After his death in Green Arrow 101, Oliver Queen is replaced as Green Arrow by his son Connor Hawke. The series lasted for 37 more issues before being cancelled in 1998. Connor Hawke also became a temporary member of the Justice League of America in Grant Morrison’s run on JLA even taking out the supervillain The Key with his father’s trick arrows, including the infamous Golden Age refugee that is the boxing glove arrow. However, Oliver Queen’s exploits were chronicled in several out of continuity stories before he was brought back from the dead and rebooted for good.
Alex Ross (Kingdom Come in 1996, JLA: Secret Origins in 2002, JLA: Liberty and Justice in 2003, Justice from 2005-07)
Alex Ross combined his love for aesthetic and heroes of the Silver Age with a painter’s touch to become one of the greatest and most unique comic book artists. He doesn’t use an inker, but paints over his pencils. For the Eisner winning alternate universe miniseries Kingdom Come, he created new, older versions of DC’s greatest superheroes, including Superman, Shazam, and Green Arrow. In this story, Ross gave him a thinning hairline and a stylized version of the costume he wore in Longbow Hunters, but with extra accoutrements like studded bracers. However, Ross also drew a very “classic” Green Arrow for Justice, which acted as an homage to the 1970s cartoon Super Friends. In this incarnation, he brought back the tights and Robin Hood hat, adding a “G” belt buckle, and keeping the goatee from Neal Adams’ version of Green Arrow.
Phil Hester (Green Arrow from 2001-05)
With Clerks director and comic book fan Kevin Smith, Phil Hester was responsible for bringing Oliver Queen back to the DC Universe and returning the mantle of Green Arrow to him. In their first story arc “Quiver”, Hester gets to draw Green Arrow as a beardless vagrant, the hooded vigilante of the 1980s/90s, and the tights-wearing social crusader of the 1970s. By the end of the story which spans every corner of the DC Universe, Hester and Smith made Green Arrow their character with a new supporting cast and perspective on crimefighting after learning about the circumstances of his resurrection. He also collaborated with best-selling thriller author Brad Meltzer on a road trip storyline which explored Queen’s relationship with Connor Hawke and involved him trying to use a Green Lantern power ring. Hester borrowed from the Adams and Grell eras of Green Arrow, but put his own stamp on the character with new allies, villains, and adventures.
Jock (Green Arrow: Year One in 2007)
In his first DC superhero work with Losers and Judge Dredd collaborator Andy Diggle, Scottish artist Jock gave Green Arrow his modern, definitive origin. In this bleak, gritty miniseries, they show how irresponsible billionaire Oliver Queen became expert archer and hero with social conscience. In this series, we see more of Oliver Queen the man than the archer, but Jock does a great job keeping the story action packed and conveying the guilt and emotions of Queen. He and Diggle have almost seamless chemistry, and this miniseries has a huge influence on the “island” scenes in the TV show Arrow and on Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s recent re–imagining of the character.
Cliff Chiang (Green Arrow and Black Canary in 2007-08)
After decades of unresolved sexual tension, Green Arrow and Black Canary finally tied the knot. However, in the first story arc of the Judd Winick written Green Arrow and Black Canary, Chiang got to draw an impostor Green Arrow and take him on yet another road trip with his “family” in tow. He also brought strong line work to the characters and surrounding, which really works for an archer character. Even though he quit as penciller after one arc, Chiang stayed on as cover artist until Black Canary left Green Arrow after he kills the supervillain Prometheus and the book became simply Green Arrow. Even though Winick’s writing on the book was panned, Chiang made up for it with his art work and later became the penciller for Wonder Woman in the New 52 reboot.
Andrea Sorrentino (Green Arrow in 2013)
This is a choice mostly based on potential because Sorrentino has only pencilled two issues of Green Arrow so far (reviewed here). However, his and Jeff Lemire’s radical new take on Green Arrow lead to almost universal acclaim for a book that was a basically changing artists and writers on a monthly basis. Sorrentino gives the young Green Arrow a noir style with a modern, functional costume. (The goggles are a nice touch.) He also uses small inset panels to make his action scenes more detailed. The Frank Miller noir version of Green Arrow is long overdue, and Sorrentino and Lemire also explore Queen’s time on the island and add depth to his origin story and supporting cast.
Diogenes Neves (Green Arrow), Matt Wagner (Green Arrow covers), Rags Morales (Identity Crisis), Mauro Cascioli (Justice League: Cry for Justice), Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns), Dick Giordano (Green Arrow inker), Ande Parks (Green Arrow inker), Amanda Conner (Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special), Ed Hannigan (Green Arrow; League of Justice)
– Logan Dalton