Comic Vine News


Interview: Jeff Lemire Talks GREEN ARROW

The SWEET TOOTH creator discusses his plans for GREEN ARROW starting in February with issue #17.

One of the series we are most looking forward to reading in the coming months has to be Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's takeover of GREEN ARROW. The two creators will be delivering a fresh take on DC's Emerald Archer starting with issue #17 on February 6th, 2013, and according to Lemire the pair have big plans for Oliver Queen for the long-term. We recently caught up with Lemire to discuss his plans for GREEN ARROW, how the project came about for him and much more.

No Caption Provided

Comic Vine: The release of the first issue of your GREEN ARROW series is set to hit stores on February 6th, is this a long time coming and how did you and Andrea Sorrentino sign on to do this series?

Jeff Lemire: I have been working on the book since July…At Comic-Con I had a couple of conversations with Dan DiDio about new projects and I explained to him that I really wanted to try to do a DC book that wasn't a horror book because I didn't want to get typecast as just doing horror stuff all the time as much as I love doing ANIMAL MAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and don't really plan on leaving those books any time soon, I really wanted to try to do a different kind of story as well and flex some different muscles. I had been suggested GREEN ARROW at the time and I kind of had to think about it, but, I realized it would be a really good opportunity for me to write a character that is set a little bit more at the center of the DC Universe and more in the main stream. But also he has more of an edge…kind of a crime-noir, street-level hero, like Daredevil and Batman that I can do some really gritty, dark stories with and have a lot of fun with.

Andrea seemed like a really great choice because his art reflects that so well…he uses so much dark and shadow and has a sort of gritty-noir feeling that I thought juxtaposing that with a traditional superhero character would create a really interesting look and I was right because the art has been really gorgeous so far.

== TEASER ==

CV: Is this a reboot or relaunch of this character, or will you be referencing the previous 16 issues?

JL: It's kind of a balancing act for me as a writer. I want this to be completely accessible to new readers, obviously, but at the same time I can't just throw away what's been done in the first 16 issues. So if I have done my job well, which I hope I have, it will read like a first issue but all the major and important bits of the first 16 issues will also be referenced and re-established in a hopefully accessible way. But I'm definitely taking a completely different tone and direction for the character, for sure.

CV: You've mentioned in a previous interview that you've taken some inspiration for this series from series like Mike Grell's GREEN ARROW run as well as Bendis' DAREDEVIL and Frank Miller's DAREDEVIL. What is it about these books that you like and what qualities do they have that you want to bring to your GREEN ARROW story?

No Caption Provided

JL: I think they all deal with a hero who has had everything taken away from him. I think they deal with a hero who has fallen completely and has to fight his way back up…fight his way to some sort of retribution…The best Daredevil stories were like that and I think Mike Grell's GREEN ARROW run was so strong because Grell took such a grounded approach to to the character. He [Grell] really made him a street-level kind of hero, doing away with the trick arrows and all the sort of silliness around the character. For me, that's the kind of thing that sort of interested me. I wanted to make him a hero of the people again, and something much more grounded in reality. I mean he's still a superhero, but I think when he's on his own he's a much more grounded and realistic character.

CV: You've mentioned before that initially you didn't feel very close to the character, so how has your personal relationship with GREEN ARROW evolved through writing him?

JL: I think what you're referencing is…I grew up reading DC comics and was a huge DC fan, but I never really gravitated toward Green Arrow's character, for whatever reason. So when I was first offered Green Arrow I kind of just stepped back and tried to figure out who he was and what about him interested me. For me, what I really liked about him was that he was this guy who had everything. He never had to work for anything he had, and then we kind of get to see what happens when a guy like that has all of that torn away and actually has to start from the ground up and figure out who he is supposed to be, especially when he has spent his whole life never having to worry about that. That really appealed to me, that kind of hero's quest for self-worth and self discovery and this never being able to live up to the legacy of his Father, and his struggle to find his own path in the world. These are all things that appealed to me about the character on an emotional level.

No Caption Provided

CV: You've mentioned that a "title needs to be strong on its own" before you start worrying about crossovers. Does that mean that the first few issues will stand alone? And I hate to ask how long before we see a crossover, but…

JL: Pre New-52, all the Green Arrow was so defined by his relationships with other characters; his relationship with Black Canary, his friendship with Hal Jordan, the animosity with Hawkman…these are the kinds of things people thought of when they thought of Green Arrow. I feel like he deserves to just sort of be redefined on his own terms without those preset ideas of who he is and his relationships with other characters…So I kind of want to leave other DC heroes out of it so if you want to see him interacting with the the bigger DC Universe you can see his interactions in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA whereas in my book I'll be dealing with the mythology around him and his world. I really want to keep that going for as long as I can and…I don't really have any interest in doing a BATMAN crossover…or any plans…

No Caption Provided

CV: You mentioned you'll be "stripping Oliver down in order to build him back up again." What do you plan on stripping Oliver of first?

