ... can’t ..."

None of this has anything to do with my recent acquisition of this Mike Grell sketch of Green Arrow, purchased days before I stumbled upon this news story.

But it makes a slick introduction, yes?

2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

That was from Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, wasn't it?

8:15 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Yes, that's correct. I still hope to pick up a Grell of the classic GA (with the Robin Hood-style feathered cap) sometime, but I found a good buy on this one in the meantime. Green Arrow was always my second-favorite DC hero, after Wonder Woman.

8:24 AM  

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