When I was just a wee chive, I tried not to choose favorites. Having two older brothers gave me the opportunity to learn about all of the cartoons, toys, and comics from experienced kids. Quickly I learned, if my brother loved all things Spider-man, than his birthdays and Christmas’s would include all things Spidey. My other brother would talk nothing but hockey, sure enough all his presents would be hockey themed. So, my plan as a child was to love all the things! By creating a diverse range of options, I inherently maximized a various output of the most quality presents. This plan worked out great except when it came to wanting things I truly craved.
Not wanting to nail myself down to a specific hero, or cartoon, it was difficult to communicate when something attracted me more. ‘Sure’ I would say, ‘I love X-Men, but I also happen to love Fantastic Four’, which one did I love more? No one knows, not even me anymore. But, there was one action figure that was always missing from my hodge podge collection. The one hero that never made a cameo in my afternoon action-battle-supertar- playtime-adventures. The missing piece, the Green Arrow.
I thought Green Arrow was one of the coolest names in comic books. At a ripe age when Kevin Costner killed it as Robin Hood, and one of the funniest things out there was the Men in Tights film. I was all for the idea of a modern Robin Hood stylized hero, fighting crime along the big wigs like Batman and Superman. I did my best to convey that Oliver Queen was my kind of, maybe, just a little, secret favorite super hero… from DC… that wasn’t Batman… But as the Fresh Prince kept telling me, parents just don’t understand.
I remember one specific summer spending every allowance day riding my bike to the local comic store in search of the elusive figure, to no avail. Then came a very memorable Christmas. A special present arrived under the tree about a week before the big day (it probably felt like it was under there for an eternity). Addressed to me from my older brother, obviously shaped like a new action figure, with the hint ‘Your Favorite Hero’. He knew! I didn’t know how he knew, but he knew and he found it! All I had to do was wait for Santa day and he was mine, he would have his spot beside the Ninja Turtles, Hulk, and Obi-Wan. When the big day arrived I was so excited, and jumped at the opportunity to open this present before all of the fresh Santa gifts. Trying not to act like my brother was the coolest, I peeled the paper off non-chantey. It was not Green Arrow, it was not another of my favorite heroes, he got me good. It was a Goat Boy action figure, from the Saturday Night Live skit played by Jim Breuer, complete with a bottle of milk.
Well, time has passed, I got older was able to collect and read a wide collection of Arrow books and eventually found that elusive toy, too old to play with the imagination I once had. Some of the Green Arrow books are my favorites, most, not-so good, and with time the interest has waned. The WB show has no appeal to me after giving it a few attempts, and he has lost much of the edge and under dog feel from the years of my youth. There is still a nostalgia factor, and there are some classic storylines that I will always love.
And, I am sure you are wondering if the Green Onion namesake stems from my childhood affliction. The answer is a yes and a no, as it has to do more with the colour title being a superhero stereotype, and Arrow is responsible as much as Lantern or Hornet.
This week I will be reading at least the first couple of volumes of the rebooted Green Arrow series for the new 52. Mostly due to the fact that Jeff Lemire takes over the series, and if you didn’t know how much I love Jeff Lemire’s work than you have not been paying attention. I just thought that sharing a little background on my life long affair with Arrow, would be entertaining and insightful, as I have high standards for what a Green Arrow book should be and there is a high chance of disappointment. But, you will just have to wait for next time…
Thanks booknerds, baaaaah.