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January 9, 2014 12:34 PM   Subscribe

"When I first saw Oliver had something called a "Stickum-Shaft Arrow," I worried that it was some kind of Silver Age, Native American racist caricature arrow. Nope! It's just a long, hard shaft he fires at his eventual lover Black Canary, which covers her in sticky goo. No problems there!" -- Rob Bricken looks at Green Arrow and his less than useful trick arrows. Not that Hawkeye does better.
posted by MartinWisse (75 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, Green Lantern and Green Arrow are much more similar than I realized. While GL can manifest any arbitrary object or mechanism with his ring, GA can do the same at the end of an arrow. Love the mummy arrowhead. I wonder if he has a sphinx arrowhead as well; fire it at someone and it paralyzes them with a mystifying riddle?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:43 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


haha tumbleweed arrows fuck yeah
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:44 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


"Oh, wait, I had something for this..."
posted by gauche at 12:50 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile Silver Age Batman is laughing at this because having a range bat-themed accessories for every occasion in your belt pouches is entirely non-silly.
posted by Artw at 12:52 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


+1 to any fellow comic lovers out there, the new "Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon" series referenced in this post is just so good right now; story and art are top notch.
posted by djdrue at 12:54 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Wait — "stickum" as racist? I guess dude's completely unfamiliar with this?
posted by grubi at 1:03 PM on January 9


Meanwhile Silver Age Batman is laughing at this because having a range bat-themed accessories for every occasion in your belt pouches is entirely non-silly.

Shark Repellent Bat Spray!
posted by kmz at 1:07 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Wait — "stickum" as racist?

I think the idea is from stereotyped "Injun"-speak back in the day. "White man make-um false trail!" "Any stick make-um bow. Arrow him heap much work." That kind of crap.
posted by yoink at 1:11 PM on January 9


In case you were wondering how a quiver is supposed to work when you're carrying 25 different kinds of hyper-specialized arrows, there is a diagram, although it doesn't illuminate quite as much as you might hope.
posted by Copronymus at 1:13 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I don't see why the Fake Cat Arrow panel needed a caption
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:13 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Boomerang. Respect it.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:18 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I don't see why the Fake Cat Arrow panel needed a caption

In case we thought it was a Real Cat Arrow?
posted by yoink at 1:20 PM on January 9


Green Arrow doesn't have any super power, does he?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:21 PM on January 9


I've got to say, the "aqua lung arrow" provoked at least a five second laugh out of me.
posted by The Confessor at 1:24 PM on January 9


Judge Dredd's Lawgiver firing 6 kinds of bullet (plus heatseeker) is of course completly sensible.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Aside from that Quiver of Holding, he's just an Olympic-class archer.
posted by bonehead at 1:27 PM on January 9


Shark Repellent Bat Spray!

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Aside from that Quiver of Holding, he's just an Olympic-class archer.

Hereditary millionaire/industrialist.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


DC Nation shorts testing out the boxing glove arrow and the paint pellet arrow, respectively.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:30 PM on January 9


This is a fine FPP and I don't want to muck it up. So I'll keep checking in to see when we're ready to let this thing degenerate into another discussion of how surprisingly awesome Arrow is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:31 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Judge Dredd's Lawgiver firing 6 kinds of bullet (plus heatseeker) is of course completly sensible.

...and totally stolen from the Gun in the novel version of Logan's Run.
posted by The Tensor at 1:33 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Why did Bricken decide to write about sixteen trick arrows if he could only find frames for fourteen? And if he chose the frames, then why does he rhetorically ask where Green Arrow could possibly use a nuclear bomb arrow? According to the dialogue, that's answered in the comic.

I've seen better attempts at this.
posted by cribcage at 1:34 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Damn, Tensor beat me to it by seconds.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:34 PM on January 9


When I was a kid, I had essentially a toy bow, and I wanted to make all these arrows. The scythe arrow. The rocket arrow. The napalm arrow. Unfortunately my parents didn't allow me access to the high quality metal-working tools and incendiary materials necessary to realize my grand designs. I did get to help my dad reload spent rifle cartridges over the holidays, tho, so at least some of those demons have been exorcised.

