Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Green Arrow

Go To
"Green Arrow is the embodiment of what one person can do. It’s a theme that comes up repeatedly in this book, one that explains why this powerless archer with a chip on his shoulder appeals to so many people. He wasn’t born of the heartbreaking tragedy of a Batman, he didn’t fall from the stars to deliver humanity from evil, nor is his origin wrapped in the fabric of Greek myths and legends. He is a human character that struggles with work, love, loss, darkness, death, and the weight of his own sins. Like the rest of us humans, Green Arrow is flawed, and a perpetually moving target."
— Richard Gray: Moving Target: The History and Evolution of Green Arrow

The Emerald Archer. The Battling Bowman. The Modern Day Robin Hood.

Green Arrow was originally created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941). Along with his sidekick Speedy, Green Arrow was essentially treated as a more light-hearted version of Batman.

Originally an Adventurer Archaeologist, Oliver Queen was an expert on Native Americans, who mastered the bow as part of his studies on ancient hunting techniques. He met Roy Harper while on a dig, discovering that Harper had survived the plane-crash which killed his parents, along with the family's Native American manservant, Quoag, who taught Roy how to use a bow.

Quoag gave his life to save Roy and Oliver, after the trio were attacked by tomb raiders. Ollie and Roy fought back using their archery skills, capturing the thieves. Oliver adopted Roy and the two decided to continue fighting crime, taking their superhero code names from comments the thieves had made during the fight (i.e. "That guy shoots a mean green arrow!", "That kid is speedy!")

While never as popular as Batman and Robin in The Golden Age of Comic Books, Green Arrow and Speedy sold decently, and were members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, DC Comics' second superhero team. After World War II, the pair was moved to Adventure Comics along with Aquaman. As pet characters of editor Mort Weisinger, they were published continuously as backups to the Superboy feature all the way from 1946 to 1960. GA and Speedy then jumped to World's Finest until 1964.

Green Arrow and Speedy's adventures changed very little in terms of tone during The Silver Age of Comic Books, sticking to short, fun stories in which he used trick arrows to thwart criminals and save lives. It was during this time that Green Arrow also became a member of the JLA while Speedy went joined the Teen Titans. Strangely enough the only thing that changed during this time period was Oliver and Roy's backgrounds.

Over the years, Oliver had devolved into a Millionaire Playboy and there was no explanation for how he had become a Master Archer or where Roy Harper acquired his training. An explanation came during a short run in 1958, which featured artwork by Jack Kirby. In the new origin story, Oliver Queen found himself stranded on a desert island after his yacht sank. Oliver taught himself archery and basic hunting skills to survive. Eventually a gang of criminals came to the island and Ollie used his archery skills and primitive trick arrows to defeat them, deciding to keep fighting crime with his newfound skills once he returned to civilization.

Shortly after beginning his career as a public vigilante, Green Arrow was contacted by Brave Bow, a Native American chieftain. Brave Bow had adopted Roy Harper - the son of a forest ranger who had died trying to save some of his tribe's children from a forest fire - and feared that Roy would be cast out of the tribe after his death. Green Arrow agreed to adopt the boy, who began fighting crime with him as Speedy.

Major changes would come in 1969, when artist Neal Adams gave Ollie a new costume and his now-trademark forked beard. Inspired by this striking new look, writer Dennis O'Neil followed this up with a storyline in which Oliver Queen lost his fortune. A few nights on the street dealing with the social services net from the bottom radically altered Green Arrow's politics. From (at best) a "limousine liberal", Green Arrow became an outspoken champion of the poor and oppressed, as a cross between Robin Hood and Abbie Hoffman. It was also around this time that Green Arrow became romantically linked to Black Canary - at that time an immigrant from Earth-Two.

Green Arrow was then teamed up with Green Lantern Hal Jordan in a series of socially relevant stories in which the "by-the-book" Hal and "plays by his own rules" Ollie deal with issues like racism, political corruption, pollution and overpopulation. Speedy had not been seen adventuring with his mentor in some time and this was made a plot point when it was revealed that Green Arrow's neglect had caused Roy to turn to heroin. Roy later recovered from his addiction with help from Black Canary, becoming a federal agent for some time. He later adopted the superhero codename of Arsenal, rejoined the Titans (where he led the team for a time) and fathered a daughter, Lian, with the supervillain assassin Cheshire - making him one of the few single-father superheroes in comics history.

After some years of being teamed with Green Lantern or appearing in back-up stories, in 1983 Green Arrow got his own mini-series for the first time. It sold decently, but was not followed up until 1987. As part of its new "mature readers" line, DC gave writer/artist Mike Grell the chance to reinvent Green Arrow again in The Longbow Hunters mini-series, followed by an ongoing series. Some radical changes were made, moving GA from the fictional Star City to Seattle, discarding the trick arrows for the most part, removing Black Canary's sonic scream and generally avoiding the more comic-booky elements of The DCU. This series also became notorious for the scene in which the assassin Shado rapes Oliver Queen, though it was mistakenly referred to as an affair by other writers in the years to follow.

After Grell left the series, it was reintegrated with the rest of the DCU just before Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!. After Oliver Queen was forced to kill his best friend Hal Jordan as a part of that crisis, Oliver retreated once more to the Buddhist ashram where he went once before after accidentally killing someone.

It was here that a new character was introduced - an idealistic young monk and Green Arrow fanboy named Connor Hawke. Connor was later revealed to be Ollie's child by a previous relationship. Shortly after learning of their relationship, Oliver Queen died in a plane explosion. He gave his life to save the city of Metropolis and Connor became the new Green Arrow. Connor joined the Justice League for a time but eventually sought the peace of the ashram once more. While there, he had visions which told him that his father was still alive.

