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Green Arrow Reading Order, DC Comics’ Archer

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Green Arrow Reading Order

Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, Green Arrow made his first appearance in More Fun Comics #73 in November 1941. His real name is Oliver Queen and, with his sidekick Speedy, he fights crime in his home city of Star City – or Seattle at some point. He doesn’t have superpowers. Like Marvel’s Hawkeye, he is an extremely skilled archer, but he’s more like Bruce Wayne than Clint Barton, because Oliver Queen is a wealthy businessman and owner of Queen Consolidated.

He is one of the rare Golden Age heroes who survived the 1940s and 1950s without a lot of alterations and entered the Silver Age without much trouble and he even joined the Justice League. That said, he was seriously retooled at the end of the 1960s by Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil. He then lost his money and became an advocate for the underprivileged with a lot of left-wing views to express. At that time too, his teammate Black Canary became a love interest and his friendship with Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) became iconic – also, that’s when it was revealed that Speedy was addicted to heroin! Strangely enough, Green Arrow had to wait until the 1980s to be the star of his own series. And then came the Crisis on Infinite Earths that led to a retcon.

In 1987, Green Arrow came back with a series for a mature audience. No more gadgets and Star City. Oliver Queen moved to Seattle where he was faced with a lot of violence. Written and illustrated by Mike Grell, this series was not fully integrated into the DC Universe. That changed when Grell stopped writing. Green Arrow quickly found a place alongside the other heroes, and also discovered a son!

Dead for a few years, Green Arrow was revived in 2001. He then picked up his bow to again fight crime in Star City. He faced horrors, got married, and a lot more as each crisis (and relaunch of the DC Universe) changed the course of his life. Also, The CW TV Adaptation led DC Comics to introduce new elements to the story (mainly the character of John Diggle).

As his past was revisited and his relationships with his sidekicks and Black Canary were explored, Green Arrow evolved through the years (more than 80 now!).

Green Arrow Comics Reading Order:

Introduction to the World of Green Arrow

Before exploring the reading order of the different eras of Green Arrow in the DC Universe, maybe you just want to get acquainted with the character. Here are two books that are collecting stories from the past and almost present. The first one focuses on Green Arrow, the second on the relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary:

  • Green Arrow: 80 Years of the Emerald Archer The Deluxe Edition
    Collects More Fun Comics #73, Adventure Comics #246 and #259, Green Lantern #85 and #86, Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1, Green Arrow #100-101 (1994), JLA #8-9, Green Arrow #1, #17, and #75 (2001), Green Arrow and Black Canary #4, Secret Origins #4 (2014), Arrow: Season 2.5 #1, and Green Arrow: Rebirth #1.
  • Green Arrow/Black Canary: For Better or for Worse
    Collects Justice League of America #75, backups from Action Comics #428 & 434, Joker #4, Green Lantern Vol. 2 #94–95, backup from Detective Comics #549–550, & excerpts from Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters #1, Green Arrow vol. 2 #75 & 101, & Green Arrow Vol. 3 #4–5, 12, & 21.

If you want an origin story, this book should do it:

Oliver Queen Logo - Green Arrow Reading Order

Green Arrow during The Golden Age

In 1941, during the peak of the Golden Age of Comics, the Green Arrow made his debut. Armed with only a bow and a quiver full of arrows, the Emerald Archer and his teen sidekick Speedy must battle corrupt gangsters, evil Nazis, and deadly super-villains as a modern-day Robin Hood. These adventures also included the debut of some of Oliver Queen and Roy Harper’s greatest weapons in their war on crime, such as the Arrowplane and an assortment of trick arrows!

Green Arrow and The Seven Soldiers of Victory

In the early 1940s, after introducing the world’s first super-team with The Justice Society of America, DC Comics created a second super-team: The Seven Soldiers of Victory. Featuring Green Arrow and his sidekick, Speedy, as well as the modern Western hero called The Vigilante, The Crimson Avenger, The Shining Knight, The Star-Spangled Kid, and Stripesy.

Oliver Queen Logo - Green Arrow Reading Order

Green Arrow during The Silver Age

Even if Green Arrow was not part of all of the Justice League’s adventures, he was a pretty active member. In fact, he appeared so much in the series during the Silver Age that if you want to be a completist, just read the entire series from #4 to 250. Also, starting in 1963, he also made appearances in The Brave and the Bold for some occasional team-ups.

