Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)

Well, I think it was about time I spoke of Arrow protagonist, Oliver Queen, portrayed on screen by Stephen Amell. In the comics, he’s one of DC oldest heroes, being born in 1943, and already had quite a huge tv appearance in Smallville, where he was portrayed by Justin Hartley. In both versions, he was a spoiled rich boy who shipwrecked on a deserted island, where he was trained to become the hero Green Arrow: in Arrow, he found a mentor in Yao Fei, while in Smallville he was transformed into a skilled archer by the League of Assassins. In the comics, it wasn’t the first, nor the second.

First of all, Green Arrow’s origin story has been changed many times in the years, a common destiny for superheroes, especially the DC comics’ ones. In his very first appearance, Oliver Queen was an archaeologist who learnt to used bow and arrows by studying the native American culture. I’m going to speak about the most famous and used version of the story, the one retold by the great Jack Kirby. In this one (fused with many retcons), Oliver was the young and shy son of billionaire Robert Queen and his wife Moira, the richest and most important people in Star City. As a boy, he idolized Robin Hood, his childhood hero, and was overwhelmed with joy when his father, wanting to make a man out of him, gave him a bow for present. Ollie‘s character wasn’t meant to be forged so simply, and the boy was half traumatized the moment he accidentally killed an animal while playing with his new “toy”. His weak character became his curse: while on safari in Africa with his parents, a pack of lions attacked him and his family, and his hesitation in shooting the beasts costed Robert and Moira their lives. Ollie managed to survive the experience thanks to the guide Robert had hired, Congo Bill, who took him back to America. Back in Star City, Oliver was raised by an uncle of his, and, once of age, he inherited his father’s fortune and business, becoming the corporate executive of Queen Industries. Having completely abandoned his shy and weak personality, Oliver grew up to be a spoiled and arrogant playboy, a thrill-seeking, over-rich, constantly drunken man with no responsibility in life. With no direction for his life, the Queen heir preferred to spend his days and nights partying, using his money to pay a life of excess. Everything changed because of a boat: while on his private yacht, completely drunk, he fell off into the ocean, and was dragged away by the stream. He used a bow to stay afloat, the same old bow that his father gave him when he was a child and that he caught before falling. Exhausted, Oliver Queen washed ashore of Starfish Island, a remote and isolated land in the Pacific Ocean.

For Oliver, used to have everything he needed without putting the slightest effort in getting it, living on the island was a real hell. He learnt how to survive in the most desperate situations, and used his bow to hunt for some preys. He mastered his weapon to become an excellent hunter, and, finally learning to rely upon himself and his own skills, he became a man. Alone on the island for weeks, Oliver finally found a small village, but there were no people in it; in a well nearby, Oliver found the corpses of the inhabitants, slain and thrown into the well. Shocked by his discovery, Ollie had his first taste of the world’s evil. During his time on the island, Oliver became so skilled with his bow that, when a plane came across the island and started opening fire at him, who had tried to signal his presence, he managed to take him down, using just his arrows and his knowledge of the island’s territory. His occasion of coming back home arrived when a commercial freighter passed by Starfish Island: thinking the crew could have saved him, Oliver swam towards it, getting on board. Once aboard, Oliver found out that the cargo was in the middle of a mutiny, led by the group of pirates and drug-dealers at the orders of the infamous China White. Using the skills and abilities gained on the island, Oliver managed to subdue them, and freed the freighter’s crew. That was the moment in which he realized that he could really do something for the greater good, and he decided that, with his hunter abilities, he would have become a crime fighter. Once in Star City, Oliver took back his life, and secretly created the identity of Green Arrow, a modern Robin Hood who would have protected his city and the entire world. In the years, Oliver took a young boy as apprentice, Roy Harper, an orphan who would have become his sidekick Speedy and his adoptive son. He also entered the Justice League of America, becoming the team’s sixth member after saving the others from the alien Xandor. As a hero, he also met the superheroine Black Canary, aka Dinah Laurel Lance, who would have become his wife.

Oliver Queen is one of the wealthiest man in the world, and he uses his company to serve society the best he can, focusing on the common people’s needs. After a youth of recklessness and irresponsibility, Oliver learnt his priorities and does what he can for the world through charity and social initiatives. As the Green Arrow, Oliver has reached the peak of human capabilities, he’s extremely strong, agile and durable, being a regular man without superpowers. He’s a skilled hunter, and has a complete mastery over archery. Fusing Queen’s resources and the Arrow’s weapons, he created his trademark Trick Arrows, special arrows with different usages and effects, that make him even more effective in his crime fighting activity.

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107 Comments

  1. […] night, as he was out hunting, old Stanley was attacked by a robber, but he was saved by local hero, Green Arrow… who, he sensed, was now a body without a soul, having just been resurrected with an […]

  2. […] exclusive to the Prime Earth continuity, and in case you were wondering, yes, she truly is Oliver‘s half sister… albeit she’ll definitely have a mother different from the original […]

  3. […] that he used to capture Green Lantern and to replace him for a while, until he was exposed by Green Arrow and defeated by the other members of the Justice League of America. He presented himself as Doctor […]

  4. […] little surprise. As Dr. Deegan rewrites reality once again with the Book of Destiny, Barry and Oliver are stripped of their heroic identities and turned into a couple of renowned and feared criminals, […]

  5. […] assisted also other heroes from the Justice League of America, and was even taught archery by the Green Arrow (managing to handle four bows per time). Aquaman even taught him a taste for music, and Topo became […]

  6. […] to Gotham City to steal some technology. He would have maybe been able to face Green Lantern and Green Arrow, who were waiting for him, but when also Supergirl intervened, he was simply outmatched, and […]

  7. […] jungle. Funny thing is, Congo Bill has always been closely associated with the origin story of Green Arrow, in some continuities: let’s see […]


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