In 2000, writer Kevin Smith (yeah, that one) brought Oliver Queen back to life in a new Green Arrow ongoing series, which also returned the action to Star City. By the end of the first storyline, Oliver had become a millionaire again. The trick arrows were back too and Ollie began to rekindle his relationship with Black Canary (who in the meantime had recovered her own powers) and began to build a relationship with his son, Connor. He also picked up a new sidekick - teen prostitute Mia Dearden - who eventually took over the name of Speedy.

Throughout most of the 2000s, Green Arrow was written by Judd Winick, who tried to tackle social issues like Dennis O'Neil before him. Perhaps his most famous storyline from this time was a Very Special Episode where Mia Dearden was diagnosed with HIV.

Toward the end of Winick's run, Green Arrow and Black Canary reconciled and got married. Roy Harper, who had also reconciled with his old mentor during this time, changed his hero name to "Red Arrow" and joined the Justice League with Ollie's blessing.

The Green Arrow book was rebooted, and became “Green Arrow / Black Canary” for a time. Judd Winick wrote this book for a little over a year, at which point it was taken over by television writer Andrew Kreisberg. Most of his run dealt with the antics of a new villain - a battered woman that Green Arrow saved, who became an obsessive, murderous groupie called Cupid.

Things changed for the worse for the entire Arrow Family in the wake of the Justice League: Cry for Justice storyline. Star City suffered massive casualties in the wake of an attack by the super villain Prometheus. Roy Harper lost his right arm in a fight with the villain and his daughter, Lian, was killed in the bombing of Star City. In response, Oliver hunted down and killed Prometheus - an action which led to his arrest, public unmasking and Black Canary returning her wedding ring due to his lying to her about the murder. At his trial, Oliver was found 'Not Guilty' of murder but this did not stop a corrupt judge from exiling Ollie from his home city.

Shortly afterward, Green Arrow briefly starred in a third volume of his solo series, which was one of several new DC Comics tying into the Brightest Day storyline. Following the events of Cry For Justice, a seemingly Enchanted Forest grew up in the middle of the Star City. Oliver Queen has moved into the forest, continuing to fight the various powers trying to take advantage of the recent disaster — corrupt cops, local politicians who are more interested in building a new Entertainment District in the wreckage than helping all the people left homeless by the recent disaster and a Corrupt Corporate Executive who has taken over Queen Enterprises.

A fourth volume of Green Arrow began publication in September 2011 as part of the New 52 relaunch. The new book is set in Year One of the new DC Universe and has taken Oliver Queen back to his roots as a wealthy adventurer, traveling the world and going wherever a hero is needed. After several creative team changes in its first year did little to garner interest in the series, the book was taken over by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.

The Lemire/Sorrentino run primarily dealt with setting up a Myth Arc focusing on Oliver's battles with Komodo, a man connected to his father, and an ancient collection of warrior clans known collectively as The Outsiders. (It should be noted that, apart from the presence of Katana, these Outsiders had no relation to The Outsiders superhero team.) The series was generally well-received by fans and critics, though some felt that Lemire's mythology developed had little connection to the classic series mythos despite reintroducing characters like Count Vertigo and Shado. This run also was notable for introducing Emiko Queen (Oliver's half sister - the product of a tryst between his father and Shado) and bringing John Diggle into the DC Universe.

After Lemire and Sorrentino left, the book was briefly taken over by Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski, who are — in addition to being comic book writers - writers for Green Arrow's TV show adaptation Arrow. Their six-issue run was not well-received - partly due to the trouble anyone would have had following Lemire and Sorrentino and partly because of their efforts to make the book more accessible to fans of Arrow while simultaneously restoring more elements of the pre-New 52 Green Arrow comics. Even the most generous critics agreed they tried to accomplish too much, too quickly, simultaneously trying to throwing out all of Oliver's support team except for John Diggle, bringing Arrow's Breakout Character Felicity Smoak into the comics, reestablish Oliver's friendship with Hal Jordan, reintroducing homeless teen Mia Dearden as a potential sidekick and setting up a new arch-enemy for Green Arrow in the form of Corrupt Corporate Executive John King.

For the rest of The New 52 era, the book would be written by urban fantasy author Benjamin Percy. Percy would remain on the series as it became Green Arrow (Rebirth). The new series has proved popular, restoring many elements of the classic series - primarily the romance between Green Arrow and Black Canary, Oliver's status as a social-justice warrior and his trademark goatee. The new series has also discarded most of the supporting cast introduced during The New 52 run, save for the characters created by Jeff Lemire like Emiko Queen and hacker Henry Fyff. The new series is focused on Oliver and Dinah's efforts to fight The Ninth Circle - an uber-capitalist cabal tied to an Ancient Conspiracy, with designs on taking over America through human trafficking and Corporate Warfare.

Green Arrow frequently appears in other DC Comics media. He first made an animated appearance in Superfriends during the "Wendy and Marvin" era, though he didn't make the jump to be part of later series despite having an action-figure in the associated Super Powers line by Kenner.

Green Arrow was a major, if secondary, character in the Justice League Unlimited animated series, where in his first appearance, he defeated a giant, radioactive robot that cleaned the clock of Green Lantern, Captain Atom, and Supergirl. He stayed on as the conscience of the Justice League, echoing the politically relevant series from the 1970s. He was voiced by Kin Shriner there.

He also showed up several times in The Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He appears as a minor supporting character in Young Justice (2010), voiced by Alan Tudyk of Firefly fame. His sidekicks, Red Arrow and Artemis, play far more prominent roles. He also stars in a fifteen minute feature, DC Showcase: Green Arrow (co-starring Black Canary), that appears as part of the Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam DVD, along with The Spectre and Jonah Hex.

