1. He has been one of DC’s most progressive characters.
Back in the ’60s, Green Arrow had a pretty incredible run under Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. With Green Lantern by his side, Green Arrow sought to solve some of society’s actual, real-world issues – like racism and poverty.
The liberal Green Arrow (and stubbornly virtuous Green Lantern) toured America, taking down evil slumlords and villainous racists like a modern-day Robin Hood, constantly keeping an eye out for the truly disadvantaged out there.
2. He knows what he’s about, and isn’t ashamed of it.
Some superheroes are naturally the butt of every joke. When you’re whole thing is that you shoot arrows pretty well, or talk to fish, or vibrate, you’re just not going to stack up to the heroes who can run faster than light or create anything they want to out of green light.
Green Arrow doesn’t care. He’s just gonna focus on what he does best, and let everyone else worry about the other stuff.
3. He’s creative.
After the first couple hundred novelty arrow designs, you’d probably start to run out of ideas. Green Arrow just looks around the room and his mind races with possibilities.
Here are a few actual arrows Green Arrow has used over the years: baby rattle arrows, donut arrows, mummy arrows, tumbleweed arrows, umbrella arrows, antler arrows, bloodhound arrows, bubblegum arrows, chimney sweep arrows, fountain pen arrows, laritat arrows, peppermint stick arrows, paint brush arrows, and Greek fire arrows.
4. He can hang with DC’s most daunting villains.
It’s important to keep in mind that Oliver Queen doesn’t actually have super powers. He’s just a rich dude who invents trick arrows in his free time and who has gotten pretty good at shooting them
That dude he’s playing darts with? That’s Deadshot. Deadshot’s power? He never misses. Green Arrow went toe-to-toe with someone who is practically incapable of missing any shot he takes. Not too shabby.
5. He can hang with DC’s most daunting villains.
Like, he can actually hang out with villains and be friendly and personable. He’s not above it. When he captured Harley Quinn in the Injustice: Gods Among Us books, he was willing to indulge her basic villainous needs. (Despite the fact that she just got done killing several people and starting a war between the superheroes.)
6. He’s not just a lame knock-off character. (Not anymore, at least.)
Green Arrow may have started his run as a cheap Batman knock-off back in ’40s, but he’s come along way since.
He’s done away with his Arrow-Plane, his Arrow-Car, and his Arrow-Cave, and has become a more practical and fully realized character. (Unlike some other heroes, who still rely pretty heavily on their themed props and vehicles.)
8. He’s a good family man.
Think hard for a second about all the superheroes in the DC Universe who could be described as a “good dad.” Superman? No kids. Batman? Nope, his son died on his watch.
Oliver Queen gave up his mantle (by dying) and passed on the title of Green Arrow to his son, Connor Hawke. When Oliver comes back from the dead (naturally), he finds his son and gives him the bear hug of his life (after swiftly reclaiming the title of Green Arrow).
9. He thinks and acts like a real person.
Comic book characters often seem like they live in a dreamy, quasi-reality, where things like comic books and blockbuster movies don’t exist. Not so for Green Arrow.
After being called into action by Batman in the Injustice: Gods Among Us books, Green Arrow is understandably dubious about the leadership’s decision to use the Justice League as their personal army, so he just goes ahead and makes fun of them. To their faces.
10. He’s good with money.
Much like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen is a billionaire businessman who owns a company named after himself and is a celebrity in his hometown of Star City.
Unlike Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen doesn’t spend his fortune crafting advanced battle suits or crime-fighting gadgets. He sticks to basics.
Why waste millions of dollars on Iron Man suits and Batmobiles when you can just take an arrow and stick a boxing glove on the end of it? Just as effective for taking out bad guys, and costs, what? Thirty dollars?
11. He’s good at relationships.
Green Arrow and Black Canary have a long, complicated romantic history. Like most superhero couples, these two have had their ups and downs, but always seem to get back together when everything is said and done.
How many relationships do you know about that have last as long as Oliver Queen’s and Dinah Lance’s? (Note: In the current New 52 continuity, Dinah Lance is actually Dinah Drake, and isn’t married to Oliver Queen. Ignore that.)
12. He’s not your typical stoic hero.
Most superheroes remain calm and collected in the face of overwhelming odds and cosmic disaster.
Green Arrow flies off handle without even hesitating. When everyone else takes action, Green Arrow cracks snarky jokes, shouts incoherently, and gripes audibly to anyone who will listen to him. He’s just like all of us would be if we were superheroes.
13. In fact, he pretty regularly picks fights with the typical heroes.
Everyone in the DCU knows that Superman and Batman run the show. In fact, the whole Justice League pretty much follows their every order without ever questioning it.
Green Arrow’s got a bit of an anti-authority streak though. Ollie isn’t afraid of the Man of Steel and Caped Crusader, and actively questions their orders on a fairly regular basis. It’s probably why he wasn’t invited to join the New 52 Justice League, and was relegated to the new JLA.
14. He’s capable of making mistakes.
We’ve all accidentally grabbed the explosive-tipped arrow instead of the regular arrow before, or at least we would if we were regularly grabbing arrows.
Green Arrow rolls with the punches. Sometimes things go catastrophically wrong, and sometimes it’s his fault they did. He doesn’t pout about it though, he adapts and he keeps moving.
15. But he’s still pretty bad-ass.
When he’s not screwing everything up, he’s taking down ninja assassins three at a time. Sure, Superman could do that with his heat vision, Green Lantern could manifest a green light prison cell, and Flash could do that in a heartbeat, but for a dude with no real super powers, Green Arrow’s efforts are pretty impressive.
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