Review: Green Arrow Year One

Published on November 9th, 2010

Hey Comic Impact pals! It’s Tuesday and you know what that means right? Of course you do! It’s time for this week’s edition of Trade Tuesday, and this fine Tuesday we’ll be taking a look at Green Arrow: Year One written by Andy Diggle with art by Jock. If you’re familiar with Batman:Year One it’ll be easy to tell that this book is a re-telling of the origin of Green Arrow.

This book starts with rich playboy, Oliver Queen out in the frozen wilderness with his bodyguard and best friend, Hackett. After a close call with an ice bridge Oliver calls his helicopter and the two head back home. The story shifts to a charity auction where Oliver is drunk out of his mind and makes a huge scene when he bids one-hundred grand on the bow and arrow set from  The Adventures of Robin Hood. After he makes his scene Oliver gets so embarrassed he invites himself on Hackett’s trip to Fiji, Hackett protests, but Ollie signs the checks and gets what he wants. Later while Ollie is practicing with his bow and arrow on the boat Hackett pulls a gun on Ollie and ends up throwing him off his own yacht in the middle of the ocean.


Ollie awakens to find himself washed up on the beach of an uncharted island. Ollie goes off in search of food and water, but instead finds an abandoned well with the remains of several people who died from gunshot wounds. Ollie also finds an old generator that he is able to strip for parts to make a new bow and arrow set that he is able to use to kill fish and start a fire to sterilize the water he finds. Ollie actually starts to enjoy his life until a plane flies over the island, he tries to signal it, but when the pilots see him they open fire on him and Ollie is forced to shoot the plane down with the arrows he made. Ollie then finds out that people have been growing opium on the island and using the native people as slaves to farm it and that his old buddy Hackett is financing the operation with money he stole from Ollie and that Hackett is involved with the drug lord, China White. Ollie goes after his former friend and despite getting a few shots in Oliver is caught in an explosion and ends up with a broken arm and a concussion.

Ollie is rescued by one of the natives, Taiana who brings him to a safe place and hides him long enough to heal. She explains that the people of the island have been looking up to Ollie as a hero and he’s been renamed The Green Arrow. Ollie and Taiana are then attacked by China White’s men and Ollie’s bow is broken. Ollie then heads to his old yacht that Hackett left where he finds the bow and arrow set he bought at the auction. Green Arrow goes after China White and her men and sets free the natives so they can rebel against the drug lords. After finding a radio Green Arrow calls for help and goes after China White and kills her by dropping a shipping container on her. Ollie returns home and becomes the crimefighter Green Arrow.

I’ve really been into Andy Diggle’s run on Daredevil and I’ve recently been picking up the new Green Arrow series so when I came across this book I figured, “Why not? And you know what? There is no reason to not read this book, unless you hate things that are cool. It’s not the most original story, a rich guy who’s a jerk and is then forced to change who he is and help people after he’s been betrayed by his friend, but the fun in this book is seeing Olliver change. The stuff he does with that bow and arrow is really impressive, and I know it’s fiction, but it’s really cool to see a guy kill a fish with an arrow. Jock’s art in this book is impressive as well, the covers alone are worth the read. This was just one of those trades I read from start to finish in one sitting, it’s just really fun. And if you wanna get in on the fun you can head over to Amazon who are selling the paperback edition of this book for only $10.19! Six issues for only ten bucks! You don’t have to be a rich guy to get this!

Ken Zeider