Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Arrow Artist: Mike Grell

If you've been watching the CW's Arrow, you might have seen this drawing of "the Hood" (especially in the first season...).

Knowing that the series is based on the comics, you might even know that artist...a fellow by the name of Mike Grell!

Early Green Arrow

Some of Mike Grell's earliest art was on the Green Arrow back-up feature for Action Comics, starting with Action Comics #440 (October, 1974)....wherein Ollie faces his foe, Professor Steelgraves (introduced here)...and he and Dinah also meet an odd dog in "Little Dog Lost!" written by Elliot S! Maggin (and the story concludes in Action Comics #441).   

"Iron" Mike also did Aquaman back ups in Adventure Comics, and did the ad for a run of Seven Soliders of Victory stories set to run in the back of Adventure Comics (from #438 to #443, doing the Crimson Avenger chapter in #440 as Lee Elias did Green Arrow & Speedy's in Adventure Comics #439).

Mike Grell also drew Green Arrow (usually with Black Canary) in Action Comics #442, 444-446, 450-452 and 456-458, using his wits a little more in these issues, and fighting against the establishment...and more.

DC Comics really needs to collect all these great back-up stories from Action Comics!

Mike Grell even got a rare shot at drawing Wonder Woman thanks to Green Arrow... least the cover... Wonder Woman #217 (April-May, 1975) as part of her twelve trials to rejoin the JLA...

...(though Dick Dillin provided the interior art on the story....Dick Dillin also provided art for many of Green Arrow's Action Comics back-ups not drawn by Mike Grell).

Hopefully, Black Canary didn't get a chance to ask Ollie any questions under a lie detector about his watching the amazing amazon!

A Bigger Target

Mike Grell also was working on fan favorite Legion of the Super-Heroes over in the Superboy title, while Green Lantern (who had lost his title) was getting more popular...

...and thus ended up working with Denny O'Neil as DC revived Green Lantern's title with #90 (August-September, 1976).

The O'Neil/Grell combination didn't last as long as the O'Neil/Adams (which covered Green Lantern #76-89), but still produced a few great issues....and some wonderful covers by Iron Mike!

So many wonderful covers of our Emerald Archer and friends though it wasn't always clear Green Arrow and Green Lantern were friends on these covers!

Mike Grell did the covers from Green Lantern #92-100, partial on #101, and #102-106 and #108-112, and interiors on Green Lantern #90-100, #106, and #108-110.

All in all, a great run!   

Mike's time was being taken up by his creation of the Warlord, a science and sorcery series for DC...
...but after that series, Mike Grell would return to Green Arrow (as you should return next week to read about it!).

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