Feeling that the Green Arrow had grown stale over the years, DC hired writer/artist Mike Grell to reimagine the character in a grittier light, similar to Batman in Batman: Year One. Grell stripped the character of his Silver Age trick arrows (such as the boxing glove arrow and the soda can arrow) and gave Oliver Queen a more realistic costume to fight crime in. The idea was to appeal to fans of the more street-level vigilante books that had been a rousing success in the marketplace.

Grell’s first story on the character, titled The Longbow Hunters, places the Arrow in Seattle, as opposed to the fictitious Star City, as he fights against serial killers, the CIA, and a mysterious assassin named Shado. The Longbow Hunters is an extremely graphic and violent story that not only shows the Green Arrow actually kill his targets, but also features the brutal torture of his girlfriend, The Black Canary. Despite the overwhelming violence, The Longbow Hunters is one of the best reboots ever for a superhero, and stands out as being more than a simple “gritty” crime story.