Green Arrow's most prominent live-action media appearance is in The CW series Arrow, where Oliver is played by Stephen Amell. It debuted in November 2012 and drew a huge viewing audience. The success of Arrow led to a series of spin-offs and what has become known as the Arrowverse.

Green Arrow is also fondly remembered by fans of the series Smallville, where he was played by Justin Hartley. Black Canary and Mia Dearden also made appearances on the show.

In 2008, a Green Arrow live-action film titled Green Arrow: Escape From Super Max was announced. Penned by David S. Goyer (writer for The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Justin Marks (writer for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), the film would involve Green Arrow being sent to an high security prison for a crime he didn't commit, forcing him to team up with supervillains in order to escape. No other news about the project had been announced since then.

Green Arrow first appeared in a video game in Justice League Task Force. He was also in Justice League Heroes. More recently, he was a playable character in the fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us, both in traditional form (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and a DLC skin of the the current TV version, with the likeness and voice of Stephen Amell. He returned in Injustice 2, once again voiced by Alan Tudyk.

Tropes seen in this series include:

  • Academy of Evil: Professor Merlin's crime school, from More Fun Comics #75, where students are taught to steal cars.
  • Action Girl: Black Canary and Mia.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Hawkeye is often viewed as Green Arrow's Marvel counterpart.
  • Annoying Arrows: Sometimes played straight and sometimes averted.
    • There was a reason he used boxing glove arrows - it annoyed the villains far more than all of the other ways he could incapacitate them.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Some of the more dubious trick arrows.
  • Ascended Extra: Roy has arguably become one in the New 52 (that too, only in flashbacks). From being Green Arrow's ward/adopted 'son' and long-time sidekick, Roy has been retconned into someone who basically served as Mission Control to Ollie for about a year before they had a falling out and he went solo.
  • Awesome Backpack: The various Arrow Family quivers. The most famous is his large rucksack one, which carries around 50 arrows of all varieties.
  • Battle Couple: Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: A favored Arrow Family technique.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The quivers never run out of arrows unless it's a plot point.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Roy to Oliver in the pages of Hard Traveling Heroes.
    • More recently, during The Fall of Green Arrow, Connor told Ollie off for everything that had happened to him as a result of trying to uphold Ollie's legacy.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Numerous examples.
    • After having his secret identity being revealed to the world before his death proved to be a major plot-point in Quiver, Oliver Queen suddenly had a secret identity again in Brad Meltzer's Archer's Quest for no apparent reason other than Meltzer wanting Green Arrow to have a secret identity again.
    • The revelation that Oliver Queen was aware of Connor Hawke's birth before Parallax/Hal Jordan told him that Connor Hawke was his son (as revealed at the end of Archer's Quest) requires you to believe that Oliver Queen is so gifted a liar that he could bluff an omnipotent being with the power of all but one of The Guardians Of The Universe.
    • Heading Into The Light by Judd Winick was meant to be a lead-in into Infinite Crisis. It proved to be so out-of-synch with what Geoff Johns had planned that it was retroactively declared to have taken place AFTER Infinite Crisis, in order to explain why Oliver Queen was active in Infinite Crisis but was incapacitated for months by the end of Heading Into The Light.
  • Canon Immigrant: Cast members from the Arrow TV series made their way into the comics, including John Diggle, Felicity Smoak (who is in the comics but was completely different), and Tommy Merlyn.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Get stranded on a desert island for a while, and you too can develop near-superhuman archery skills.
  • Chickification: Black Canary's powers and competence being lost or nerfed to ensure that Green Arrow remains the main hero of the story. We know it's his series, but still...
    • This mostly happened in the Green Arrow / Black Canary stories written by Judd Winick and Andrew Kreisberg. Other writers during the same period (Gail Simone and Grant Morrison come to mind) have written both characters as competent professionals.
  • Chick Magnet: Oliver Queen since the end of the Grell series. Roy Harper and Connor Hawke have also drawn more than their share of female attention, though the latter didn't take advantage of it.
  • City of Adventure: Star City and Seattle.
  • Clark Kenting: Ollie's beard style is not quite unique, but rare enough so that anyone who cared could make the connection.
    • Indeed, Mia began working with him by going to him in his civilian identity and pointing out that he was obviously Green Arrow.
    • It caused some amusing misunderstandings when Travis Morgan happened to show up.
      • It's worth noting that - by the current timeline, at least — Travis is several years older than Oliver. Almost old enough to be his dad. But very well preserved.
    • Completely averted after Oliver made his identity public, though.
  • Collateral Angst:
    • Lian's death in JLA: Cry For Justice is a textbook case of this, done solely to make Roy more "interesting" and send Ollie off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • In The Longbow Hunters, Black Canary is captured and tortured solely for the purpose of giving Green Arrow a story-arc where he angsts over killing the men who were torturing her. In fairness to Grell, he did depict both Ollie and Dinah going through therapy regarding the incident afterwards - an unusually realistic step in comics at the time. And Dinah was far from a helpless damsel in his later Green Arrow stories, saving Ollie's life several times over the course of the series.
  • Color Character: Green Arrow, Black Canary, Red Arrow.
  • Comic-Book Time: There's no telling what Oliver's actual physical age is at this point or how long he's been Green Arrow. Between a Retcon which set Connor Hawke's birth as being just after Ollie became Green Arrow (Connor had previous been the result of a relationship Ollie had in college), Ollie's being reborn into a younger body in Quiver and his latest origin story seeming to abandon Ollie's hippie background, it's impossible to get a fix.
