Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow, is the perpetual middle child of the DC Universe. Some people just see him as a pale imitation of Batman, while others view Oliver as a Robin Hood wannabe. The truth lies somewhere in between all of that, but when done right, he's one of DC's most complex characters. And in 2007’s Green Arrow: Year One, writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock reminded us why the emerald archer is so damn cool.
The story retells Queen’s early days as a drunken playboy who doesn’t truly appreciate any of the gifts that a life born into wealth has given him. But after his friend/loyal bodyguard betrays him on his yacht, Queen soon finds himself marooned on an unmarked island. Stripped of all of his wealth and privilege, Queen has to survive on this island through the use of his archery skills and the help of the downtrodden natives who are being enslaved by a dangerous drug cartel.
By making Oliver Queen a metaphor for certain selfish members of the upper class, Diggle brought back the social commentary that made the character work in the '70s. His redemption is then made all the more rewarding because we actually see it happen, instead of just being told.