Friday, March 23, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Thoughtful analysis of important cultural issues."

Yoour Top DC Heroes part 53

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, February 03 2010 and posted in Features
Who didn't make the Top 5? Find out here.


7. Ollie Queen (297 points - 11 first place slots)

olliequeen.jpg"Ollie is my favorite character in comics. The first issue I ever bought from the big 2 was Green Arrow vol. 2 #22 with Ollie back on his island again. This book was probably the reason I read a hell of a lot more DC than Marvel. Currently standing 30-4.

You got to love the costume and his whole liberal rebel personality. He kicks ass but then again he totally messes up his love life. Can't seem to keep his pants on .He is one lucky bastard married to Dinah Lance. His soul mate that he has let down so many times but she stands by her man. Always for some reason think it's cool when Canary always refers to Ollie as babe."

"He's a hippie Robin Hood, who's also a billionaire and has one of the most kickass beard/mustache combos ever. There's no way he should be nearly as awesome as he is, but he is. There were a lot of folks fighting for this spot on my list, but in the end I couldn't leave Ollie off."

"Again, Grell is the one that made me a GA fan. However, while I didn't necessarily like all of the various treatments we saw across the DCU of BC, GA remained awesome. I loved the Chuck Dixon stuff, the Kelley Puckett stuff, etc. I even liked the Winick stuff. It seems like most creators have a great understanding/respect of Ollie's character, as I'm hard pressed to think of a "bad" interpretation off the top of my head. Though I'm sure someone will point one out for me "

"Everyone loves a rebel"

"Oliver Queen is simply one of the very best characters in the DC universe."

"How can you not vote some someone with a boxing glove arrow head? Seriously people, that is awesome."

"I fell in love with this guy on the JLU cartoon, and went back to find old stories of him (mainly the Grell stuff) and wow, it blew my mind."

I pretty much had the same feelings about Ollie here as the person I quoted. I really was indifferent to Ollie until I started watching the JLU cartoon and well, now I am one of his biggest fans. I went out to find old stories and everything on this character, and he started out as a Batman rip-off with the all the cars and such and then they made him into something deeper. Welcome to the Top 10, Ollie. You deserve it.

When millionaire Oliver Queen fell overboard from a yacht, he was washed up on a deserted island where he was forced to learn how to hunt with a bow and arrow in order to survive. He eventually escaped from the island by overpowering some drug smugglers and handing them over to the authorities. Changed by his experiences, he decided to give something back to society, in as exciting a way as possible - becoming a crime-fighter, using his archery skills for good.

With a nickname coined by the press, Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy made it their mission to protect Star City. He took his cue from Batman and built his own "Arrow Cave," complete with an "Arrow Car" and allegedly a yellow submarine. He and Speedy fought with trick arrows that were designed to be non-lethal. Green Arrow joined the Justice League of America and soon fell in love with member Black Canary (even though he was almost twice her age). Unbeknownst to the rest of the League members, in the early days Queen was one of the major financial backers of the team. He was also the only one that objected when the team relocated to a space station in orbit, feeling that they were too far removed from the people they were meant to protect. In the ensuing year after losing his fortune, Ollie traveled the country with Green Lantern Hal Jordan while his left-behind ward dabbled with drugs that caused the two to go their separate ways.

While Ollie was on the team and they were located in their Satellite base, the events alluded to in Identity Crisis transpired, although he eventually left the team during this era following the example of Black Lightning, who turned down membership to the group due to similar concerns.

After being together for years, Ollie and Dinah relocated to Seattle and opened a floral shop. Ollie, about to turn 43, was having a bit of a midlife crisis. He wanted her to marry him and to have children, citing that Roy was "not technically" his son, nor was Lian technically his granddaughter, but Dinah objected, citing their career as superheroes as being too dangerous to go to that level. Dinah's warning would become a premonition when she was kidnapped and brutally tortured by sadistic criminal not long after their arrival (Dinah had been investigating drug trafficking undercover when she was found out). When Arrow found her tied up and brutally tortured, his rage led him to shoot the killer--only the second person Ollie had ever killed, and the first under these circumstances. Dinah's injuries were extensive--she lost her "canary cry" and was subsequently found to be unable to bear children. This marked a major turning point in Ollie's life.

Green Arrow patrolled the streets of Seattle, no longer using the trick arrows for which he was so famed, but resorting to normal bodkin and arrow headed ones. He tried not to kill when he could help it. Early on, he met a Ninja assassin named Shado. When Ollie was injured and being cared for by Shado, she proceeded to rape him while he was unconscious, conceiving a son she would name Robert. When Ollie found out about the son, Shado made it clear that he would have nothing to do with the child. It also caused a rift between Ollie and Dinah, since she despaired at not being able to give Ollie the one thing he had always truly wanted (not withstanding Roy and Liam).