    • The Ollie we see in Green Arrow: Year One has something of a Grunge-Look to him, which may fit in a couple of years, but makes it hard for him to have a son in his early-twenties now.
    • Following Flashpoint his age is given as 25-26, and by Wally West's claim that everyone had ten years of their lives taken away, would imply that Ollie prior to Flashpoint was 35.
  • Company Town: A a crossover issue with the Green Lantern had a mining town in the Rocky Mountains called Desolation, which was a really bad place to live. As discussed here, the story is not very realistic in regard to the town existing in the 1970s.
  • Composite Character: In the New 52 continuity, Connor Hawke is the Red Arrow of Earth 2 rather than Green Arrow.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A frequent target of Ollie's crime-fighting efforts. Specific examples include...
    • John DeLeon, who stole away Ollie's company in The Bronze Age of Comic Books.
    • The Queen, who took over Ollie's company post-Rise and Fall.
    • Walter Emerson, the CEO who attempted to take over Ollie's company in The New 52 Universe.
      • More notably, Komodo, who actually does take over Queen Industries, and liquidates it, and after framing Ollie for murder, sets on hunting him down now that he's without any form of aid.
    • John King, who tries to take over Seattle and destroy Oliver Queen in both his identities in the Kingdom arc.
    • Green Arrow (Rebirth) introduced Cyrus Broderick - another CEO who frames Oliver for murder and steals his company, while working for a Court of Owls Expy called The Ninth Circle, which combines this trope with Ancient Conspiracy.
    • Green Arrow (Rebirth) also established Malcolm Merlyn as this, in addition to being a member of the League of Assassins.
  • Crippling the Competition: In an issue of Hawkman, Green Arrow stops the villainous archer the Spider by shooting out the Spider's eye, destroying his depth perception and thus his ability to aim.
  • Darker and Edgier: Outside of comics, during the last decade, Green Arrow has gone from a Kid-Appeal Character, arguably The Heart and Chivalrous Pervert at worst, to the more iffy Vigilante Man who ended up killing Lex Luthor, to now a Deconstruction of sorts of Ollie's usual MO, modelled after the Mike Grell take from the comics.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Defector from Paradise: The titular character was resurrected without a soul, as well as any memories of his past during his more cynical years. He seemed to get along fine without it and his soul rested peacefully in Heaven. However, his lack of a soul made him a gateway for possession by powerful demons, which would be a very bad thing for the entire world. He eventually convinced his soul (still in Heaven at the time) to come back to his body to save his son from being killed by demonic conjurers.
  • Depending on the Artist: Hat or hood?
  • Depending on the Writer: Black Canary's level of competence, Ollie's level of horndog.
  • Descent into Addiction:Snowbirds Don't Fly is a two episode arc in issues #85 and #86 that showed how Green Arrow's ward Roy "Speedy" Harper had become a heroin addict and the consequences of his actions.
  • Disappeared Dad: His "relationship" with his son Connor. He also stopped being there for Roy for a month, which led to his infamous drug habit. In Fall Of The Green Arrow, both of them turn him away when he asks for their help, calling him out on his selfish behavior toward them. Remember, Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't...
  • Domino Mask: The preferred method of identity concealment on Team Arrow.
  • Doting Grandparent: Oliver was this to Lian Harper, deceased daughter of his former sidekick Roy Harper aka Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: The Shado incident, which was only just recently officially acknowledged as being rape and was treated by many writers (particularly Judd Winick) as having been an example of Oliver Queen cheating on Dinah Lance. Thankfully Subverted when Black Canary was discussing marrying Oliver Queen with Oracle, Oracle brought up Shado, and she angrily rejects the notion that he was to blame. And outright said Shado rape him.
  • Egomaniac Hunter: Big Game
  • Evil Counterpart: Merlyn the Archer and Komodo.
  • Expy
    • Obviously, he's one of Robin Hood.
    • During the Golden Age, Green Arrow could be seen as an archery-themed version of Batman, right down to the Arrow-Car, an underground garage where it is stored, a teen partner in Speedy (who occasionally makes bad puns like Robin) and a trophy case containing mementos of their cases. In 1947, Green Arrow even acquires the arrow-signal and a recurring villain named Bullseye (who dresses as a clown, making him almost an expy of the Joker).
    • Emiko Queen is one for Damian Wayne from Batman. Both were trained as assassins for the purpose of killing a family member who was a superhero and both wound up becoming snarky teen sidekicks to said hero, who complained about not being allowed to kill. She's developed a personality under Benjamin Percy, though now she's said to be an expy for Kate Bishop from Hawkeye, which is ironic considering Kate was said to be an expy for Mia Dearden when the Matt Fraction Hawkeye book first came out.
    • The Ninth Circle from Green Arrow (Rebirth) has drawn comparison to The Court of Owls from Batman, being a criminal gang built around an Ancient Conspiracy, obsessed with ruling a city.
  • Faking the Dead: In the New 52, Robert Queen did this, to keep his family safe from Komodo, and be free to plot against him.
  • False Flag Operation: In #49 of the New 52 series, the Patriots (an anti-Warg group) help a murderous Warg to escape from prison - killing several guards in the process - and leave behind evidence that other Wargs were responsible to give them an excuse to start a full-scale hunt for the Wargs.
  • Faux Action Girl: Black Canary at her lowest points.
  • File Mixup: In a Silver Age story, GA takes a bad fall and has his chest X-rayed (without removing his mask.) The doctor calls on the Arrowline to tell him that there's an inoperable tumor and he has at most a few days to live. Halfway through the story, the doctor calls back—he mixed up Green Arrow's X-rays with those of millionaire playboy Oliver Queen! Turns out Ollie had spilled some mildly radioactive material on himself that fouled the x-ray film.
  • Forest Ranger: post-Cry For Justice