  • Showcase Presents: Green Arrow
    Collects Adventure Comics #250–266, #268–269; Brave and the Bold #50, #71, #85; Justice League of America #4, World’s Finest Comics #95–140.

Green Arrow/Green Lantern by Neal Adams & Denny O’Neil

Green Arrow and Green Lantern team up to explore the dark side of America in the famous series by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. Here is the official synopsis: What does it take to be a superhero? Where should a superhero stand in society? What is important to a superhero? These are all questions Green Arrow aims to ask Green Lantern by forcing the space cop out of the stars and onto the ground where real issues are festering. Together, these hard-traveling heroes traverse America, and a few alien landscapes, to understand how the world is not black-and-white. Poverty, corruption, pollution, racism and drug addiction are only some of the issues the emerald warriors face.

Soon available on Omnibus…

  • Green Lantern / Green Arrow: Hard-Traveling Heroes Omnibus
    Collects Green Lantern #76-87, 89-123, Worlds Finest Comics #201, And Stories From Brave And The Bold #100, Dc Special-Series #1, Dc Super-Stars #17, The Flash #218-224, #226-228, #230-231, #233-234, #237-238, #240-246, Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1, And Worlds Finest Comics #210, #255, With A Brand-New Introduction By Mike Grell.

Collected before in a Deluxe edition (or in a kindle edition)

A few years later, Green Lantern and Green Arrow made their return (in 1976) and battled cosmic villains that threatened the safety of Earth and the entire galaxy.

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Green Arrow during The Modern Age

With Crisis on Infinite Earths (see reading order for more info on the event), it’s the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. For Green Arrow, big changes are on the menu.

Green Arrow by Mike Grell

Mike Grell’s six-year run on Green Arrow starts here. Stripping the Emerald Archer of his gimmicks and trick arrows, Grell introduced the world to an aging Oliver Queen haunted by the life he’s led and the paths not taken. Patrolling the back alleys and rooftops of a crime-ridden Seattle–with his fellow crime-fighter and the love of his life, Dinah Lance–he is an urban hunter in a concrete wilderness seeking purpose.

The Omnibus Editions

The Trade Paperback Editions

Mike Grell’s run ended with issue #80. After that, Kevin Dooley and artist Jim Aparo bring back the title into the main continuity Kevin Dooley. The next issues are not well collected yet. Issue #90 is part of the Zero Hour event (see reading order). After that, Oliver Queen goes on a retreat from his role as Green Arrow — and meets his previously unknown son, Connor Hawke, who becomes the new Green Arrow (after Ollie temporary death in #101).

After that, Green Arrow only appeared as a guest star.

Oliver Queen Logo - Green Arrow Reading Order

The Return of Oliver Queen

After a few years, in 2001, Green Arrow was relaunched with a story written by Kevin Smith (and illustrated by Phil Hester and Ande Parks). That’s when the resurrection of Oliver Queen (previously revealed at the end of Green Arrow (vol. 2) #137) was made public. He was finally back in action. After two storylines,  Smith left the title and Brad Meltzer took over as writer. 

Identity Crisis icon - Green Arrow Reading OrderIdentity Crisis! Written by Brad Meltzer, this “Crisis” started when the spouse of a member of the Justice League of America is brutally murdered. The entire superhero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets. See the Identity Crisis Reading Order for more information.

Infinite Crisis Logo - Green Arrow Reading OrderInfinite Crisis! OMAC robots are rampaging, magic is dying, villains are uniting, and a war is raging in space. See Infinite Crisis Reading Order for more information.

One Year Later…

Green Arrow/Black Canary

Green Arrow’s ongoing series ended, but the stories continued in the new Green Arrow/Black Canary series (still written by Judd Winick).

Blackest Night Reading OrderBlackest Night! The Prophecy of the Blackest Night has come to pass—a mysterious force is raising deceased heroes and villains into an army of undead Black Lanterns! The combined might of the Green Lantern Corps and an armada of living superbeings must now band together in a fight quite literally for their lives. See the Blackest Night Reading Order for more information.

Brightest Day Reading OrderBrightest Day! A year-long comic book maxi-series depicting the aftermath of the events of the Blackest Night storyline on the DC Universe. Once dead, twelve heroes and villains were resurrected by a white light expelled deep within the center of the earth. See the Brightest Day Reading Order for more information.