After many adventures around the globe, Ollie and Dinah began to grow more distant, resulting in her breaking up with him after she caught him kissing their assistant.

With the departure of Mike Grell, Green Arrow was brought back more in line with traditional DC superheroes (although he still used real arrows, not trick ones). Ollie traveled for some time, running into Huntress, Catwoman, and even Deathstroke before being called to act for Zero Hour. Ollie refused to believe that Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), his oldest and closest friend, had indeed become the murderous Parallax. Ollie initially refused to fight against Hal, until the full depth of the former Green Lantern's madness became all too clear. In the final battle, Ollie shot Hal in the chest, being the crucial attack that stopped Parallax and saved the universe. Ollie was distraught, however, at the thought of having killed one of his best friends.

Coping with his loss, Ollie withdrew to an ashram where he had spent some time earlier in life. There he met Connor Hawke, a young man who was also a skilled archer, and who would soon turn out to be Ollie's illegitimate son from a romance that predated his relationship with Black Canary (Ollie didn't know for sure that it was his son until Hal Jordan turned up, still crazy, but attempting to reconcile with Ollie). Connor joined his father and left the ashram for more adventures. On one such case, while stopping a militant group called the Eden Corps from leveling Metropolis, Oliver Queen was killed in an airplane explosion that even Superman failed to prevent. After Queen's death, Connor Hawke, the son whom he had barely known, picked up the bow and continued the good fight as the second Green Arrow.

This wasn't Oliver's end, however, as Hal Jordan (during his time as the Spectre) returned to save the earth during the Final Night and used his godlike powers to bring his old friend back from the dead. Unfortunately, the reanimated hero was an empty vessel with no soul, whose memories were replicated from his earlier days when he had a stronger liberal conscience. Ollie's more experienced soul remained in a Heaven-like place for a time, until it was reunited with his body in order to defeat an evil warlock named Stanley Dover. Now, the original Green Arrow was back in action with a rare second chance at life to make up for previous mistakes with his loved ones, all while renewing his vows to be a defender of the downtrodden.

With the death of Stanley Dover, Ollie inherited Dover's estate. He renovated it, and established it as the Star City Youth Center. During this time, Ollie rescued fifteen-year-old Mia Dearden from a life of drugs and prostitution. He took her into his confidence, and into his home. Mia developed a crush on Oliver, and began emulating his actions. She even began training with a bow and arrow. Eventually, her extensive training paid off, and she became the new Speedy.

During the Infinite Crisis, Ollie was engaging in a duel with Merlyn when Doctor Light (Arthur Light) triggered massive explosions. Critically injured by the attack, Ollie (along with Connor and Mia) relocated to the Marshall Islands where they remained in convalescence for several months. Once healed from his injuries, Oliver spent a fortune to hire the world’s foremost martial arts masters to come to the island. Over the course of many weeks, Ollie trained under the masters' tutelage until he was in peak physical condition. He further hired an assassin named Natas (the man who trained Deathstroke) to mentor him in the killing arts – a decision met with great enmity by his son, Connor. During this period, Ollie met a political campaign advisor named Frederick Tuckman. As Tuckman detailed the state of affairs in Star City, Ollie decided to take his fight in an entirely new direction.

One Year Later, Oliver Queen is the newly elected mayor of Star City, continuing his fight on the streets and through the system. He also has a new costume, which appears to be a combination of the classic Neal Adams costume and the Mike Grell Longbow Hunters costume. At the onset, it seems Mayor Queen is most interested in the "shock value" of his office, although his controversial decisions and statements are actually meant to draw attention to and benefit the devastated Star City. He uses an open interpretation of the town charter to perform same-sex marriages in Star City as both a political statement and a way to boost the local tourist economy. He also exercises the power of his office to do things such as blackmail corrupt businessmen, or have the Star City SWAT unit back up his actions as Green Arrow while publicly condemning his alter ego. (He also used his connections to enable his longtime friend and former lover Black Canary to bring a young Vietnamese girl, Sin, into the country to be raised by Canary.)

During the year long hiatus, Queen also amassed a quite large personal fortune by manipulating stocks of companies he sees as unscrupulous. While never stated outright, it appears Oliver Queen is now worth billions. The former gangster Brick now fights crime in Star City and allies himself with Green Arrow, although he evidently still traffics in drugs and prostitution.

Before long however, Ollie faced problems from opponents who wore business suits as well as costumes. Deathstroke the Terminator, having been incarcerated at Alcatraz Island after a fight with Green Arrow, conspired with fellow inmate Constantine Drakon and Star City police commissioner Brian Nudocerdo to ruin Ollie politically.