  • Friendship Moment: Green Arrow and Hawkman, both recently brought back to life, meet up at the Justice Society brownstone. Everyone else fears a fight will break out, only to find the two laughing hysterically over Batman impersonations and admitting that they missed each other.
  • The Gimmick: Bows and Arrows and Robin Hood comparisons.
  • Grand Theft Me: Attempted in the "Quiver" arc.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with him and Black Canary.
  • Hollywood Law: After being tried for murdering Prometheus and admitting his own guilt, a jury finds Oliver Queen 'not guilty'. The judge, stating that he wants to overrule the jury but cannot issue a prison sentence in a case with a 'not guilty' verdict, exiles Oliver Queen from Star City telling him that if he ever enters the city again he will be put away for as long as the judge can arrange it. To say that this violates every basic rule of law in the United States regarding sentencing in a jury trial is an understatement.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Those quivers sure hold a lot of arrows.
    • And where do the characters keep their bows and arrows until they're needed?
  • Identical Stranger:
    • Travis Morgan, The Warlord (DC). It's mostly the beard.
    • Ollie was also once mistaken for Deathstroke (who has grey hair rather than blond), during a period when he had to wear an eye-patch due to an eye injury.
  • Identity Impersonator: Several times over the years, but most recently with the shape-shifter Everyman.
  • Implausible Deniability: That beard really should be a dead giveaway. Justified once when its established the look is actually rather popular in Star City, possibly because either one of his identities popularized it.
    • If the beard isn't, the attitude should be.
    • In the Mike Grell run, the CIA is able to figure out who he is because of this. Shado and The Seattle Police Department did not even realize he was attempting to hide his identity.
      • Amusingly Ollie gave up on even bothering to wear his domino mask for quite some time because of this.
    • In the New 52, he goes for the Perma-Stubble look instead, thereby bypassing this problem.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Goes without saying, doesn't it?
  • In the Hood: The Grell costume, and several variations thereafter.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Goes without saying, doesn't it?
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Used as part of a training upgrade to (temporarily) defeat Deathstroke.
    • Rejected by many fans, who could accept a Just Like Robin Hood hero using a sword... just not a Katana.
  • Kid Sidekick: The Speedys.
  • Killer Cop:
    • Green Arrow fought a gang of cops known as the Vice Squad, who got together and used police equipment during their off-duty hours to eliminate what they saw as 'undesirable' elements off the streets. The leader made the mistake of assuming Green Arrow would agree with his crusade.
    • The anarchist-themed vigilante Citizen turns out to be a cop who was fed up with white collar criminals using Loophole Abuse to avoid prosecution.
  • Knife Outline: Or Arrow Outline in this case.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Averted, in that while Connor is a competent enough archer after years of training with monks as a boy, he is nowhere near the savant Oliver Queen is with a bow. He is a great martial artist, though.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Grant Morrison did this in the tenth issue of JLA, by having the Justice League be berated by a loud-mouthed blond guy with a Van Dyke in Star City over their failure to save lives at the expense of preventing property damage. This occurred at a time when Oliver Queen was dead. Morrison later admitted that he was having fun with the idea that Star City has a larger-than-average number of mouthy blond guys with Van Dykes, explaining indirectly just how Ollie was able to maintain a secret identity for so long.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Deconstruction. During the Cry for Justice & Rise and Fall storylines where Green Arrow I (Oliver Queen) murders Prometheus for destroying Star City and causing the death of his adopted granddaughter Lian Harper. During Oliver's capture and trial, his family washes their hands of him, with his wife Black Canary (Dinah Lance) returning her wedding ring and declaring their marriage over. His adopted son Speedy I/Arsenal/Red Arrow I (Roy Harper) and biological son Green Arrow II (Connor Hawke) tell him they are through with him. It is implied that Oliver killing Prometheus is the last straw, with Oliver constantly cheating on Dinah, his neglect of Roy, and his abandonment of Connor and lying that he did not know he was his son was the main cause of them leaving Oliver. However, before that storyline Oliver Queen works hard to repair his relationships with them, and they had forgiven him before. It is also implied that they had been traumatized by the events of the story, Star City being destroyed for Dinah, the lost of his daughter for Roy, Connor being in a coma and losing and regaining his memories, and with the resentment they have for Oliver despite forgiving him, they all lash out at Oliver.
  • Legacy Character/Composite Character: Connor Hawke, Green Arrow II. Mia, Speedy II. Black Canary was turned into one of these by a Retcon, rather than face Oliver Queen dating a woman technically old enough to be his mother.
    • Averted with his former Kid Sidekick, Roy. At one point after Ollie's death, Roy nearly changed his name to Red Arrow (due to the popularity of Kingdom Come), but decided to remain Arsenal instead in order to better forge his own path. Interestingly, while he had no intention of carrying on Ollie's legacy, he expressed disappointment that he wasn't at least asked to do so.
    • In the Futures End continuity, Ollie's teenage sister Emiko becomes the new Green Arrow.
  • Let Off by the Detective: A recurring Golden Age Green Arrow adversary is Professor Million, a college mathematics professor who takes up crime for a limited time and for usually good cause, i.e. trying to help the college he works for. His mathematical brilliance allows him to plot and plan like no one else and anticipate complications. He appears four times, and each time at the end of the story, Green Arrow lets him go, convinced he's not really a criminal at heart.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Ollie chose to lose his life rather than a limb when he saved Metropolis.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In the New 52 volume, he discovers that he has a younger Japanese half-sister sister named Emiko.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Black Mercy in one Green Lantern story, in which Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen became trapped in Hal's idea of a perfect world. Ollie was the first to put two and two together, since his perfect world had him set up with Connor's birth mother and a parcel of other kids - the type of family life Hal had and Ollie was always envious of but with none of the baggage or disappointment Ollie equated to his relationships with Roy Harper and Dinah Lance.