Also, given the the font, use of all capital letters, and the inconsistent kerning between the "L" and the "I", "Clint" is a really rough name for a comic book character to have.
posted by logicpunk at 1:36 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


In case we thought it was a Real Cat Arrow?

I think you'll find this mistake actually improves it
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:38 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


C'mon guys if you go looking for place to poke holes in comic book science and engineering, the arrows are hardly the worst offenders. Web shooters, Iron Mans suit, the Hellicarrier, it's a long list really. Oddly as comic book plots get more complicated, those basics still have to be included.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:39 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Not only is the fake cat arrow cumbersome and of highly questionable usefulness, it requires you to have someone else with you to simultaneously fire the fake meow arrow. Which is why it is clearly the best arrow.
posted by ckape at 1:42 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


It's weird how I happily accepted everything else in The Avengers except Hawkeye's grapnel arrow: in particular how it was able to grip concrete by its three little tips in such a way that the insane amount of leverage from him jerking to a stop from its far end didn't break it loose.

Yeah, I know, where does Hulk's extra mass come from, invisible helicarrier with insane power to weight ratio, it's all ridiculous. But that one didn't seem to suggest magical technology so it sorta broke in my mind.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:44 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I've got to say, the "aqua lung arrow" provoked at least a five second laugh out of me.

Don't laugh, it's a powerful arrow. Makes snot run down your nose and greasy fingers smear your shabby clothes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on January 9 [12 favorites]


And why the Robin Hood get-up? If he's a billionaire industrialist, can't he design himself a better costume/kit? Invest in a decent industrial designer? At least Batman had an awesome looking plane compared to the arrowplane.
posted by arcticseal at 1:48 PM on January 9


You guys and girls leave Ollie alone, he is awesome and super badass and way better than that chump Hawkeye.
posted by vrakatar at 1:51 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


...and totally stolen from the Gun in the novel version of Logan's Run.

You're totally going to love The Cursed Earth, where Dredd drives across the hellish atomic wasteland separating America's two coasts in a special tank like vehicle because debris kicked into the atmosphere has made air travel impossible...
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on January 9


And why the Robin Hood get-up? If he's a billionaire industrialist, can't he design himself a better costume/kit? Invest in a decent industrial designer?

Billionaire industrialist with a Robin Hood fetish.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Please say that the arrowplane was launched by a giant bow.
posted by ckape at 1:55 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


leave Ollie alone, he is awesome and super badass

His name is Ollie. Kukla and Fran were super badass. Ollie, not so much.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:56 PM on January 9


You're totally going to love The Cursed Earth, where

there is no law, just living hell!
posted by MartinWisse at 2:00 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Since Green Arrow has come up, I'll take the opportunity to recommend Arrow on CW. Good stuff for comic based tv. Waaaayyyyy better than Agents of Shield. And a minimum of implausible trick arrows. First season is on Netflix streaming.
posted by calamari kid at 2:04 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Both links go to the same place for me. What am I missing about Hawkeye?
posted by not that girl at 2:05 PM on January 9


Usually when the super-rich superhero loses all their money it's just temporary - their wealth is usually tied in with their character. When Green Arrow went from millionaire to anarchist street activist he was a definite one-way improvement.

Watching Arrow and they way they use DC mythology is kind of weird. "Professor Ivo? How the hell is that going to work in this setting?"
posted by charred husk at 2:08 PM on January 9


Only that he sucks compared to OLIVER Queen.
posted by vrakatar at 2:08 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


What is even up with archery in pop culture these days?

You've got Katniss, Arrow, Hawkeye, Arya Stark... I feel like every third gifset on Tumblr is somebody doing archery.
posted by Sara C. at 2:13 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Shaft.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:15 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


You're totally going to love The Cursed Earth...

Damnation, that's pretty blatant.
posted by The Tensor at 2:15 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Don't forget Shaft.

