Retroactive: Green Arrow 2004 & The Punisher 2003

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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. 3 #40. Now this year was truly a difficult choice with me wrestling back and forth between a trio of covers. In the end this one emerged victorious, a cover starring Black Canary in what some may call a simple cover but one that is quite impactful. The caption is “Bye Bye Birdy” which is the perfect setup for what is transpiring within as the Black Canary-Green Arrow relationship comes to an end. On the cover we have the woman whom Green Arrow affectionately calls “Pretty Bird” and the way the artist has drawn her is simply beautiful with the way her hair is blowing in the wind being a personal highlight. Looking at the expression on her face you can tell she is mad and her symbolically snapping an arrow viciously in front of her only helps sell Black Canary’s anger. Things are obviously ending badly, a fact that even if you didn’t know what was going on in the issue you can instantly recognize with a glance. Looking at it we wonder what has caused this breakup, what could drive them apart, and will they ever get back together? Along with those questions, this visual masterpiece stands out as nothing short of brilliant as Black Canary walks out on Green Arrow with style.
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 For the Punisher, the title goes to: The Punisher Vol. 5 #22. From the moment I saw this cover I knew without a shadow of a doubt that it would claim my first place prize. It is a prototypical shot of everyone’s favourite anti-hero, his eyes covered in shadows, one gun hanging at his side, another being pulled from underneath his jacket. The Punisher is ready to leap into action, ready to gun down his intended target or targets in the pursuit of justice. Behind him is a massive drawing of his iconic logo, the entire background drenched in red which signifies danger and violence. The real standout element of the cover though is the numerous words that are splashed all about, words that are shown using different fonts and at varying sizes. We become absorbed by the cover as we try to take in everything on it, wondering if they hint at the issue’s contents while also recognizing that they are pitch perfect descriptions of Frank Castle himself. “War, Gun, Revenge, Murder, Death, Punishment, Injustice, Martyr, Driven, Kill.” These are but a sampling of the words on display. This cover is not only gorgeous but demands your undivided attention in order to discover all its nooks and crannies, a cover that you can get lost in, and a cover that is simply the best of the best.
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So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

6 thoughts on “Retroactive: Green Arrow 2004 & The Punisher 2003

  1. I really like Green Arrow # 32.
    The first thing we notice are the legs of a woman: the cover artist decided not to show her face (which gives the cover a mysterious vibe I really appreciate), but we can guess how stunning she is from the way Connor and his friend are looking at her. Their eyes being wide open create a comical and light – hearted atmosphere I absolutely adore.
    I also love how meticulously the cover artist defined the legs of the woman (especially her tendons) and the face of Connor’s friend.
    Special mention for Green Arrow # 35, because, as you know, I love when a supporting character of a series appears into another comic book.
    I give the other silver medal to Punisher # 27 for the same reason.
    The other gold medal goes to Punisher # 30. As you know, I love detailed backgrounds, and in this case Bradstreet surely spent a lot of time drawing the buildings behind Frank. I pick this cover also because it’s not the same old close – up of Frank’s face or body.

    • “Their eyes being wide open create a comical and light – hearted atmosphere I absolutely adore.”
      Every once and a while you need some comedy to break up the usually heavy topics contained in your average series and this issue looks to do just that. Connor’s friend is actually Oliver’s former sidekick Roy Harper by the way.

      “Special mention for Green Arrow # 35, because, as you know, I love when a supporting character of a series appears into another comic book.”
      This cover and #36 are my runner-ups. I love #35 with the Riddler standing in front of a giant bullseye, arrow after arrow missing its mark. And #36 with the giant nuclear explosion taking place in the city, an explosion that forms the villain’s trademark question mark while highlighting the fantastically coloured drawing of Oliver is astounding! Special mention to #33 as well. I love that kinetic old school cover and the way the car looks like it is going to speed off the page and into our homes.

      “The other gold medal goes to Punisher # 30. As you know, I love detailed backgrounds, and in this case Bradstreet surely spent a lot of time drawing the buildings behind Frank. I pick this cover also because it’s not the same old close – up of Frank’s face or body.”
      A really great shot of the Punisher and a cover that wins my 3rd place award. As for #2, that would go to #29’s wall of criminals. There is also a lot of work that went into making that one.

      Thanks, as always, for providing your selections!

  2. I thought Green Arrow Vol 5 #35 featuring the Riddler was a good cover, such a great character, so great to seem him featured on a GA cover like this. Punisher Vol 5 #28 is another really good cover in this series, with Punisher featured to one side, while the target cross hairs rests over the skull images running down the right hand side of the cover.

    Some great covers from both these titles in this edition of retroactive, made it tough to decide which covers I liked best this time 😀

    • “I thought Green Arrow Vol 5 #35 featuring the Riddler was a good cover, such a great character, so great to seem him featured on a GA cover like this.”
      This was my runner-up cover alongside its partner #36. “Whose bomb is it anyway?” is quite an enticing question and makes us wonder if the Riddler is actually working alongside someone as well.

      “Some great covers from both these titles in this edition of retroactive, made it tough to decide which covers I liked best this time.”
      I love these type of weeks most of all! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your choices. It is much appreciated.

      • Yes, that cover really makes you wonder what the Riddler is up to. There are always so many great covers to pick from, always fun seeing what covers get chosen, makes is even better when they are all so good like this 😀

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