The Comic: Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Dennis O’Neil, with art by Neal Adams.
What it’s about: Hal Jordan is Green Lantern, defender of Earth! With his power ring, Hal can make anything he imagines manifest in a form of solid green light. Oliver Queen is Green Arrow! With a simple bow and arrow, Ollie is a modern day Robin Hood, defending the poor from those who would take advantage. They are good friends but Oliver is much more grounded than the space-faring, straight-laced Hal Jordan. So they decide to go on a road trip to see the real America, with all the problems that entails. Together the two forgo fighting the usual colorful supervillains to take on evils like poverty, racism, and drug addiction.
Why you should read it: There’s nothing subtle about this comic. Originally released in 1983, this book took two characters who shared a color scheme and juxtaposed the types of justice they doled out. It really beats you over the head with the message, but in superhero comics this sort of political book was entirely unheard of. Besides being historically important, Green Lantern/Green Arrow is a fun moment of history. Try not to smile when Hal scoffs at Green Lantern’s music taste- the rock ‘n roll music the kids are listening to is just a lot of noise!
Also, did you know: “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” is one of those issues that gets brought up a lot in comics trivia. It’s the one where the heroes discover that Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy is addicted to heroin. Despite the fact that the issue was in violation of the Comics Code Authority, it was critically praised and award winning.