And astronaut Dave Bowman.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:26 PM on January 9


I love that one animated Justice League quote: "And Black Canary said a buzz-saw arrow was self- indulgent."

That too me is the whole shtick about Green Arrow: he could totally get by with regular arrows, but hey, if you have the money, why not a boxing glove arrow?
posted by happyroach at 2:36 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Aside from that Quiver of Holding, he's just an Olympic-class archer.

What's cooler than being God? According to the Biblical prophets, the only thing cooler than God is God riding a chariot holding a bow. That's from a society whose culture-hero uses a sling. Everywhere except Australia there's a deeply ingrained cultural expectation that someone holding a bow is about to do something awesome.

The place of archery in myth is grounded in the reality of how it compares to other weapons. Archers are underdogs. It takes a lot of courage to fight a mounted knight with nothing but two sticks and a string. The weapon lends itself to ambush, and so archers have a reputation for being sneaky. It's a thinking hero's weapon. Also, archery requires focus and discipline to a degree that hand weapons don't. It's a short metaphorical step from the discipline of the bow to discipline over oneself; in several languages including English the word for sin is derived from archery terminology - missing the mark. Worldwide, bows have a place in mythology as the weapons of righteous but sneaky heroes.

Take away his trick arrows and what's Hawkeye? The sort of guy who can trick near-omnipotent aliens into a crooked game of three-card monte. A trickster. A man with a bow.

Susan, Katniss, Merida - we've gotten accustomed to seeing the classic weapon of heroes in the hands of young women and that's fantastic.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:32 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


How about just one! Pointed! Arrow! DAD!
posted by kyrademon at 3:35 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Has he ever shot an arrow which had a small bow of its own on the end, which in turn shot a tiny arrow? Because it's not over until somebody does that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:38 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I kind of like the Chimney Sweep Arrow. Granted, not all that useful in the quiver of an archery-themed superhero. On the other hand, very useful for ordinary, non-superhero chimney owners.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:42 PM on January 9


What's cooler than being God? According to the Biblical prophets, the only thing cooler than God is God riding a chariot holding a bow.

Can God make an arrow so cool that even God can't shoot it?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:44 PM on January 9


I dunno, I kind of like the Chimney Sweep Arrow. Granted, not all that useful in the quiver of an archery-themed superhero. On the other hand, very useful for ordinary, non-superhero chimney owners.

Or when battling supervillain The Chimneer.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:04 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Can God make an arrow so cool that even God can't shoot it?

The prophets tell us that God shoots flaming arrows. A literal reading of the Bible would suggest that his arrows are not cool, being on fire. Pretty metal, though.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:11 PM on January 9


Pfft, if they're metal they're probably not on fire.
posted by JHarris at 4:13 PM on January 9


When I was a kid, I loved Green Arrow's trick arrows. When I was a teenager, I mocked Green Arrow's trick arrows. When I became an adult, I loved Green Arrow's trick arrows.

The old Fifties GA stories were pretty much six-page gimmick stories centered around what crazy-ass trick arrow GA would produce to save the day. From a certain perspective, this is weak and silly. From my perspective, this is hilarious and awesome. I'd love to have been in the room when they came up with some of those stories, working backwards from the final arrow. "Okay, so he saves the day with...a barbeque sauce arrow! So the villain will have to be a rack of ribs..."
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 4:13 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Can't do it, then, huh? That's what I thought. Puny God.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:14 PM on January 9


Deadpool offers his own take on the trick arrow.

I've been reading some Dredd comics recently. It's surprising how good some of them are are in that pulpy over the top way that's really not as easy as it looks. It's also interesting that early Judge Dredd's approach to sentencing is fairly lenient by some standards.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:21 PM on January 9


Take away his trick arrows and what's Hawkeye?

There's a mine in one of John Byrne's early (first, maybe?) issues of West Coast Avengers where, without his bows and arrows (and hearing, let us not forget that), Hawkguy is a pretty amazing hunter as well. And I think he was The Swordsman once. And he may or may not have growing and shrinking powers still.