JL: Well, there are a number of things. I have an Oliver Queen who is going to lose his business, his father's company will be completely destroyed and his connection to it…So he won't have any wealth or resources or the thing he had previously. What that also means, on a more emotional level, is that this legacy that his father left him is lost and he sort of feels responsible for it. So that's where we start. Then I want to dismantle his preconceived ideas of who his Dad was and what his past really was, and then I want to sew on this idea that his father wasn't really the man he thought he was, and that is just a much bigger history behind that. That's just sort of where we start off.

CV: Tell us more about Komodo, the new villain you're setting up in this series.

JL: It's tough to say too much without spoiling it because he's a character that's sort of shrouded in mystery right from the start, and I'm really playing with that, but…he's another archer whose skill level is clearly better than Oliver's. He's Oliver's physical better in every way when we open the series. He's someone who seems very specifically hell-bent on destroying Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. The reason for this started to come up…and it has something to do with Oliver's father…

What do you think of Jeff Lemire on GREEN ARROW? Do you like the current series or do you feel it needs a breath of fresh air? Let us know in the comments. GREEN ARROW #17 hits comic shops on February 6th, 2013.

Avatar image for soccersss
Posted By soccersss

I am excited to see how this goes

Avatar image for you_want_elvis
Posted By you_want_elvis



Avatar image for tim_mik
Posted By tim_mik
@Mr. Kamikaze I agree. So far Ollie has been most ruined character of New 52.
Avatar image for tim_mik
Posted By tim_mik

funny that Hawkeye and Green Arrow might end up as my favorite books.

Avatar image for saoakden
Posted By saoakden

Looking forward to reading the series.

Avatar image for redheadedatrocitus
Posted By RedheadedAtrocitus

Lemire has me at "balancing act" that he explains here. Its good that this can be treated almost like it would be a number one issue and yet still is giving nods to the first 16 issues regardless. Lemire's a great writer so I know this should be a great turnaround for this quite mediocre book.

Avatar image for saintwildcard
Posted By saintwildcard

I just recently dropped Green Arrow from my pull list, maybe I might pick it up if its new.

Avatar image for violetphoenix
Posted By VioletPhoenix

the art is stunning, cant wait to see it colored

Avatar image for redowl_1
Posted By RedOwl_1

I can't wait, Green Arrow will finally get what he deserves.

Avatar image for stumpy49er
Posted By stumpy49er

So excited about this. Thanks for posting this Babs!

Avatar image for chalkshark
Posted By chalkshark

Lemire says he's been working on Green Arrow since July. This means that DC was already casting about for a replacement by the time Nocenti's third issue, and the conclusion of her first story, hit the stands. I admit to not being terribly impressed with Nocenti's Green Arrow, but I think it's poor form to pull the rug out from under her, before she has a chance to find her footing. This idea that DC seems to have that if a book doesn't hit, and hit hard immediately, it's automatically a failure, is absurd. DC needs to cotton to the fact, quickly, that they have... maybe... four writers and three artists who can guarantee high sales for their titles. The rest of their line is going to need the consistency that comes with a steady creative team to build an audience.

Avatar image for xangel
Posted By Xangel

@Cavemold said:

jeff i wont get mad if yoy ingnore the past 16 foul issues

i don't think many will

Avatar image for xangel
Posted By Xangel

Oh i am so looking forward to it; and with these pages here I almost wish they'd do it as a B&W book!

Avatar image for MadeinBangladesh
Edited By MadeinBangladesh

I cant wait!!!!!!!!! lovin hawkeye right now and finally DC's arrowhead gonna shine also!!!!! Art is sooo good also

Avatar image for bunkerbuster05
Posted By bunkerbuster05

With Sorrentino on art, this is a definite pickup. His I, Vampire stuff was the best art of 2012, IMO.

Avatar image for catsnlynne
Posted By Catsnlynne

Green Arrow is on my pull list. Looking forward to seeing how the new writer writes him. But please no beard.

Avatar image for Mandrewgora
Posted By Mandrewgora

That cover.

Avatar image for citizenjp
Posted By CitizenJP

Can't wait for them to turn this series around. The last arc was soooo ZzZzZz.

Avatar image for spideycap
Posted By Spideycap

Can. Not. Wait. Seriously that art is great and Lemire already writes two of my favorite DC titles by far, AM and JLDark. Pair that with my interest in the new show and DC can count on my money for sure.

Avatar image for the_stegman
Posted By The Stegman

Wait, so Ollie's gonna go broke AGAIN?? Geez, he can't catch a break. But MAN, I can't wait for this title!!

