Retroactive: Green Arrow 1997 & The Punisher 1996

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My Favourite Covers

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Okay, so our journey through the past is complete for this week but which covers reign supreme?

For Green Arrow, the crown goes to: Green Arrow Vol. 2 #121. This was a very difficult year for me to select just one Green Arrow cover though in the end this one emerged with the title. It is a cover that is both horrifying and creepy at the same time, a cover that uses shadows to great effect, and a cover that truly challenges us to unlock more about its mysteries. Here we have Connor Hawke descending some steps down into a pool of blood, skeletal remains bobbing to the surface, hot steam emanating from it almost like it is a twisted version of a hot tub. In the background, the Green Arrow title, bends and twists to conform to the circular steps, all the while ominous blood spatters are splashed across it, leading down to the horrific whirlpool of death. The colouring is exemplary as the reds and the shadows play off of our hero creating a truly terrific and haunting shot as he makes his way though the liquid carnage. What is this place? Who do those skeletons belong to? And why in the world is Connor deciding to go into that bloody pool to begin with? Questions, questions, questions, and the only way we can discover the answers is run out and purchase the book, the hallmark of a truly griping cover indeed.
gav2121


 For the Punisher, the title goes to: The Punisher Vol. 3 #6. The Punisher stands at the ready, gun held high, arm outstretched to establish he is protecting this young women who is gripping it with both hands, scared at the oncoming threat. To the right we see this individual that evokes such terror, clouded in shadows, huge, muscular, wires popping out his head, and giant gun in his other hand. That caption sums this encounter up perfectly: “One man with a gun–VS. Firefox — Living Arsenal — Guess who wins.” Regardless of Frank Castle’s obvious underdog status, this does not deter him from going face-to-face with this foe, to put his life on the line to protect this woman all while showcasing not an air of trepidation but an aura of intensity and defiance. Getting one look at this cover and we are guaranteed that its contents are going to contain one hell of a fight which only makes us want to pick up the issue for ourselves even more.
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So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

8 thoughts on “Retroactive: Green Arrow 1997 & The Punisher 1996

  1. I really like Green Arrow # 120.
    Connor’s body swathed in shadows and the wonderful starry sky behind him are 2 details that instantly won me over.
    And then I looked under Green Arrow’s feet, and I noticed that he’s in a jungle: it’s a very unusual setting for a 100 % urban superhero like the Emerald Archer, so I really appreciated it.
    Another unusual element of this cover is the main title, because it’s at the end of the cover instead of being at the top. I also appreciate the leaves partially covering some letters, because I love when the title becomes part of the image.
    As for Frank, I pick Punisher # 14. Frank shooting compulsively with gnashing teeth, lots of empty cartridge cases flying all over him, a huge fire broken out right behind his shoulders and underlined by the powerful tagline “The Flames of Hatred”… not to mention the giant villain being next to Frank: in the previous cover that masked man was about to strangle the Punisher, so this image makes you wonder what could have turned him from foe to friend in such a short time.
    P.S.: This week – end I read TONS of comic books. I’ll give you the list:

    Superman: Lois Lane # 1
    Terminator: Enemy of my enemy # 2
    Daredevil # 30 – 31
    Thunderbolts # 14
    Gotham Knights # 50 – 55
    Superboy # 20 – 23
    Teen Titans # 23
    Batman: Arkham Unhinged # 11
    Justice League of America’s Vibe # 5 – 10
    Batman: Arkham Unhinged # 14
    Superman # 482
    Action Comics # 669
    Superman # 481
    Wolverine # 103
    Wolverine # 106
    Wolverine # 110 – 112
    Superman: Secret Origin # 1 – 5

    Apart from Superman: Lois Lane # 1 and Batman: Arkham Unhinged # 11, all the comics I just listed are pure awesomeness. It will be really, really hard to give the gold medal for the best read of May.

    • “I really like Green Arrow # 120.”
      I agree wholeheartedly. This was one of the covers that very nearly captured the first place prize for me for all the reasons that you listed. Special mention as well to #116 (a dynamic cover that clearly establishes which country the action is taking place) and #126 (Connor…with a Green Lantern ring?).