Flashpoint! The end of an era. Not a lot to do here for Green Arrow, though. See the Flashpoint Reading Order for more information.

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Green Arrow during The New 52 era

With the New 52 relaunch (more info about that here), Green Arrow got a new start. Almost everything was rebooted, including his relationship with Black Canary, and he is younger. Oliver Queen now runs Q-Core, a communications technology company that is part of Queen Industries, through which he funds and armors himself as Green Arrow. At first, the series was written by J.T. Krul, then by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens, and by Ann Nocenti. With issue 17, writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino took over.

Trinity War New 52 Icon Reading OrderTrinity War/Forever Evil! When the three Justice Leagues go to war with one another, who’s side will everyone be on? Allies will be born, friends will become enemies and the DC Universe will never be the same. See the Trinity War/Forever Evil Reading Order for more information.

Convergence! Brainiac collects cities and inhabitants from various timelines that have ended and trap them in domes on a planet outside of time and space. He then exposes the domes to one another to see how the characters interact. It’s out-of-continuity and mostly optional. See the Convergence Reading Order for more information.

  • Post-Crisis Oliver Queen can be found in Convergence: Zero Hour Book One
    Collects Convergence: Justice League International #1-2, Convergence: Catwoman #1-2, Convergence: Superboy #1-2, Convergence: Green Arrow #1-2 And Convergence: Suicide Squad #1-2.
  • New 52 Oliver Queen appears in Convergence #7-8 collected in Convergence, and in Speed Force #2 collected in the next book (see below).
  • Green Arrow Vol. 8: The Nightbirds
    Collects Green Arrow Vol. 5 #41-47, Green Arrow Annual #2, Convergence: Speed Force #2. Writer Ben Percy and artist Patrick Zircher took over the title.
  • Green Arrow Vol. 9: Outbreak
    Collects Green Arrow Vol. 5 #48-52, Green Arrow Annual #1

Oliver Queen Logo - Green Arrow Reading Order

Green Arrow during the Rebirth era

Another DC relaunch (click here to learn more about it). This time, the idea was to restore elements from the DC Universe prior to Flashpoint, while also maintaining the continuity of the New 52. Benjamin Percy is still the main writer for the series, but there is now a rotating art team consisting of Otto Schmidt, Juan Ferreyra, and Stephen Byrne.

Batman who laughs Icon Reading OrderDark Nights: Metal! Investigating a strange metal, Batman discovers the existence of a dark multiverse and eventually releases seven evil versions of himself into his own universe. That event is led by Barbatos, the dark god who plans to unleash darkness across every Earth. Stopping him will change the DC Universe forever. See Dark Nights: Metal Reading Order for more information.

  • Dark Nights: Metal
    Collects Dark Nights: Metal #1-6, Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, and Batman Lost #1
  • Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance
    Collects “Gotham Resistance” (Teen Titans #12, Nightwing #29, Suicide Squad #26, Green Arrow #32) and “Bats Out Of Hell” (The Flash #33, Justice League #32-33, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #32), plus Batman Lost #1 and Hawkman Found #1.
  • Green Arrow Vol. 6: Trial of Two Cities
    Collects Green Arrow Vol. 6 #32-38.

    • Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Vol. 3: Full Circle (15-17, 21-22)
  • Justice League: No Justice
    Collects Justice League: No Justice #1-4 and stories from DC Nation #0.

Batman who laughs Icon Reading OrderDark Nights: Death Metal! (really optional here) When the DC Universe is enveloped by the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League is at the mercy of the Batman Who Laughs. Humanity struggles to survive in a hellish landscape twisted beyond recognition, while Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman have all been separated and must fight to survive. See Dark Nights: Death Metal Reading Order for more information.

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Green Arrow during the Infinite Frontier era/Dawn of DC

Once Dark Nights: Death Metal ended, the DC Universe explored once again a possible future with Future State before entering in the Infinite Frontier era. Green Arrow didn’t came back in force. No ongoing series, but a one-shot anniversary and a limited team-up with Aquaman.

In Justice League #75, the members of the Justice League are “killed.” It is how the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths began, and how the Infinite Frontier era concluded. See our Dark Crisis Reading Order for more information.

Spinning out from the Dark Crisis is the new Green Arrow series by the creative team of Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse for the Dawn of DC era! It’s time for some Green Arrow family time, but naturally, Oliver Queen has still lots of secrets to uncover!

Last Updated on April 9, 2024.

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