This is it! The end of Marchery/Archery April with the one who started it all, Green Arrow himself, Oliver Queen! He was the first archer superhero at DC comics. He followed in the path of Robin Hood and took some strange turns from there, speaking of which. TRIGGER WARNING: At one point in Oliver’s life he was raped and that will be discussed briefly later on in this article so if that is too much for you avoid the paragraph that starts with “Black Canary would get kidnapped” sorry about that but it happened and I think not bringing it up is it’s own other problem. So who is Oliver Queen and how did he go from rich playboy to costumed vigilante? That set up sounds familiar… We’ll get to that! Let’s do this!
Oliver “Ollie” Jonas Queen was born in the lap of luxury. Wealthy family and loving parents, Ollie had it all but he still had concerns for others less fortunate. He idolized Robin Hood and saw the value in aiding the poor and defending them from the wealthy who may have criminal intent. He took up archery and loved using his bow any time he could. When his parents were attacked by lions during a safari trip, Ollie froze up and regretted not having the courage enough to shoot the lions with his bow. This would lead to Ollie become a drunken playboy with no responsibilities and eventually inheriting his family wealth and company.
Oliver would have his life thrown into further upheaval when on a boat trip he’d end up stranded on a remote island. Here, he would hone his skills with his bow to survive. He would also find that the island was being used for drug smuggling and would use his training to take them out and get his way home. Now understanding that he had a responsibility to the world, Ollie decided to take up a Robin Hood inspired costume and fight crime in his home of Star City. Hearing of the fellow crime fighter, Batman, he would procure Arrow themed vehicles like the Arrow-plane and his arsenal would be of trick arrows instead of just out and out lethal arrows.
Ollie would gain a lot of fame in not just Star City, but the world, as costumed adventurers began cropping up all over the world. He’d have fans in the Navajo nation, particularly one fan, who he’d go and judge an archery contest for. One participant, Roy Harper, would assist Ollie in taking down a criminal. Upon learning that the boy’s adoptive father was dying, he took on the responsibility of raising Roy as his ward and making him his crime fighting sidekick, Speedy.
The two worked well together and Ollie would join up with the Justice League. He and team member Black Canary got along well and would eventually start dating. He’d become best friends with Green Lantern, Hal Jordan and good friends with the Flash. He and Hawkman would often butt heads due to Ollie’s liberal views and Hawkman’s conservative views clashing. He’d also update his costume from the simple green shirt and pants with hat to a more traditional Robin Hood look and grow a van dyke to compliment it.
When an employee of Queen Industries runs off with all of Ollie’s money he is left devastated and trying to rebuild his life. He heads out with Black Canary and Green Lantern to find the “real America” in a cross country road trip. He also leaves Roy behind, thinking he will be fine on his own. When he learned this was not the case and that Roy had gotten addicted to drugs Ollie handling things terribly and caused a rift between the two. While on this cross-country journey, Ollie would accidentally miss his intended pain-inducing target and instead kill his mark on accident. This would traumatize him and he tore up all he had left of his Green Arrow supplies and went to a monastery. Here he would find an inner peace that would give him what he needed to get back to fighting crime as Green Arrow.
Moving away from Star City, Ollie and Black Canary would start up a florist shop in Seattle, Washington, Sherwood Florist. Ollie would go for another costume change, an actual hood for his Robin Hood idolization, and no longer using trick arrows and just using traditional razor sharp arrowheads. That’s the best way to avoid killing again? Anyway, the two would have darker adventures and deal with more street-level crime such as drug users and serial killers instead of their former high adventures dealing with masked villains and the like.
Black Canary would get kidnapped and tortured by a criminal and Ollie would kill the perpetrator without hesitation when he found her. Ollie would end up injured badly and taken in by the villain Shado to be nursed back to health, it was during this time she would rape him while he was unconscious and conceive a baby she would raise without ever letting Ollie see the child. Black Canary would learn that she was unable to have children of her own so when Ollie proposed to her she said no because she knew Ollie wanted kids with her. This would cause the two to grow distant and they’d eventually break up when Ollie kissed their shop’s assistant.
After Seattle has its first supervillain attack, Ollie realizes he isn’t cut out for this anymore and begins roaming around the country. He would team up with Deathstroke and the two would kill some of the worst people the planet had to offer. Eventually Ollie would pull back from this and realize he didn’t want to kill anyone even if they were serial killers or molesters.
Hal Jordan would be possessed by the cosmic entity, Parallax and begin a quest for power and destruction. Ollie was called in to help try and stop Hal, by any means necessary. Unable to attack his friend, Ollie would do everything he could to avoid confronting Hal. When it all looked like it was going to come to an end, Ollie finally took the shot to stop Hal, shooting him in the chest.
Once again, traumatized, Ollie would flee to the monastery he’d gone to years before to center himself. This time he’d meet a young man named Conner Hawke. The two got along well and would eventually start adventuring together as archers. Hal Jordan arrives, very much not dead, attempting to still be friends with Ollie but still not quite there and obsessed with his plans. Hal also reveals that Conner is actually Ollie’s son which infuriates Ollie when he learns that Conner knew and kept it a secret, leaving Connor behind.
Doing work for the NSA, Ollie would go on all kinds of missions. He’d take on spy work as well as super villains. One such mission would be his last for the NSA. It technically should have been his last ever as he’d end up with his arm strapped into a bomb that was threatening to blow up Metropolis. While Superman begged Ollie to let him save him by removing his arm and taking him to safety, Ollie reflected on his life. He’d alienated most of the people who he loved and realized that without his arm he wouldn’t be much of an archer. He decided it was best to go out this way instead and was vaporized in the explosion. His funeral was held and Conner shot an arrow into the air and when the arrow landed, that was where Ollie’s grave was marked, like Robin Hood of legend.
Now you may think that’s the end of our story for Oliver Queen but that’s only a good stopping point for what looks to be a part 1 of this spotlight. Ollie will return, but how and what does he do from there? Guess you’ll have to return for the next part to find out! See you then!