Most members of DC’s Justice League have superhuman physiques or technology that provide them with all manner of amazing abilities. However, other heroes like Batman and Green Arrow, are merely humans with incredible training. The latter in particular brings to the table some of the best archery skills within the DC Universe.
That’s not all that Green Arrow’s wilderness-trained body can achieve, however. With incredible hand-to-hand fighting knowledge, a propensity to become immortal, and some of the most stylish facial hair in comics, Green Arrow’s much more than just Batman with a bow. Now, we’re taking a closer look at how Oliver Queen’s body makes him much more than human.
Why Is Green Arrow a Great Archer?
As his name would suggest, Green Arrow is one of — if not the best — archers within the DC Universe since he was created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp in 1941’s More Fun Comics #73. Oliver’s archery was honed while stuck for varying lengths on a deserted island, where an equal number of different threats forced Oliver Queen to rely upon using a bow and arrow to survive. In many continuities, namely the New 52, Oliver was initially a terrible archer, only improving when the situation became literal life or death.
This archery skill has been used by Green Arrow for varying levels of lethality, as well. He usually combines his skills with hi-tech weaponry to create trick arrows. These, such as the boxing glove arrow, make the pointy projectiles slightly less violent. As shown in the Mike Grell run and several seasons of Arrow, however, he’s more than equipped to quickly shoot to kill, permanently disarming enemies with the mere flick of a finger.
How Strong Is Green Arrow?
Green Arrow’s upper body strength is obviously impressive, as he requires this level of power to quickly fire his arrows. He’s also in many continuities a highly accomplished martial artist. In the Post-Crisis continuity, he was only a middling fighter until around the events of Infinite Crisis. After suffering a great defeat, he had Natas, the man who trained Deathstroke, to turn him into a better fighter.
Likewise, the Arrowverse version of the character was trained by Deathstroke himself, and was forced to use these same skills on him several times. He would also be a proficient enough fighter to take on trained warriors from the League of Assassins, and even bested their leader and greatest traitor, Ra’s al Ghul and Damien Darhk, in battle.
When Did Green Arrow Get the Goatee?
Ever since he got a ’60s redesign design courtesy of artist Neal Adams, Green Arrow has become synonymous with his trademark blond goatee. The chin hair and matching mustache were introduced to illustrate Oliver’s new rebellious fight against fat cats that started in the ’70s, and most incarnations since have kept the feature.
Arrow kept Oliver’s facial hair in more of a traditional beard, though he did resemble a goatee more in the pilot episode, as well as a potential future that was shown in Legends of Tomorrow. The New 52 excised Green Arrow’s history and trademark ornery personality. Perhaps to showcase this loss, his goatee was gone, as well. Starting with DC Rebirth, however, the character is back to having both much of his old continuity, as well as the classic Van Dyke.
Does Green Arrow Die?
As great of an archer as he, Green Arrow is ultimately a man. This very human mortality has seen him die in several continuities, though it doesn’t always stick around. In most of the major continuities, Green Arrow manages to come back from the dead in some capacity. In the Post-Crisis continuity, Green Arrow died from a bomb on board a plane that was planted by terrorists. Ultimately, his old friend Hal Jordan would eventually become The Spectre and attempt to make amends for his actions as Parallax. Part of this plan involved bringing Oliver Queen back, though without his memories from The Longbow Hunters beyond, as this more violent era took a toll on Oliver’s psyche.
The Green Arrow of the Arrowverse sacrificed himself to valiantly fend off a legion of Shadow Demons during the ultimate Arrowverse event, Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was actually not the foretold death that he was meant to experience during the catastrophe, which led several other heroes to try to revive him through a Lazarus Pit. In the end, Oliver Queen returns by becoming the omnipotent Spectre, using his power to undo several of the most horrific events that occurred in the Arrowverse.
How Does Green Arrow Lose His Arm?
Green Arrow’s archery abilities are so great that even a physical impediment can’t stop him. In Frank Miller, Lynn Varley and Klaus Janson’s The Dark Knight Returns, a much older Oliver Queen is still fighting for the little guy, even without one of his arms. This arm was supposedly lost due to a confrontation with Superman, a plot element referenced in his Post-Crisis death.
Despite having only one arm, his marksmanship is better than ever. Simply using his mouth in the place of his other hand, the left-wing hero is able to fire rounds that even slow down Superman. Like his beard, this look was also echoed within one of the Arrowverse’s future timelines.
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