"I wanna read about a guy for whom nocking and firing 10 arrows in 10 seconds is a breeze, but being a father to his children is mountains tougher."(or something like that).That's who Green Arrow is to me, and I love him for that.
But we shouldn't neglect to mention his past. This is a man who's been through a lot, and it's absolutely beautiful to see how he evolved as a character. Most superheroes, they have their origin that definitively changes who they are, and then that's it, but our guy Oliver here, he's had even more growth.
He was a playboy to whom glamour meant everything, to whom it was mere "fun" to have an Arrowcave and arrowcar.
He became a self-made man who learned to live by principles and morals.
He was the first person to swear at a JLA meeting. I ran into a great quote which read something like,
"Sometimes it seems like all these capes are good for are fighting OUTER-SPACE ALIEN INVASIONS."It spoke volumes about Ollie's need to bring superheroics to a pedestrian and down-to-earth level.
Yet he retained his irresponsibility and frivolity. That kinda stuff doesn't just go "poof" with a single trip to an island, you know. His "handling" of commitment was almost nil, as he was falling in lust here and there, hurting Dinah, the Black Canary, each and every step along the way.
Until he reached the inevitable: he became an illegitimate father to one Connor Hawke, which forced him to look at his life and try to redeem it all, from betraying Dinah's love to fathering his son.
Whether it's a bleeding heart liberal, a hopeless flirt, a striving father or a flat-out superhero, Ollie gets as layered as you can get.
(This is the part where I tell you something relevant right now:)
So WHY is it that his appearances in the DCU are inconsistent? WHY must you put him in French Guiana in Batman and the Outsiders #4 yet keep him in Star City marrying Dinah in Green Arrow/Black Canary #5? HOW can his mentality possibly be the same in both issues, and HOW can he appear in two issues in completely different mindsets?
For those not in the know, Dixon in Outsiders did NOT treat Ollie's characterization well. In said issue, Ollie irrationally judges Batgirl as a cold-blooded murderer and impetuously gets into a couple fights with her. Then he (this is the worst part) obeys Batman's command.
I'd expect this inconsistency of someone like Wolverine or Spidey, because they're so darn popular, but why Ollie? I know that I'm acting irrational; I know that I'm not being objective; I know that I'm taking a fannish idealistic point of view, but I'll be damned if I ever put my role of critic over my role of fan, because that just invalidates the fun of reading comics.
As a fan, it absolutely terrifies me to see Ollie in Star City mourning for his son. . . and then all of a sudden he's in French Guiana chucking arrows at Batgirl! It's as if one of my favorite characters is acting behind my back, living a second life separate from the one I'm reading!
. . . so WHY do you have to needlessly shoehorn Ollie into a book where the writer merely uses him as a plot point? He deserves more, dammit!
These are just my opinions. If you enjoyed Batman and the Outsiders #4, more power to you, and I'm not saying it's bad or anything. Irrational as they are, foolish as they are, I wouldn't have anyone else's opinions, and I will always respect yours (unless you think Loeb's Ultimates is a work of beauty.)
So, maybe to temper all this anger, this newsarama article says that Oliver was introduced into the book "for a very definite reason." Hm. Well, there you go.
And that is why Ollie is awesome, and how I think he should be awesome-er. If you have anything to say about this, feel free to speak up.