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Connor to Ollie.
  • Masochist's Meal: A very funny page from a Green Arrow Secret Files issue shows Ollie's famous chili recipe (which is not only an actual recipe, but apparently a very good one, if not really as hot as depicted). The JLA all have horrified reactions to it (including J'onn comparing it to fire and freaking out)... except Batman, who just thinks it needs more crackers.
  • Master Archer: He is most definitely the DCU's best archer, and has trained many younger characters to follow in his footsteps. His first origin story was that of an archaeologist who studied Native American fighting techniques before it was retconned into getting stranded on a deserted island and teaching himself archery to survive. The end result is a nigh-superhuman ability at shooting arrows that strikes fear in the hearts of supervillains and allows him to keep up with his superpowered peers.
  • Master of Disguise: Nix.
  • Mocky Mouse: A story in Chuck Dixon's run had Conner Hawke's ashram bought by a Mr. Alt Disney with the intent of making it into a theme park based on Winky Blink and friends. Winky Blink looks very much like Mickey Mouse, except with a Hawaiian shirt, dog ears and a red nose.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Connor, hands down.
  • Multishot: Of course he can do this.
  • The first storyline in the 2011 relaunch has Rush stream his gang hunting a captured Green Arrow live onto the internet.
  • New Old Flame: Used to justify Connor Hawke's birth, originally giving Oliver Queen an ex-girlfriend in college who got pregnant and never told him about the child. Retcon-ned to turn Moonday into a one-night-stand who did tell Ollie about his son.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Roy blamed Mia for Lian's death, but most readers just shrugged this off as the anger of a grieving father. But then you realize that while Lian's death was the result of Prometheus' machine malfunction, Mia, who was supposed to be looking after Lian, left a child by herself to go after a supervillain. She couldn't have taken a minute to ask Ollie's neighbors, or even called someone, to look after the girl while she went out? James Robinson claimed that, due to Executive Meddling, he was asked to kill both Mia and Lian, but managed to spare Mia. He doesn't seem to realize that by how he chose to spare Mia made her indirectly responsible for Lian's death.
    • Ollie's New 52 backstory has this, too. He was holding a party on a Queen Industries oil rig that was taken hostage by a mad bomber. He first picked up the bow and arrow in an effort to take the guy out without risking anyone's death... and ended up setting off his explosives, killing nearly everyone else on the rig (including his girlfriend) and getting blown out to sea by the blast, where he washed up on the familiar desert island.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Sometimes averted, when the artist or writer remembers.
  • Noble Shoplifter: In City Walls, although the city is without power and looting is rampant, Green Arrow insists that his people leave payment whenever they take food or weapons from a store.
  • Not Wearing Tights: The Grell run. The New 52 also gave several older villains some more street level redesigns (e.g. Clock King is reimagined as a Tattooed Crook).
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth!: Green Arrow sometimes uses his teeth to draw back his bowstring, mainly if he has one arm immobilized.
  • Official Couple: Green Arrow and Black Canary.
  • Omnibus: Green Arrow's Golden Age stories never appeared while DC was producing their Archives line, but DC has recently made up for that with a Golden Age omnibus of early Green Arrow from 1941 to 1947. At 750 pages, that's the equivalent of about three and a half Archives.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Wargs. They're carriers of the Blood disease Lukos, a degenerative disease that gives them increased adrenal glands and causes swelling of the frontal lobe, while also causing their fingers and teeth to sharpen and their muscles to grow. The longer they stay unmedicated, and the more emotionally charged they are, the worse they mutate, some gaining fur, glowing eyes, and in some cases even wolf-like snouts. The medication available seems to regress these physical developments, but as a result, the infectee becomes extremely fatigued, leaving them unable to do much physical work.
  • Parental Abandonment: Oliver's done this twice - first by walking out on Connor Hawke and his mother. Later, by leaving Roy Harper to fend for himself, indirectly leading him to become a heroin addict.
    • Flashbacks in the Third Volume of Ollie's book implied that Ollie and his mother were similarly ignored by his father, despite being taken care of financially.
  • Pendulum of Death: The Clock King straps Green Arrow beneath one in an attempt to force him to divulge the access codes to Queen Industries accounts in the "Sins of the Mother" arc.
  • Percussive Prevention: In Green Arrow #24, Shado knocks Green Arrow to prevent him going to fight Count Vertigo while injured, then goes to fight Vertigo herself.
  • Pinball Projectile: Green Arrow can accurately ricochet arrows.
  • Post-Adventure Adventure: The first appearance of our heroes in More Fun Comics #73 sees them just finishing up another adventure before the story begins.
    Oliver: Happy vacation days ahead, eh, Roy?
    Roy: And boy, can we use one! The Case of the Golden Mummy sure had us busy!
  • Precision F-Strike: When Ollie reluctantly approved Mia as the new Speedy after she held her own against him in a fight.
    "Get her a goddamn mask."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the Cry for Justice & Rise and Fall storyline, where Green Arrow I (Oliver Queen) murders Prometheus for destroying Star City and causing the death of his adopted granddaughter Lian Harper, both his wife Black Canary (Dinah Lance) and adopted son Speedy I/Arsenal/Red Arrow I (Roy Harper) cut ties with Oliver, both telling him they're done with him.
