I just made a post that became a column in response to an article up at Seven Hells about why the author of said blog has no respect for Green Arrow as a character. Most of the reasons came down to things that were really more about bad writing than a bad character and I ran down the list and wound up creating, I think, the most simple list of every grievance I have with how Oliver Queen is portrayed ever.
*sighs* Where do I begin?
Is it the constant political posturing foisted upon the character?
Surely that's more a problem with the writer than the character? While some of the stories have been heavy-handed (Judd Winick, I'm looking at you!) I've rather enjoyed some of the more political Green Arrow stories. The Mike Grell story about the IRA and their relationship with America comes to mind as an example of a tale that made a point without being preachy.
Is it the constant womanizing?
Define constant. ;)
Seriously, most of Ollie's characterization as a womanizer can be traced back to the last ten years and Chuck Dixon - after Ollie died - writing up several stories where Ollie told Connor, in flashback, about how much he slept around - this outright saying what was sometimes suggested about Ollie as a millionaire playboy before he became a hero being the Bruce Wayne before Bruce Wayne.
Before that, it was generally accepted that after Ollie and Dinah became an item - well, he was still a flirt but seriously cheating on Dinah was the last thing he'd ever do. (Again, Winick, I'm looking at you.)
Is it because when his adopted son, Roy Harper, developed a drug problem, Ollie cast him out and walked out on him when he needed him most?
That was a bad thing, yes. But I've known such things to happen in real life for a lot less. At least Ollie himself has acknowledged his mistake (I know he's called it his biggest mistake in at least one story) and made his peace with Roy. That doesn't make it any less wrong but it does bring up one of the things I admire about Ollie - when he screws up and he knows it, he tries to fix it.
Is it the fact that the he fathers children, left and right, and then abandons them?
Left and right? Ollie has only fathered two children and one of them was the result of him being raped. And his "abandoning" Connor is still a matter of debate.
I know there are rumors about Cissie "Arrowette" Jones but we all know rumors don't count.
Is the fact that he lives a lie everyday, letting the world, his son, Connor Hawke and his soon-to-be (?) bride, Black Canary, believe he had no idea Connor was alive until he presented himself in his early twenties?
Yes. Because it is Ollie's fault that some writer failed to do his research properly and wrote a story that had great character moments but no basis in reality. (Brad Meltzer, I'm looking at you this time!)
The moment in the final chapter of The Archer's Quest in which it is revealed that Ollie abandoned Connor and his mother, is the capstone on a pyramid of bad continuity. The entire story is built off the idea that Ollie has to go on a road trip with Roy to recover items that might reveal his secret identity to the world - in spite of the fact that Ollie...
* hadn't had a secret identity for several years before his death
* actually stood trial for High Treason as Green Arrow and had his identity outed to the world.
* had an obituary on the front page of the Daily Planet naming Green Arrow and Oliver Queen as one and the same - a fact that was used as a plot point in Kevin Smith's Quiver
And this is ignoring the fact that if you go back and read Where Angels Fear to Tread - the story in which Ollie originally found out that Connor was his son... well, Ollie missed his calling as an actor if you believe he is faking his anger and shock, especially to a then basically Ominpotent and Omniescent Hal Jordan...
Black Canary proved day-in and day-out that she's better off without him. He never made the choice to actively become better off without her. He never asked himself whether or not she was better off without him.
Actually, in Kevin Smith's Green Arrow... he did.
In Issue #11, or the first chapter of The Sounds of Violence in the TP, there is a great character scene where Ollie agonizes over picking up the phone to talk to Dinah. He still loves her. He still wants to be with her. And he knows from what he's seen and heard from Connor that a lot has changed and that she is getting along just fine without him.
The man can turn himself into a living target on a nightly basis without blinking and he walked out of Heaven itself into Hell on Earth without blinking but he's scared to death of being rejected.
Typical Ollie. :)
I agree with you that Ollie trying to become better PURELY for the sake of winning Dinah back makes little sense... but very little Judd Winick has written with the character has.
And you know - much as I took Tony Bedard to task over Birds of Prey #109 and the "Shado Is Not Connor Hawke's Mom!" disaster, I still want to hug the man in a heterosexual buddy-buddy kind of way simply because he was the first to acknowledge in-continuity that as much of a flirt as Ollie was...
1. He was actually raped by Shado.
2. His "affair" with Dinah's assistant at her flower shop was limited to one kiss, which she initiated as he was trying to talk her out of being interested in him.
3. He never actively cheated on Dinah until the Judd Winick run of Green Arrow.
(Sidenote: Up until the issue where Ollie and Dinah broke up, there had never been any sign in any book ever that Ollie and Dinah had been doing anything more serious than casual dating. And a good number of fans, myself and the two gents who used to run The Green Arrow Compendium, called shenanigans on the whole book at that point.)
My point? Go read some Mike Grell or Kevin Smith if you want to read the real Oliver Queen.