How GREEN ARROW #50 Went From a New Beginning to a Series Ending

Green Arrow #50 variant
Credit: Evan "Doc" Shaner (DC Comics)
Credit: Kevin Nowlan (DC Comics)

March 6's Green Arrow #50 will be the series' finale, but recently-minted series writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly originally thought it was going to be the beginning of a "long run" - with over 50 issues' worth of plans. In a Twitter thread, Lanzing explains that the series was abruptedly canceled as the two were writing the first issue - and gives an 'inside baseball' perspective to how it all happened.

"As our short run on Green Arrow heads to its conclusion - and the last issue of the series - with issue #50, I wanna tell you a story," Lanzing tweeted. "I’m gonna try to be blunt about process on a superhero book. Let’s get our thread on and talk about writing in a shared universe."

Lanzing tweeted that he and Kelly were hired by DC with the intent for a long run on the series, to the point where the duo outlined 50 issues beginning with Green Arrow #48.

"The powers that be supported us, editorial helped us shape it. We were building an engine of new, weird ideas shaded by our social and political reality," Lanzing wrote. "But before we got into any of our particular madness, it was important that we acknowledge the stories that brought us to our first issue. After all, we weren’t starting at #1 - we were starting at issue #48. The stories that came before mattered - to fans and to us."

Credit: Evan "Doc" Shaner (DC Comics)

The duo planned for #48 and #49 to process the events from the book's previous creators, as well as story elements from Heroes in Crisis and Justice League: No Justice. "We had hoped to end a chapter in that history book for the fans, before we went about writing the next one."

"But about halfway through the production of issue #48, the book was cancelled for a myriad of reasons - not the least of which were the needs of the larger universe," Lanzing tweeted, without going into detail. "To be clear: I don’t begrudge it at all. We consider ourselves lucky to have contributed at all to Green Arrow."

"Eventually the word came down: Issue #50 would not be the first proper issue of our run. It would be the last."

Working with DC editorial, Lanzing tweeted that he and Kelly revised their plans for #49 and #50 from opening a new era to closing an old one.

"So now we had a new goal: not to launch our own stories, but to properly end the one already in progress," tweeted Lanzing. "To take every thread we could - from Dinah’s past to Ollie’s future to the mysterious Box - and make them sing in harmony. To make it count."

"Point is: It was a hell of a challenge. But I learned something," he continued. "Nothing is ever dead, just transformed. Just because one story works doesn’t mean another can't. Kill your darlings can extend to literally your entire story and you’ll still be okay - it’s just clay. Reshape it."

You can read Lanzing's full Twitter thread here.

DC hasn't announced any plans for a relaunched Green Arrow title.

Twitter activity