    • In Green Arrow #32, Dinah calls him out for all the problems he caused and driving her away:
    Dinah Lance: Stop. I said Stop. Ollie, I didn't come here for any answers or explanations. And I certainly didn't come for any more of your apologies. You've always found a way to put things between us. Now, this glass is making it literally true.
    Oliver Queen: What are you talking about?
    Dinah Lance: I'm talking about you, Ollie. The way you always managed to find some way to mess it all up.
    Oliver Queen: That's crazy.
    Dinah Lance: It goes back to our days in Seattle. We were perfectly happy— so you started talking about getting married and having a family. You let me feel guilty for not wanting to have children. Then ashamed for not being able to. But the truth is—you never wanted to be a father. You ran out on Connor the day he was born. When that whore of an assassin Shado told you about your other son, Robert, you didn't seem interested there either. Face it, Ollie. Lying about this was just another wedge to drive me away.
    Oliver Queen: It wasn't like that, Dinah. I…I killed somebody. Don't you realize that? I murdered Prometheus. I crossed a line, and I can never take it back.
    Dinah Lance: Please. You crossed that line a long time ago, Ollie. It's old hat. But I know something you can take back.
    [Dinah put down her wedding ring.]
    Oliver Queen: Dinah no.
    Dinah Lance: I can't. Out on the streets, I never give up. I never quit. But I can't fight this— not anymore. Deep down, you always wanted to be alone. Congratulations, Ollie. You win.
    [Dinah leaves and Oliver looks at her wedding ring.]
    • In Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #2, Roy calls Oliver out on being a bad father to him:
    Roy Harper: Are you friggin' kidding me? You're in jail—big deal. Look at me, Ollie. Look at Me! I lost my arm. Prometheus maimed me, but none of it even registers because she's gone. Luan's dead My… My… …My little girl.
    Oliver Queen: I know, Roy. I'm so sorry. I'd do anything to bring her back anything. I tried to make it right— make him pay. But killing Prometheus didn't change a thing.
    Roy Harper: Maybe for you. But it would have changed everything for me. Getting back at Prometheus was the only thing I had left anymore. He took my arm. He took Lian. But you took my revenge from me, Ollie. What now? You tell me. What am I supposed to do now?
    Oliver Queen: The same thing we always have— you keep going. It's all we can do. I might be behind bars, but that doesn't mean I won't be here for you.
    Roy Harper: Seriously? You're here for me? Ollie, you've never been there for me. Maybe when it was convenient for you, but never when it really mattered. It's the same with me as it is with Connor, or even Mia for that matter. You're no father— you just like to pretend you are from time to time. And that's why you'll never understand what I'm going though right now. You don't know what it's like to be a father— to really be a father.
    Oliver Queen: Roy, listion—
    Roy Harper: Listen? To what? You can't help me Ollie. You can't even help yourself.
  • Retcanon: The success of Arrow has lead to several aspects of the show being introduced to the New 52 Green Arrow mythos-
    • John Diggle and, more recently, a new version of Felicity Smoak, have been introduced in roles virtually identical to those they had on the show.
    • The idea that Oliver was stranded on the island for years, and that the island, far from being deserted, was the site of a conspiracy that Oliver gets involved with.
    • Oliver's parents, Moira and Robert Queen, who were never particularly important in the comics, become more important, following on from their portrayals on the show. In particular, the latter is significantly involved in Green Arrow's origin, much like on the show.
  • Ret-Gone: Several examples.
    • The Golden Age Green Arrow and Speedy "never existed" in the new Earth history post-Crisis on Infinite Earths. This has caused some problems for the Seven Soldiers of Victory continuity when it's referenced until 2021. The Stargirl Spring Break Special did try to fix this by saying that (the "modern day") Ollie and Roy were sent back in time during a fight with the Clock King to the time of the Golden Age to restore their status as founding members of the Seven Soldiers.
    • Connor Hawke, Mia Dearden and both versions of Arrowette in The New 52 universe — until later stories, including Rebirth and the aftermath of Dark Nights: Death Metal restored them.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The Patriots in the New 52.
  • Rocket Punch: The infamous boxing glove arrows.
  • Rogues Gallery: Much has been made about Ollie's lack of a cohesive Rogues Gallery (a side effect of him not having his own series for the first thirty years of his publication history), though writers keep trying to bring one together, bless their hearts. Notable recurring villains include rival archers Shado and Merlyn; martial artist Drakon; stone-skinned mob boss Brick; masked lunatics Count Vertigo, Onomatopoeia, Deathstroke and the Clock King- of the last 4, aside from Onomatopoeia all are originally enemies of someone else.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: As hinted above, many of his rogues gallery were originally low level enemies of Batman or another of Ollie's JLA teammates who gained new life as Green Arrow villains. Case in point, Killer Moth was a rather pathetic as a Batman villain, but New 52 made him Ollie's first supervillain opponent, and a recurring foe thereafter, and he's a little less harmless as Green Arrow villain. Deadshot and The Riddler have also had famous rivalries with Green Arrow, though they have not given up their status as Batman villains.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: These feature prominently in some versions of Green Arrow's origin.
  • Secret Identity: Oliver Queen has gone back and forth on whether or not he has one or doesn't have one.
    • Originally, he had one until about mid-way through the Mike Grell run, when he was outed by the United States government after being framed for espionage. After sacrificing himself to save the city of Metropolis, he was given a full-page obituary on the front page of The Daily Planet, which identified Oliver Queen as Green Arrow. This was used as proof of Oliver's death in Quiver, when Batman was trying to prove to the clone Ollie that he was/had been dead.
    • After Judd Winick took over the series post-Quiver, Oliver Queen suddenly had a secret identity again. No explanation was given for why Oliver Queen suddenly showed up in Star City again at the same time the original Green Arrow returned and nobody - except for Mia Dearden - made the connection.
