Retroactive: Green Arrow 1983 & The Punisher 1986

In Retroactive I’ll take you on a visual comic cover tour of the past covering all the covers for a particular series. Each entry will cover an entire year and I’ll always have one comic from DC and one comic from Marvel. At the end of each edition of Retroactive I’ll select my overall favourite cover for that year for each series. Below you’ll find the two series that I’m currently covering. Click on that specific logo to be instantly taken directly to that series. The last section is reserved for my Top Picks from each year. Click the logo or travel to the third page to view them.

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Green Arrow 1983green_arrow-logo___________________________________________________

The Punisher 1986punisherlogo________________________________________________________

My Favourite Coverstop_picks_logo

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6 thoughts on “Retroactive: Green Arrow 1983 & The Punisher 1986

  1. I really like Green Arrow # 3.
    Unlike many superheroes, both Green Arrow and the Punisher use weapons when they fight crime: Frank uses guns and Oliver uses arrows.
    The problem is that arrows are pretty much useless in a gunfight. Trying to defeat a bunch of armed crooks with a bow is like trying to win a swimming race with a broken leg.
    This means that Oliver constantly needs a deus ex machina to save the day. This is one of the reasons why I love him so much: because his comics usually are full of brilliant and unexpected stage tricks.
    Green Arrow # 3 points this out in a very effective way. Oliver apparently is teaming up with a gangster, and some other baddies are trying to fill them with lead: how could they escape from that alley without getting shot? Could they wait until their enemies are out of bullets? Could they hit those crooks and then escape while they’re licking their wounds? No matter which strategy they choose, in any case Green Arrow and his partner will need a big fat deus ex machina to come back home alive and kicking.
    I also love the perspective leaning to the right, the geometric pattern of the cover (notice that the building has been drawn by simply juxtaposing 3 perfectly parallel black stripes), the contrast between light colours and dark ones… yes, this cover definitely deserves the gold medal.
    As for Frank, Punisher # 1 was a no brainer choice for me. Last year I gave the gold medal to a cover (Daredevil # 124) mainly because it showed one of the most typical situations of dark comics: a gunfight in a murky blind alley. Punisher # 1 is not as beautiful as Daredevil # 124, but it shows exactly the same situation: to me, it’s more than enough to win the gold medal. : )

    • “I also love the perspective leaning to the right, the geometric pattern of the cover (notice that the building has been drawn by simply juxtaposing 3 perfectly parallel black stripes), the contrast between light colours and dark ones… yes, this cover definitely deserves the gold medal.”
      Well put. I’m a big fan of the perspective and the way that the arrows look like they are being shot right at us, as if they are going to leap off the page. Your synopsis as a whole is spot on and a great read. For me, keeping with the theme of bullets VS arrows, I give Issue #1 my runner-up award. Oliver with his back to the wall, a huge target behind him, a barrage of bullets being launched in his direction as he unleashes arrow after arrow to subdue his attackers. What a debut it is!

      “As for Frank, Punisher # 1 was a no brainer choice for me.”
      And this was my personal runner-up by far. I’m excited that this Punisher Retroactive will broaden my horizons on this character. Should be awesome.

      Thanks, as always, for providing your selections.

  2. I’ve collected a few issue of Green Arrow, but never really collected or followed the Punisher, so this new instalment of Retroactive is going to be very interesting for me. For Green Arrow I have to agree with your choice of cover, Green Arrow #2 is stunning, with GA suffering a “slight bout of Vertigo”, brilliant. For the Punisher I would choose Issue #4 with Punisher lurking outside and getting ready to attack the criminals inside. Its a very atmospheric cover, and I like how the light spills out from the window and cast deep shadows as the Punisher gets ready to strike. Excellent start to your new Retroactive feature!!

    • “I’ve collected a few issue of Green Arrow, but never really collected or followed the Punisher, so this new instalment of Retroactive is going to be very interesting for me.”
      I’ve collected a good amount of Green Arrow but my Punisher collection is pretty slim so we’ll be discovering the character together.

      “Its a very atmospheric cover, and I like how the light spills out from the window and cast deep shadows as the Punisher gets ready to strike.”
      A really solid choice. Every time I look at that cover I can’t help but look at that man wearing the sunglasses and get a real Stan Lee vibe off of him. Am I crazy?

      Thanks for sharing your choices!

      • I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Green Arrow covers. Yes, I though the same thing about the Punisher cover, the man inside the building wearing the glasses, very Stan Lee! Will be fun discovering all these Punisher covers!

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