In the early-to-mid 2000s, the defining Green Arrow writer was Judd Winick. Kevin Smith had brought the character back from the dead, and Brad Meltzer wrote a solid follow-up to that storyline, but Oliver Queen’s second lease on life didn’t get any true forward momentum until Winick took over with #26 and guided the Emerald Archer through a nice long run with lots of character development.
With the first storyline acting as the “pilot,” Winick focuses on Green Arrow’s core essence—he’s the swaggering rich guy who looks out for the little guy. He also happens to be several years older and less prone to Batman-like brooding than that young Green Arrow you see on the television (not a criticism of the show, which I enjoy—just noting they’re different).
An impending new business development threatens innocent Star City residents with eviction, so Queen steps up in their defense. We meet a new character who will play an important role in the storyline, and a monster comes out of nowhere. All the while, Winick keeps the tone fun, and Phil Hester’s art is clean and engaging.
If you ask fans to identify the definitive Green Arrow run, you’ll likely get several different answers, including “none of the above.” But this was a consistently strong one that’s worth a look.
Writer: Judd Winick
Penciler: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks
Cover: Matt Wagner
Publisher: DC Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Green Arrow vol. 3: Straight Shooter (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up