Phil Hester Tackles a Different Ollie Queen in the ‘Flash: Season Zero’ Crossover with ‘Arrow’ [Interview/Preview]
We've already seen Arrow and The Flash cross paths a few times on their respective TV shows; now they'll meet up again in the tie-in next week's installment of the DC Digital comic series The Flash: Season Zero, from writers Lauren Certo, Andrew Kreisberg, and Kai Wu, and artists Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, and Kelsey Shannon.
This is not Hester's first time drawing a version of Ollie Queen, aka Arrow on the screen and Green Arrow in the DC comics universe. Hester and Ande Parks were the celebrated art team on Kevin Smith's Green Arrow run of the early 2000s. We spoke to Hester to learn what it was like to take on such a different take on such a familiar character, and DC provided us with an exclusive preview of the creative team's Arrow leaping into action.
"Felicity Smoak is sort of the main bridge between the shows and in this story," Hester told us. "The Flash needs some info from Green Arrow --- I will always call him Green Arrow --- that he probably could've heard straight from Felicity. But since this is comics we need to have the two titular heroes team up to beat some lowlifes on panel. Thank God, because that's more fun to draw.
"There's also a larger element, which is the Suicide Squad starting to encroach on Central City. Ollie tries to warn Barry to stay out of their way, but, well --- that doesn't make for much of a story, does it?"
So what was it like for him to come back to Ollie after so long away, and especially an Ollie that isn't exactly his Ollie?
"It's almost like taking on a completely different character. When I drew Green Arrow, our take was a throwback to the Neal Adams Robin Hood look. The TV show wisely opted for more of a Mike Grell era hood, which I also dig. So, for me, it's like a chance to draw that Grell version, which is fun.
"Oddly, the TV version is a more comics-friendly costume than the New 52 GA. That business looks hard to draw."
As for meeting the unique challenge of bringing live action actors to life on the comics page, Hester won't be going for an exact likeness, partly because he doesn't have to and partly because it isn't his strongest area.
"Oh, I'm terrible at it (laughs). I mean, we're not supposed to do likenesses per se, but the characters have to stay in the spirit of the actors, so there is some element of caricature to the work, which is both fun and challenging.
"The main issue for me is the costume. I started at DC 20+ years ago drawing a Flash annual, so that classic costume lives in my head. Also, when we started on the book we had only seen a few stills of the TV suit, so I was always fudging. I swear, every time I see the show I spot another detail I have messed up in the book. So, as my sainted editor Alex Antone can attest, I'm always backsliding toward drawing 'real' Flash. I think I'll have it figured out by my last issue."
The Flash: Season Zero Chapter 15 will be available for download on Monday via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, and iVerse ComicsPlus. Here's how DC describes the issue:
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