      “As for Frank, I pick Punisher # 14.”
      I can’t place my finger on it but that villain reminds me of some other character. Regardless, I would have to award my runner-up to #13: Frank in trouble, a huge villain strangling him from behind, two characters that take up the majority of the cover giving us a claustrophobic atmosphere? Yeah, this cover has a lot of things going for it.

      “It will be really, really hard to give the gold medal for the best read of May.”
      Wow, that is quite a lot of titles for you to read so early in the month. Who would you say is currently in the lead?

      Also, I hope that your job interview went well on Monday! 🙂

      Thanks, as always, for providing your selections.

      • “Who would you say is currently in the lead?”
        Bronze medal: Wolverine # 112
        Silver medal: Teen Titans # 23
        Gold medal: Superboy # 22
        Special mention for the Superman: Secret Origin issues.
        “Also, I hope that your job interview went well on Monday!” The publisher decided to postpone it to next week. It’s not a good sign, and we definitely started off on the wrong foot.
        “Thanks, as always, for providing your selections.” Thank you as well for your reply! : )

        • “Gold medal: Superboy # 22”
          Wow I was not expecting that. Is this the New 52 series of Superboy? What has made it take the 1st place crown so far?

          “The publisher decided to postpone it to next week. It’s not a good sign, and we definitely started off on the wrong foot.”
          At least he is still interested. Perhaps it will all work out in the end and this will be a bumpy start to a beneficial working relationship?

          • “Wow I was not expecting that. Is this the New 52 series of Superboy? What has made it take the 1st place crown so far?” Yes, it is the New 52 series of Superboy. I liked that issue so much because it took place in a high school, which is one of my favorite settings in superhero comics.
            I would like to make a special mention also for Terminator: Enemy of my enemy # 2. I didn’t like the first issue very much, because the plot was too complicated; the second one, on the contrary, was a very, very nice read.
            Also, today I read my first Deadpool comics. I bought an italian comic book collecting Deadpool # 7 – 8, because I love inventory issues and I had read lots of marvellous reviews of Deadpool # 7. Well, I’m happy to announce you that I liked both the issues I read. I don’t like the character as much as I like Green Arrow or the Punisher, for example, but those issues definitely deserved the money I spent for them.
            “At least he is still interested.” The publisher is actually a woman. She has more or less the age of my mother, and she has a degree in Classical Studies, exactly like me. As you can see, there are some positive signs and some negative ones, so I really can’t predict how this thing will turn out.
            Perhaps it will all work out in the end and this will be a bumpy start to a beneficial working relationship?” Let’s hope so! : )

            • “I liked that issue so much because it took place in a high school, which is one of my favorite settings in superhero comics.”
              Perhaps this is only the start? Maybe this will be this book’s new setting? Let me know as I might give it another chance.

              “I don’t like the character as much as I like Green Arrow or the Punisher, for example, but those issues definitely deserved the money I spent for them.”
              I never expected that to be the case but am happy that you enjoyed the issues you bought. 🙂

  2. I really liked Green Arrow vol 2 #121 as Connor is in that pool of blood, with a skeleton floating to the surface in front of him, its very creepy, and certainly makes you want to dive into the issue and find out what’s happening. I also really liked the cover of Vol 2 Punisher #4 as it was Punisher vs Jigsaw with Daredevil also leaping from the cover, really exciting, and hints at this being a really action packed issue!

    • “I really liked Green Arrow vol 2 #121 as Connor is in that pool of blood, with a skeleton floating to the surface in front of him, its very creepy, and certainly makes you want to dive into the issue and find out what’s happening.”
      I see what you did there Paul: pool of blood…makes you want to “dive” into the issue. 🙂

      “I also really liked the cover of Vol 2 Punisher #4 as it was Punisher vs Jigsaw with Daredevil also leaping from the cover, really exciting, and hints at this being a really action packed issue!”
      And upon closer inspection Jigsaw is wearing a Punisher costume. What is the story behind that I wonder?

      Thanks for sharing your choices! Much appreciated.

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