Following the battle with Deathstroke and his subsequent imprisonment, Green Arrow began a battle with Red Hood (Jason Todd) that lead him to ally himself with Batman. Brick's friendship with Queen was short-lived as well, as it appeared that he has sided with Todd. The Green Arrow defeated Jason in a sword fight, however Jason escaped and kidnapped Speedy.

Brian Nudocerdo publicly revealed that Queen had been secretly financing the Outsiders – a team whose actions at the time were ethically questionable and tantamount to terrorism. In light of these facts, Nudocerdo demanded a recall election and cast his hat into the ring as Ollie's mayoral replacement. Queen had little defense against the charges. It was true that he had been financing the Outsiders, but his motives were so that the group would be financially stable enough to enable his former protégé, Roy Harper, to leave the team and join the Justice League. In a private conversation with Hal Jordan, Oliver admitted that he missed the League "every damn day", but that he understood that Roy needed to be a member more than he did.

In the midst of political scandal, Oliver Queen reignited his love affair with longtime paramour, Dinah Laurel Lance. After successfully fending off an attack by Deathstroke and Constantine Drakon, Ollie asked Dinah to marry him, but she was not prepared to give him an immediate answer.

Shortly thereafter, Ollie and Speedy helped Black Canary when Merlyn abducted Canary's "daughter" Sin. To save Sin's life, Ollie was forced to fake the young girl's death, keeping the knowledge of the plan between himself and Mia, even at the risk of losing Dinah forever. After Sin was placed into safekeeping, Ollie told Dinah what he had done. Recognizing that he was willing to sacrifice his own happiness to save a life, Dinah finally agreed to marry him.

After a great deal of compromise and strife, Ollie and Dinah agreed to get married inside the Secret Sanctuary, the original cave headquarters of the Justice League of America. Wedding guests included nearly everyone within the super-hero community who were asked to attend the ceremony in-costume. The wedding was interrupted by a phalanx of super-villains who attempted to take out as many heroes as possible in one fell swoop. Nearly all of the villains were apprehended except for Deathstroke who managed to escape. Despite the interruption, the ceremony concluded and Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance were married.

6. Wonder Woman (442 points - 8 first place slots)

wonderwoman.jpg"I'm probably more of a fan of the mythology which compiles her as opposed to the actual character, but the potential that surrounds Wonder Woman has me perpetually keeping my eye on her."

"Screw all the haters, this lady is awesome. She's an ass kicking, peace loving, lasso throwing, animal talking, Greek god serving, diplomacy doing, well you get the idea. A woman of many talents and a lot of depth. She is very underrated."

"She's hot. It seemed right that she be on this list, but there are only a handful of comics starring her that stand out to me. She's better handled as a supporting character in JLA issues or in other media (the justice league cartoon stands out). Anyway, she's clocking in at #10 cause her comic has rarely been great."

"Hot + Greek Mythology + Power house = Me like."

"I've loved her even before I started buying her monthly series. Diana just hit a note with me and continues to do so to this day. While I've found redeeming aspects of all of her various interpretations, I find I'm partial to creative visions that aren't always her most popular i.e. William Messner-Loebs and Eric Luke's respective runs. I rank them right up there with the modern classics Greg Rucka and Gail Simone have written."

" ...All the world is waiting for you and the power you possess. In your satin tights fighting for your rights and the old red, white and bluuuue....."

"The accessories make the woman."

The first of the Trinity to appear, and I am not surprised either. Personally, I am not a fan. I never really saw the appeal in her, though I did enjoy her on the JLU cartoon but could never in the comics. I dunno, they made her more of a warrior rather then super hero in the cartoon but not that way in the comics. I picked up a Rucka trade and a Perez trade, but I dunno. Could never just get into it. Oh well, congrats I guess.

Born in Themyscira on the island of Paradise Island, she was the daughter to Queen Hippolyta. When the Greek goddesses created the Amazons, all the souls of women killed by male violence were given rebirth as Amazons from the clay at the bottom of the Red Sea, save one, which stayed in Gaea's Womb for thousands of years. After their exile to Themyscira, Hippolyta found herself wishing for a child. She was instructed to mold some clay into a baby girl and Diana was blessed and granted powers of the Gods. She was given beauty and a kind heart from Aphrodite, wisdom from Athena, strength and power from Demeter, hunting instincts and communication with animals from Artemis, and speed and flight from Hermes. When she was a young woman, she spotted a 'metal bird', in reality, the plane of pilot Steve Trevor, whose co pilot had been possessed by Ares and was seeking to crash the plane into Themyscira, killing the Amazons. Diana rescued Steve, and the gods decided that there should be an emissary and Hippolyta held a contest to choose the woman who would travel from Themyscira. Hippolyta forbade Diana to compete, but she did so anyway, won easily and became the emissary to the outside world. She was given a costume based on the army patches of Diana Rockwell Trevor, who had crash landed on Themyscira decades earlier and saved the Amazons during a battle with an escaped creature from Doom's Doorway. Diana has also given up the mantle of Wonder Woman a few times to fellow Amazon Artemis, mother Hippolyta, and Donna Troy (more of that below).

