Like CW’s Arrow? Thank Mike Grell in Person at Geek’d Con
The world of comic books is a strange one. So many people working together multiplied by so many titles, multiplied by so many publishers equals a lot of folks in the industry. It was common for good writers, artists, inkers, and even editors to leave a an iconic title, department, or publisher over a wide range of reasons (pay, hours, stress, artistic differences, etc) and take up working with the competitor right away. Because of that, you get a lot of really interesting takes on the same characters. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are truly legendary.
Let's face it, Green Arrow is teetering on the edge of mediocrity. He's an ultra-rich, corporate playboy, poor-man's Batman type of hero who's pretty handy with a bow. It takes a master story teller to make Oliver Queen interesting, that's where Mike Grell comes in. Before Mike got a hold of the emerald archer, he was (in my opinion) a terrible character. He had a quiver full of trick-bows, spewed campy one-liners, and was relatively a joke compared to the DC greats like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Grell did away with all of that and set Green Arrow apart from his shiny past. DC released the Longbow Hunters in 1987, and in it Mike weaved a dark and gritty back story for the hero and crossed a big line - this Green Arrow would kill to get the job done. This story would change the character in some fundamental ways. This dark and flawed character would attract the attention of the CW network - who have run with the concept for 6 successful seasons on the TV show Arrow.
The transformation of Green Arrow is by far not the only feather in Mike Grell's Cap - he has worked on, and created tons of titles. Mike has lent his pencil and writing to comics like Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Aquaman, Batman, Warlord, Sable, Tarzan, and so many legendary stories - he is truly a legend.
Meet Mike Grell this weekend at Geek'd Con and asked him what made him decide to dirty up Green Arrow in the Longbow Hunters (perfect item to get signed, by the way), or about any of his many characters or stories.