    • Oliver's secret identity was outed AGAIN, following Cry For Justice, just before he was put on trial for the murder of Prometheus.
      • As of September 2011, he has a secret identity. AGAIN.
    • It's hinted in in some continuities that his secret identity isn't really all that secret and most people are just polite enough to not bring it up. In one case a police officer that'd been working with Green Arrow showed up at Oliver Queen's house, and when asked how he found out his identity, said that he didn't realize it was supposed to be a secret. The goatee probably doesn't help.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Roy Harper, after recovering from his heroin addiction, has never gone back to being Green Arrow's sidekick although he has teamed up with his old mentor a few times. He eventually went on to take up his name - well, sort of - as Red Arrow.
    • Subverted with the current Arsenal get up, demoting Roy from the equal Red Arrow back down to Arsenal.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: As a modern-day Robin Hood, Green Arrow is frequently depicted as believing this.
    • This was established in the modern age by Green Arrow: Year One, which introduced a retcon to Oliver Queen's origins and motivations for becoming a hero. Originally he was shipwrecked on an island being used to farm marijuana and got a ride back to civilization by ambushing the drug dealers. In the new origin, he frees the people enslaved by a cartel to farm poppies for heroin production.
    • In the Green Arrow (Rebirth) books, the fact that The Ninth Circle abducts homeless people and sells them off to the highest bidder angers Green Arrow far more than their attempts to kill him and frame his secret identity for murder.
  • Strawman Political: During their joint series, Hal Jordan often portrayed the opposite end of the spectrum—or at least a naive moderate—while having a big Idiot Ball glued to his face so Ollie had somebody to preach at.
    • Some of the enemies Ollie goes up against are right-wing strawmen. For instance, the Duke of Oil (originally a villain for The Outsiders but adopted into Ollie's Rogues Gallery, such as it is) is a grotesque representation of oil magnates who looks more than a little like an eight-foot-tall George W. Bush.
  • Suffer the Slings: Bad guy Slingshot, who is as proficient with a sling as Green Arrow is with a bow.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf: In the Arrowcave.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: During the funeral of Roy Harper, Oliver admits his for former sidekick had surpassed as a person in every way.
  • Taught by Experience: In some versions of Green Arrow's origin, he develops his incredible archery as a result of being stranded on a desert island and having to learn how to use a bow in order to survive.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Essentially the motivation of the Berserkers gang in Ben Percy's run. As a Warg (basically a carrier of the werewolf-like STD Lukos), they've been hunted down and treated like lesser beings, with the Patriots actively trying to kill them all and the government's response being to drug them into a state of submission so they can't defend themselves. If the world wants to treat them like rabid dogs, then they might as well act like it.
  • Thicker Than Water: In the original storyline where Connor Hawke was revealed to be Oliver Queen's long-lost son, Oliver didn't take the news well since Connor had concealed the fact from him and the only reason Ollie found out was that a Parallax-possessed Hal Jordan accidentally mentioned the fact. Granting that Ollie's paranoia was somewhat-justified (he was a wanted man at the time), and Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't, but Ollie's desire to abandon his son was treated like a grievous flaw.
  • Time Travel: How the Stargirl Spring Break Special restored Ollie and Roy as members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory: Ollie and Roy are from the "modern era", but a fight with the Clock King sent them back in time for a bit to the Golden Age, where they helped form the Seven Soldiers.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Ollie was originally very against killing. During the O'Neil/Adams run, Ollie accidentally killed someone because his aim was thrown off by an injury. He gave up the superhero life and went to a monastery until Green Lantern and others convinced him to return. He changed his tune after the events of "The Longbow Hunters", when he was driven to kill the men who had been torturing Dinah Lance, fearing they were about to kill her. Since then Ollie was willing to make lethal force an option but only when the lives of others were at risk.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ollie really, really likes chili.
  • Trick Arrow: The Trope Maker. The miniseries Green Arrow: Year One actually shows how he came up with the boxing glove or "stun" arrow. He had to incapacitate a guard without killing him so he simply took the head off of a regular arrow (this doesn't actually work, but it's a comic book).
  • *Twang* Hello: A frequent method of greeting for Oliver Queen.
  • Very Special Episode: Many of the "Hard Traveling Heroes" storylines, most notably "Snowbirds Can't Fly" (the one where Speedy is a junkie). Also, the "Mia has HIV" issue written by Judd Winick.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
  • Wedding Smashers: Naturally, villains attacked the Black Canary-Green Arrow festivities.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: Ollie fakes the death of Sin, Black Canary's adoptive daughter, and has her shipped off to a monastery, without telling Dinah so that her reactions will look natural. Never mind that Dinah's been established to be a better actor than he is.
    • It also didn't help that Dinah - granting that she was under a good deal of stress - was portrayed as being irrational to the point of attacking her comrades when they suggested she needed to hold still for a moment and help them come up with a plan of attack. Ollie's plan wasn't a great one but he never got a chance to run it by Dinah before hand.
  • Wham Episode: In the first issue of Jeff Lemire's run once he takes over the New 52 title, Emmerson is killed off, Queen Industries is taken over and liquidated, Q-Core is destroyed, Jax is killed and Naomi is kidnapped, and Oliver meets Komodo, an archer who's skill excels his own, and Magus, a mysterious and cryptic being with no eyes. The series changes a LOT from that point... but not in a bad way.