Before traveling to Man's World, she was given some items. She was given the Lasso of Truth and the Sandals of Hermes, which allowed her to travel places in a snap. Her mission was to study the people living on Man's World and defeat Ares and bring peace. Upon arriving in America, she fought against injustice and met Harvard professor Dr. Julia Kapatelis and daughter Vanessa Kapatelis as well as Steve Trevor and Etta Candy who were both Air Force officers. Living with Julia and Vanessa, she swiftly learned to speak English. Diana was given her name, Wonder Woman, when Decay, one of Ares' minions attacked her, and the fight came onto the streets. A reporter coined the name based on the emblem on her chest. Discovering Ares' plan to create a nuclear holocaust, she showed him what would happen, not just to the mortals, but to the Gods who need their worship, with the Lasso of Truth. Ares, humbled, returned to his home dimension. Sorely injured Diana returned to Themyscira where the island and Amazon medicine healed her.

She returned to Boston and worked with a woman called Myndi Mayer to show that Wonder Woman was here to protect. She spent months doing interviews around the world when she met most of the Justice Leaguers. There she met Superman and was completely infatuated with him. (Diana's mother, Hippolyta, actually joined the Justice Society Of America when, in Diana's future, Hippolyta traveled back in time as Wonder Woman). With Wonder Woman's touring, she caught the attention of Cheetah who wanted to steal the Lasso of Truth off Wonder Woman. She told Wonder Woman that she found the lost Girdle of Antiope, but once Cheetah grabbed the Lasso, her true intentions were revealed.

She returned home once again and the gods were satisfied with her work. Zeus however was more than satisfied with her work, and offered to make her a goddess if she would agree to sleep with him. Diana refused and she was given the Challenge of the Gods. She was ordered to retrieve his fondest treasure. Hippolyta was not happy, but she could do nothing about it. In the deepest pits of Paradise Island, she met Diana Trevor who was the mother of Steve Trevor. Diana Trevor revealed that she had helped the Amazons of Themyscira and died during battle. Wonder Woman discovered that she was named after her and also the origin of her costume. Hippolyta found Wonder Woman however, and they embarked on the quest together. Together they find Hercules, turned into stone. They bring him back to the surface. With thousands of years of punishment on his shoulders, he begged to be forgiven with what happened to him and the Amazons. The Amazons forgave, a celebration was held and the gods were happy with Diana. She returned to Man's World to continue her mission.

Once she returned, Myndi Mayer set up another interview. The Silver Swan turned up and both battled but did not defeat her. She stayed once again with Vanessa. Wonder Woman found herself thinking about Superman more and more and asked Myndi to set up a date between the two. On their date the two battled against Darkseid and freed Olympus. Afterwards, they both decided it was best to remain friends. Wonder Woman knows of Superman's dual identity and he trusts her enough. Wonder Woman is also one of the few who call him "Kal."

The gods decided it was time for a vacation (or "cosmic migration" as they like to call it), but Diana decided to go to Greece and discover the past of her ancient people. There she met Julia Kapatelis' parents, but had a strange feeling towards one of the smaller islands near Greece. It turns out that Circe lived on one of the islands and sent her minions to capture Diana and bring her to Circe. Circe revealed that she killed Hippolyta's sister, Antiope and the prophecy of Hecate. Circe was about to use a spell that would bring Diana back to her clay form, but Hermes came just in time to save her.

Wonder Woman returned to Boston to learn that Myndi Mayer had been murdered at her home. Steve London was framed for the murder, but Wonder Woman discovered that it was Skeeter Boyd who did the deed. He died trying to escape Wonder Woman by climbing over a fence and was electrocuted. She later learned that she overdosed on alcohol and cocaine before Boyd shot her.

The gods summoned Diana, Hippolyta and Menalippe to destroy the rest of Olympus, which was almost done by Darkseid. It was time for Olympus to completely rebuild itself. They were able to do what they wanted to, and they also voted if men and outsiders would be allowed to come onto their island. They voted yes, and Diana invited Julia and Vanessa to be the first guests there.


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