Josh Williamson was on John Siuntres' Word Balloon podcast last week and he was up for talking about Green Arrow – and all the traditional Green Arrow characters and their place in the post-Infinite Frontier DC Omniverse. With Roy Harper back from the dead courtesy of Death Metal – even as there is a memorial school named after him in Teen Titans Academy, Williamson talked about how this all went back to the New 52.
"It was important to me to bring Connor back. I had asked about it so many times, I mean this is how it always is. I'm always the person in the room raising my hand being like, can I bring this character back? And bring this character back this character's missing… there were some characters that got kind of a raw deal when the New 52 started and I think that obviously Green Arrow's family completely disappeared. They're all gone or they're in a weird location. When we got into Rebirth it was a gradual, "okay, let's start getting some of this stuff back". And so it's like with him. I couldn't believe that Connor had been gone for so long… I couldn't believe they erased that guy."
"So when I got this opportunity to work on Robin and we started talking about doing it as like a Mortal Kombat style tournament, Connor is one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the DCU. I think some parts of editorial, they didn't really know who he was, because he hadn't been in the books for 10 years. Thankfully there were a lot of people in editorial who were, like. "I love that character", so we got him in there and there's more plans beyond this. There's a scene in issue 3 with him and Damian, they start talking about their dads and how much their dads have in common. It's one of my favourite scenes in the book so you know he'll definitely be in other stuff after Robin but he plays a major part in Robin too. I didn't realize how much him and Damian had in common until I got to write them, and they both kind of go on like an emotional journey together across the first eight issues."
"Once we stopped working on Death Metal and we started talking about Batman having the [Black Lantern] ring, I was, like, "we'll get Roy right back through this" and then we started talking Infinite Frontier and my plan for Roy was to get his daughter back at some point, and I was trying to figure out how and then I got a call from editorial and they were thinking about using her in Catwoman because they already had kind of a plan in place. I talked with Ram V and there's a way to make this work. She's Shoes, she's being trained as Catwoman's sidekick and so what does Roy do when he finds out she's alive? And then he finds out that Jade that she knows she's alive. That definitely plays a part in pieces of Infinite Frontier and then the plans for Roy after Infinite Frontier and other books that I don't want to say yet because I don't want to ruin their stories or mess their stuff up but there definitely is a plan to get these things rolling."
"He has survivor's guilt and then he's also not sure why he's back necessarily, his memories are kind of a little screwy in places and the last thing he really remembers was being a zombie during Death Metal so he's definitely questioning things that that plays a part in Infinite Frontier. Why was I chosen to come back not everybody's come back so you know not everyone came back from the dead and I think part of this like he doesn't know his daughter's back and that definitely weighs on him a little bit. He loves his family, he loves his friends, but it's not totally unlike him to get on a motorcycle and ride off the desert by himself for a little bit and that's kind of what we're doing. And then you'll see some of the seven Infinity Frontiers with him and the journey he kind of goes on and how he plays a really important role in that story uh and then the stuff he'll do afterward."
"I don't want to get too deep into spoilers but obviously there's Green Arrow stuff going on. It's like all the Green Arrow family is sort of splintered out across the DCU. You have Green Arrow and Justice League and Checkmate. Black Canary is in Justice League but she's also in something else that hasn't been announced yet and then it's like Connor and Robin and Roy are gonna be in Infinite Frontier and then Roy will go on to be in another story, it's like we have this huge Green Arrow family thrown out across the DCU. Of course we're going to do a story about them coming back together and what that actually means. We all want to see those characters get to see each other for the first time in over ten years so there's definitely plans for that and a lot of conversations for when those beats will happen. I think it'll be some really fun stuff with that especially beginning of next year."
Robin #2 – featuring Connor Hawke – is published today from DC Comics.