This was a tough read. Partly because it was a collection of comics spanning several decades, authors, and traditions, and partly because it’s comic books written in a very elementary style. It felt like reading Dick and Jane but substituting Green Arrow and Speedy. After finishing the collection, I realized that this just proves the important distinction between comic books and graphic novels. Comic books, at least these, are all about telling not showing and wrapping everything up in a nice candy coated four page spread. After reading 500 pages of this it was like devouring an entire carton of marshmallows. After a while all of the sweetness is overwhelming and you want to puke at the thought of eating another.
I normally would’ve dropped this book after the first few pages, but I’m determined to read as much of the Green Arrow cannon as my library system has in its catalog. So I feel like to get to the good stuff I have to tread through the muck of the early works. Plus there’s a certain bragging right to say that I made it through and that I hopefully will get later references to some of these early works. Hopefully it’s going to pay out in the end. Otherwise all of this is an exercise in futility.
So far some of the highlights have been the crossover episodes with the Justice League, Green Lantern, and Batman. The worst new character reference was the Arrowette episodes. Apparently if you’re the female counterpart to the 1950’s Green Arrow, your cool arrows are bobby-pin arrows, powder puff arrows, and nail polish arrows. Because that’s what every female super hero would carry with them to kick evil’s butt!
I would only recommend this for the die-hard Green Arrow fans. If you aren’t or aren’t willing to torture yourself like I am, I’d start with any volume after this one.