With CW’s Arrow going into it’s fifth season and 100 episodes (how did that happen?) spawning a superhero revolution on TV with the Arrowverse, a new spike has been given to the Emerald Archer’s popularity.
DC’s Comics recent Rebirth initiative made comic stores great again and writer Benjamin Percy was able to give Ollie back his goatee and reunites castaway with Black Canary along with selling a ton of Green Arrow Rebirth #1s.
We talked pre-Rebirth and post-Rebirth with Ben and Rebirth #1 cover artist and co-writer Juan Ferreyra at the DC Comics booth at New York Comic Con last week as Mr. Queen and Black Canary face the Island Of Scars.
FOG!: Hey guys, it’s an honor to talk with you, I’m a big Green Arrow fan, and I’ve been reading what you’ve been doing since before Rebirth. My first question is, did you feel like Rebirth was a good opportunity to revisit some things, or did you feel like you weren’t done telling part of your (New 52) story?
Ben Percy: When I jumped into the New 52, and first pitched Green Arrow, I wanted to write Black Canary into it, I was told, “You can’t do that”. I said, “He’s gotta have a goatee,” and I couldn’t do that.
I was also trying to do the novelist thing, which is playing the long game, which you should never do in comics! Because, I could have been kicked out after a few issues. But early on, I was keeping Ollie away from his costume, away from his bow and arrow in an effort to really get to know him as a person. It felt kid of schizophrenic prior to that in the New 52.
I really wanted to build up the character, and I had in my mind a Rebirth revitalization of the character, anyway. I was going to move towards that moment when he truly became Green Arrow. It just got sped up a bit for me.
I did have another storyline involving The Outsiders that I was working towards. There were a lot of hints in there, about that, but its fine. We got rid of that, we just jumped right into the new era.
That’s great and the Green Arrow: Rebirth book really resonated with a lot of people and sold a bunch of copies, tell us how you feel about that!
BP: Juan and I have been talking about how grateful we feel, that people are excited about Green Arrow again. That just feeds into our energy as we are writing and drawing.
And you get feedback from Juan when you are making the stories, too?
Juan Ferreyra: Oh yeah, all the time, we write with each other all the time. He writes me even, secretly, without the editors knowing (laughs).
BP: That’s actually true! (laughing).
JF: We make a bond..to fight the editors! Actually, the editors are really quite nice and we are all together in the same chain of emails. We throw ideas around for stories, they ask what I want to draw.
BP: Whenever I’m writing for Juan, I’m always saying, “I trust you, I trust your vision”.
I just unload everything that is in my brain, and he make it better.
JP: He trusts me, but he doesn’t know yet, so…
BP: And a shoutout to Nate Piekos (Blambot) over here too, his lettering is just fantastic. Just exquisitely beautiful!
Hi, Nate! I can put a face to the name now!
BP: And he is doing his own thing too, we’re all a part of this team and everyone is bringing their talents to the page.
It is great, really top notch, I’ve been excited with Rebirth from the beginning, from all the books across the line, it’s amazing. People are excited about Green Arrow and Arrow is a TV show, and you get to play with some of those characters, too. What is it like working with Diggle and that dynamic?
BP: Green Arrow works best as a team. In the New 52, it was more of a solo act. We love having him play off Diggle, play off Black Canary, play off Emiko (Queen).
We’ve joked that the title may as well be Green Arrow and Black Canary or Green Arrow and Family. It is like Detective Comics, in a way.
And I don’t want to and was told not to watch the show, when I jumped on. Everybody loves the show, they wanted more worlds of storytelling. So my Diggle was inspired by the (Jeff) Lemire run. That is my basis for Diggle.
JF: And the Batman Family gets along too well, and Green Arrow’s family doesn’t get along too well. It’s more fun! There’s more fighting there.
Right, there is a lot of tension there.
JF: It’s more fun!
Tell us about the new issue and the Island of Scars. It’s HOT. It’s SEXY, and he is back on The Island again!
BP: Well, it’s not “The Island”. It is a satellite of the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific. But it is a callback of course. We wanted to give Green Arrow and Black Canary a moment to breathe. They have been on the run since they’ve been back together.
Let’s round out this relationship, give them a Blue Lagoon moment. And things are about to go apeshit crazy again!
JF: He’s going to go deep!
BP: He says that, because, we’ve been teasing from very early on the Trans-Pacific Railway. It was a construction project put on by Queen Industries, initially the vision of Robert Queen, to connect the continents through this undersea railway. Obviously, that is their way out!
Juan has this nut-so two-shot that is one big action set piece involving a runaway train!
I tell every single comic creator, my favorite thing in a comic or movie or anything is a train fight! If I’m getting it, I’m super exited!
JF: Yeah, I love train fights, road trip movies, stuff like that. Those are my favorite things! Action!