REVIEW: ‘Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is an anthology one-shot published by DC Comics. In the same vein as previous Super Spectacular one-shots featuring Green Lantern and Catwoman, the anthology focuses on the Emerald Archer. Green Arrow’s allies and foes, including Black Canary and Roy Harper, also get the spotlight in tales of their own.

The one-shot features a total of twelve stories. “The Disappearing Bandit” is written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated and colored by Javier Rodriguez, and lettered by Andworld Design. “Punching Evil” is written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by Nicola Scott, colored by Annette Kwok, and lettered by Clayton Cowles. “Who Watches The Watchtower?” is written by Stephanie Phillips, illustrated by Chris Mooneyham, colored by Mike Spicer, and lettered by Tom Napolitano. “…Just The Usual Sort of Stuff” is written and illustrated by Mike Grell, colored by Lovern Kindzierski, and lettered by Travis Lanham. “The Arrow and the Song” is written by Ram V, illustrated by Christopher Mitten, colored by Ivan Plascencia, and lettered by Aditya Bidikar. “One” is written by Brandon Thomas, illustrated by Jorge Corona, colored by Matheus Lopes, and lettered by Steve Wands.

The second half of the book begins with “Green-Man and Autumn-Son,” written by Devin Grayson, illustrated and colored by Max Fimura, and lettered by Ariana Maher. “Star City Star” is written and penciled by Phil Hester, inked by Andre Parks, colored by Trish Mulvihill, and lettered by Clem Robins. “Happy Anniversary” is written by Vita Ayala, illustrated by Laura Braga, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Becca Carey. “The Sympathy of the Woods” is written by Benjamin Percy, illustrated and colored by Otto Schmidt, and lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot. “The Last Green Arrow Story” is written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Rob Leigh. Finally, “Tap, Tap, Tap” is written by Larry O’Neil, illustrated by Jorge Fornes, and colored by David Stewart.

Of all the stories, “Punching Evil,” “…Just The Usual Sort of Stuff,” “One,” “Green-Man and Autumn-Son,” “Happy Anniversary,” “The Sympathy of the Woods,” and “The Last Green Arrow Story” serve as my favorite. “Punching Evil” not only features Taylor’s trademark wit and heartfelt storytelling combined with Scott’s stunning artwork, but it also serves as the origin story for Ollie’s infamous “boxing glove arrow.” “…Just The Usual Sort of Stuff” features Grell returning to Green Arrow after having a defining run on the character with The Longbow Hunters storyline; this story more or less serves as a “lost tale” from that era, and I enjoy it. And “Happy Anniversary” shows why Green Arrow and Black Canary are perfect if unorthodox as a couple. Ayala’s script digs deep into what makes the couple tick, while Braga and Lucas illustrated a hell of a fight between the duo and Deathstroke.

“One” turns the spotlight on Oliver Queen’s son Connor Hawke, who took up the mantle in the ’90s after his father’s death. I’ve long been a fan of Hawke, and Thomas and Corona show why he more than earns the name of  Green Arrow. Hawke manages to outwit a variety of foes with only one trick arrow in his quiver, showcasing that Green Arrow’s greatest skill isn’t his archery but his ingenuity. Both Lemire and Percy reunite with their respective co-creators Sorrentino and Schmidt for a pair of different tales, one spotlighting Queen at the end of his rope, the other featuring his bond with his family. Considering that their respective runs on Green Arrow were a highlight of the much-maligned New 52 era, it’s a delight to see them working together once more.

However, the standout tale is “Tap, Tap, Tap,” which serves as a de facto tribute to the late Dennis “Denny” O’Neil. O’Neil was best known for transforming Green Arrow from a mere Batman clone to his more socially-minded persona during the Green Lantern/Green Arrow book in the ’70s (and serves as the co-creator of the Dark Knight’s foe Ra’s al Ghul.) The younger O’Neil pens a tribute to his father’s life, which spans his illustrious career as well as his life and marriage. Wonderfully bringing this tale to life is Fornes, who fills the word balloons with illustrations instead of art; the result is a visually moving story that will bring a tear to the reader’s eye.

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a grand celebration of the Emerald Archer’s legacy, featuring a wealth of talent and stories celebrating multiple points in his history. Whether you’ve become aware of Oliver Queen via the comics or Arrow, this one-shot is highly recommended reading for all Green Arrow fans.

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1
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TL;DR

Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 is a grand celebration of the Emerald Archer’s legacy, featuring a wealth of talent and stories celebrating multiple points in his history. Whether you’ve become aware of Oliver Queen via the comics or Arrow, this one-shot is highly recommended reading for all Green Arrow fans.