For most of his history, Green Arrow was never quite an A-lister among DC heroes. In the Golden Age, he was in the Seven Soldiers of Victory rather than the Justice Society. He was a part of the Justice League in the Silver Age, but not a founding member. Like Aquaman, he survived the 1950s only because he was a backup character and nobody paid him much attention.

To begin with, Green Arrow was basically just Batman with the aesthetics of Robin Hood pasted on top. Millionaire playboy Oliver Queen and his young ward Roy Harper rush off to the Arrow Cave, where they take off in the Arrowcar or the Arrowplane to fight crime Green Arrow and Speedy. Instead of a utility belt full of gadgets, Green Arrow has a quiver full of trick arrows.

Over time, the two characters grew apart. As Batman became a more serious detective, Green Arrow became something of a social justice activist. He also grew a beard, stopped being a millionaire, and traveled the country in a pickup truck with his best friend Hal. It was all very late ‘60s/early ‘70s. While Robin went off to a good college, Speedy became a heroin addict. While Batman flirted with supervillains, Green Arrow developed a longterm romantic partnership with another superhero, Black Canary.

But in the end, Green Arrow’s superficial resemblance to Batman worked out in his favor. Smallville couldn't get the rights to include a young Batman, so they replaced him with Green Arrow, and he ended up becoming one of the most popular aspects of the show. After Smallville ended, a different version of Green Arrow was given his own live action show, Arrow, which wore it’s Bat-influence on its sleeve particularly in the first season, and which is now going strong in its fifth season. So while it helps to stand out and be your own hero, it turns out that being Batman-adjacent doesn’t hurt either.

In celebration of that fifth season of Arrow, we've collected some great fan art of Oliver Queen. Some of it is of the TV version, some is even of the previous Smallville TV version, and plenty more is inspired by the comics. Black Canary, Speedy, and even Aquaman make guest appearances, but at the end of the day this gallery, like the character it spotlights, is about one man with a bow and arrow.



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