And, yes, he was a former con-man way back when.

Also, nthing the fact that Arrow on TV and Hawkeye in the current comics are awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 4:29 PM on January 9


I'm angry that I even looked this up. Hawkeye vs Green Arrow in some sort of bizarre Stan Lee-run tv courtroom debate.
posted by Telf at 5:20 PM on January 9


Pfft, if they're metal they're probably not on fire.

Some metals are flammable. If it's magnesium, it's probably even blinding.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:34 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Oh my god. It's the what the People's Court probably looks like... in Hell.

(Some odd choices in that, but now I am pondering who is stronger: Wonder Woman or She-Hulk).
posted by Mezentian at 5:37 PM on January 9


Everywhere except Australia there's a deeply ingrained cultural expectation that someone holding a bow is about to do something awesome.

Point of order. I asked around the office, and even though we're down under we still think that bows and arrows are cool.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:45 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Take away his trick arrows and what's Hawkeye?

My Google image fu is weak, but there's a flashback scene in New Avengers (outlining Hawkeye taking on the Ronin costume) where he's sparring with Cap, and Cap tells him something along the lines of, "When I'm through with you, people will forget you ever used a bow."

Turns out, without the bow, Hawkeye is still kind of a frightening bad ass.

Also, way back during Secret Wars, Hawkeye runs out of arrows but he and a brickless Ben Grimm still manage to subdue Klaw and the Lizard with a cunning game of pattycake.

"Take away [your schtick/signature weapon] and what are you?" gets done over and over, guys. Take away the Punisher's guns and he's still death on two legs. Take away Cap's shield and he'll still win. I'm not much of a DC reader, but I imagine the same could be said for Ollie.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:47 PM on January 9


It's a thinking hero's weapon. 

Damn right.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:08 PM on January 9


Point of order. I asked around the office, and even though we're down under we still think that bows and arrows are cool.

No, know, we're Australians. We think boomerangs and those spearchucker things are cool.
(And that Gateway was the best X-Man).
posted by Mezentian at 8:19 PM on January 9


The Australian period is no kidding one of my favorite X-Men periods.
posted by Artw at 8:38 PM on January 9


Mine too, although it was shortly after that that I ceased buying the X-Men.
But the scratchy artwork from that time was so influential on my own drawing. (Which sucks).
I still like it, as '80s as it is.

Poor Dazzler.
posted by Mezentian at 8:42 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


The Australian period is no kidding one of my favorite X-Men periods.

Tell me more... what is the 'Australian period'? And is there a kangaroo themed mutant in it?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:53 PM on January 9


We think boomerangs and those spearchucker things are cool.

BOOMERANG. RESPECT IT.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:53 PM on January 9


Tell me more... what is the 'Australian period'? And is there a kangaroo themed mutant in it?

That's Tank Girl.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on January 9


But it does have a guy with tanktreads for legs (Boneshaker? Bonecrusher?). Cable and Hope are in Australia at the moment in X-Force, and Forge is (or was) possessed by the Adversary. Which is nice. It's like Fall of the Mutants just happened.
posted by Mezentian at 9:08 PM on January 9


Gateway, you say?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:13 PM on January 9


Man, Colossus wore some teeny shorts back then.
Longshot's mullet was bigger.

My brain just went to some very odd places just then.
posted by Mezentian at 9:21 PM on January 9


Wait... if there are mutagenic properties to a vibranium mound, why aren't there more mutants in Wakanda?
Also, surely a meteor comprised of Vibraniu....

No, this is just stupid.
posted by Mezentian at 9:43 PM on January 9


I've got to say, the "aqua lung arrow" provoked at least a five second laugh out of me.

Hey, it's useful. If someone is drowning, you can literally shoot a respirator into their open gob before they go under!
posted by FJT at 10:39 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


The Tensor: "Damnation, that's pretty blatant."

So, am I missing something, or did Roger Zelazny sue over this?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:27 PM on January 11


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