Interview: Jeff Lemire Talks GREEN ARROW

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Posted by No_Name_ (16193 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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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?

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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.

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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…

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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.

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#1 Posted by xtremekidx (590 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#2 Posted by soulreaper31337 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#3 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#4 Posted by Mr. Kamikaze (834 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#5 Posted by KennyQuick (205 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#6 Posted by Shika1Dude (125 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#7 Posted by sethysquare (3965 posts) - - Show Bio


This is priceless.

I love it so much, eat that Hawkeye.

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#8 Posted by sethysquare (3965 posts) - - Show Bio

@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

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#9 Posted by longbowhunter (9425 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#10 Posted by kennybaese (1241 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#11 Posted by BR_Havoc (1756 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#12 Posted by Azrael66 (278 posts) - - Show Bio

The art actually looks amazing.

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#13 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

wow 20x better art

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#14 Posted by daredevil21134 (15939 posts) - - Show Bio

Just give him back his beard

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#15 Posted by sethysquare (3965 posts) - - Show Bio

@daredevil21134: nonono

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#16 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#17 Posted by the_tree (8456 posts) - - Show Bio

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


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#18 Posted by daredevil21134 (15939 posts) - - Show Bio

This guy should be writing Daredevil

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#19 Posted by SmashBrawler (6033 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, man. Sorrentino is a boss.

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#20 Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7 (1020 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#21 Posted by Mucklefluga (2653 posts) - - Show Bio

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!!

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#22 Posted by doordoor123 (3817 posts) - - Show Bio

@The_Tree said:

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


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

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#23 Posted by the_tree (8456 posts) - - Show Bio

@doordoor123 said:

@The_Tree said:

@daredevil21134 said:

Just give him back his beard


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

Point being?

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#24 Posted by kid Apollo (961 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#25 Posted by Herx (531 posts) - - Show Bio

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!!!

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#26 Posted by TheMtVernonKid82 (61 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#27 Posted by TDK_1997 (18915 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#28 Posted by millennium (214 posts) - - Show Bio

dam cant wait for feb 6

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#29 Posted by the_stegman (40390 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#30 Posted by Spideycap (328 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#31 Posted by CitizenJP (782 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#32 Posted by Mandrewgora (304 posts) - - Show Bio

That cover.

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#33 Posted by Catsnlynne (1189 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#34 Posted by bunkerbuster05 (320 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#35 Edited by MadeinBangladesh (12493 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#36 Posted by Xangel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

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!

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#37 Posted by Xangel (109 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cavemold said:

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

i don't think many will

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#39 Posted by chalkshark (1271 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#40 Posted by stumpy49er (2351 posts) - - Show Bio

So excited about this. Thanks for posting this Babs!

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#41 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1743 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#42 Posted by VioletPhoenix (380 posts) - - Show Bio

the art is stunning, cant wait to see it colored

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#43 Posted by SaintWildcard (22044 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#44 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

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#45 Posted by saoakden (1284 posts) - - Show Bio

Looking forward to reading the series.

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#46 Posted by tim_mik (137 posts) - - Show Bio

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

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#47 Posted by tim_mik (137 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mr. Kamikaze I agree. So far Ollie has been most ruined character of New 52.
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#48 Posted by you_want_elvis (24 posts) - - Show Bio



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#49 Posted by soccersss (561 posts) - - Show Bio

I am excited to see how this goes

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