Avatar image for millennium
Posted By millennium

dam cant wait for feb 6

Avatar image for tdk_1997
Posted By TDK_1997

Lemire is going to do a great job and I want him to give him back his beard.

Avatar image for themtvernonkid82
Posted By TheMtVernonKid82

This what I looking forward to I think Mr.Lemire will put Ollie back on the DC Spotlight. Hate to see Ollie get butchered around for the past issues.

Avatar image for herx
Posted By Herx

Well i only read the first volume of the Green Arrow TPB and my thoughts on that were "don't pick up volume 2". But now it seems like the series is going to become something interesting, and just in time for his debute in the new JLA title. Now this does harken one issue, that being that mister Lemires run on the series will most likely make me spend money on Green Arrow, which means having to part with more of my very scarce money. Curse thee Jeff Lemire!!!

Avatar image for kid_apollo
Posted By kid Apollo

@The_Tree: i think you meant to say, There arent enough super heroes with beards!

Avatar image for the_tree
Posted By the_tree

@doordoor123 said:

@The_Tree said:

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


There aren't many super heroes with beards...

Point being?

Avatar image for doordoor123
Posted By doordoor123

@The_Tree said:

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


There aren't many super heroes with beards...

Avatar image for mucklefluga
Posted By Mucklefluga

It just seems so much like the TV show Arrow.

I love Hawkeye and Green Arrow and i really love the fact we now have a more fun and funny Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and a more gritty Green Arrow book written by Jeff Lemire, It's so awesome!!

Avatar image for josedriveratcr7
Posted By JoseDRiveraTCR7

I'm not that much of a Green Arrow fan, at least not the comic version, but I'll give this a try because it's Lemire and because GA's Marvel counterpart, Hawkeye, has caused me to start liking similar characters.

Avatar image for smashbrawler
Posted By SmashBrawler

Oh, man. Sorrentino is a boss.

Avatar image for daredevil21134
Posted By daredevil21134

This guy should be writing Daredevil

Avatar image for the_tree
Posted By the_tree

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


Avatar image for cavemold
Posted By Cavemold

jeff i wont get mad if yoy ingnore the past 16 foul issues

Avatar image for sethysquare
Posted By sethysquare

@daredevil21134: nonono

Avatar image for daredevil21134
Posted By daredevil21134

Just give him back his beard

Avatar image for cavemold
Posted By Cavemold

wow 20x better art

Avatar image for azrael66
Posted By Azrael66

The art actually looks amazing.

Avatar image for br_havoc
Posted By BR_Havoc

Looks really interesting and I think it could be a huge success. Lemire's Animal Man has been epic but I have felt his JLD has been lackluster so here is hoping he is better suited writing single character books over team books.

Avatar image for kennybaese
Posted By kennybaese

I'm dropping single issues of Action Comics when Morrison leaves and I've been toying with the idea of putting this book in my pull to replace it. I think I'm convinced that I should.

Now I just have to decide if I want to keep Justice League and add Justice League of America or drop Justice League altogether in favor of something else. Maybe JLD... then I'd have three Lemire DC books in my pull.

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Posted By longbowhunter

This is literally a dream come true for me. My favorite character being written by my current favorite writer. Mike Grell's GA and Denny O'Neil's Question are two of my very favorite series from the 80's. I'm excited to see Jeff use those influences and do some much needed world building for Oliver. Haven't been this hyped for a Green Arrow book since Winick left.

Avatar image for sethysquare
Posted By sethysquare

@soulreaper31337 said:

Sounds like we wants a daredevil more then a green arrow but it still sounds like it will be good.

He also took inspirations from O'Neil's The Question and Mike Grell's Green Arrow. Because they're all street level characters and thats what he wants this book to be

Avatar image for sethysquare
Posted By sethysquare


This is priceless.

I love it so much, eat that Hawkeye.

Avatar image for shika1dude
Posted By Shika1Dude

ahhh man! I am too excited for this run to start ^_^

Avatar image for kennyquick
Posted By KennyQuick

So excited for this. Sorrentino has got to be the best artist out right now. His works is always amazing.

Avatar image for mr__kamikaze
Posted By Mr. Kamikaze

I cannot wait for Lemire to take over. Green Arrow has been pretty awful, only good things can come of this.

Avatar image for squalleon
Posted By Squalleon

I am gonna pick this series up! :'-) so happy!

Avatar image for soulreaper31337
Posted By soulreaper31337

Sounds like we wants a daredevil more then a green arrow but it still sounds like it will be good.

Avatar image for xtremekidx
Posted By xtremekidx

this issue is gonna rock so hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!! damn,march is gonna be crazy!