Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hidden Gems: Jack Kirby's Green Arrow

This volume is a bit too slim to review as a Trade Paperback, so I thought it fit in best as a Hidden Gem. Back in 2001, DC put out this inexpensive ($5.95) collection of Jack Kirby's little seen work 8 Green Arrow stories that originally appeared as back-ups in Adventure Comics and World's Finest in the late 50s. It features a terrific Mark Evanier penned introduction in which we learn that even the King himself had a tough time finding enough work to keep himself busy. This stuff is about as far from The Longbow Hunters as you can get, but it's a lot of fun as you get to see Green Arrows from around the world (as well as from another world), a mechanical octopus and an one of those islands populated by out of touch Japanese soldiers. I actually received my copy of this book from one-time Green Arrow artist Alex Saviuk, who was kind enough to slip it in with a package of artwork I'd purchased from him. If you like Kirby's work on those early Challengers of the Unknown stories, you will likely enjoy this book. It's also a much more affordable way of reading them than tracking down those original issues.

4 comments:

Man of Bronze said...

Jack Kirby isn't the King for nothing. Green Arrow wasn't his best work, but it is still a good fun read. These reminded me a lot of his CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN he did about the same time. 50's DC was just pure imaginative fun, I wish they would reprint more stuff from this era.

There is a new Jack Kirby Omnibus HC coming out later this year from DC that will reprint the Kirby Green Arrow. Since those 8 short stories are far from enough to fill up a "Omnibus" type of book, I'm hoping for a all of Kirby's 50's work at DC, mostly from MY GREATEST ADVENTURE and a few from other DC awesome anthology books they had back then.

Ray "!!" Tomczak said...

Its also worth mentioning that one of the final stories in this book, "Green Arrow's First Case," established a new origin for the Emerald Archer. The story of Ollie falling off a boat, washing up on an island and teaching himself archery skills to survive is, with a few tweaks and updates through the years, the origin that we know today.

Superhero Legacy said...

And I believe, Mr. Tomczak, that that is where the story of Oliver Queen from the show Smallville originated from. I think it's funny how they just pluck out stories here and there from the comics to use in that show...

Scott M said...

That scattered Kirby stuff from the late 50s would be great to see collected, as it is very tough to track down. I'd also like to see his late 50s/early 60s war stuff for Marvel collected (throw in the Charlton war stuff, too please)