Speedy, The Catapult! Hurry!

So I finally got the Showcase Presents: Green Arrow volume 1 and started reading it last night. It’s…well…it’s not the best silver age stuff I’ve read. And boy, this isn’t the Kirby art that people talk about when they talk about Kirby art.

For those not in the know, Green Arrow is the living embodiment of the phrase, “When all you have is a bow and arrow, every problem looks like something that can be solved with a bow and arrow.” Green Arrow is in actuality wealthy playboy Oliver Queen, who, with his teen sidekick Speedy (in actuality Queen’s ward, Roy Harper) drive around in a car equipped with a catapult, fighting crime. You might think that archery skills are pretty limited, but in addition to being a stellar marksman, Green Arrow has a plethora of trick arrows, each more absurd than the last.

In fact, I can’t figure out which is the most ridiculous yet. There’s boxing-glove arrow, which defies all known laws of aerodynamics and physics by not only flying through the air unerringly despite having a big frickin boxing glove at the end of it, but also by striking with enough force to KO its target. But how can you call the boxing glove arrow silly when (a) it’s pretty much Green Arrow’s signature weapon and (b) there’s also the mummy arrow, rain arrow, two-stage rocket arrow, and the ever-useful fake uranium arrow (I’m not making any of these up.) And I love that the way it’s written, GA and Speedy ALWAYS have aqua-lung arrows handy, just in case. They never pack arrows they think they’ll need, they always happen to have the required arrow, so I guess they’ve got them all at every moment.

I haven’t gotten far in, but last night I totally dug the story where this scientist had enough foresight to specify in his will that, should he die, Oliver Queen should get these five particular items, just in case his death wasn’t really his death and had been faked and he had been kidnapped instead and brought to a place that the five items could somehow point to and somehow Oliver Queen could figure this out and get the information to someone who could save him such as maybe Green Arrow. Fortunately, that’s EXACTLY what happened! Meanwhile, on Earth-1, where that scientist just plain got hit by a bus, Green Arrow is STILL trying to figure out where those five items are leading him.

I’m very excited because not only do I have Bob Haney’s magic awaiting me in the second half of the book, but also the appearance of one of my all-time favorite villains: CLOCK KING! (Always remember: he really digs clocks.)

Oh, oh! I have to mention one great disappointment. The opening story features all the international Green Arrows (see, Oliver Queen is just America’s Green Arrow, though of course, he’s the most well-respected) getting together. I was deeply saddened to see that the Green Arrow of England does NOT wear a monocle! Dammit, I have certain expectations when it comes to national stereotypes, and although I respect the fact that Japanese Green Arrow drives a rickshaw, French Green Arrow wears a beret, and African Green Arrow is white, it’s a well-known fact that all English people wear monocles.

All is forgiven, though, because of this bit of dialogue:

Red Dart: I wanted to help you catch Muggsy Miller…He’s out on bush parole, you know.

Speedy: Sure, we’ve caught the Muggsy Miller gang, but what did he mean by “bush parole”?

Green Arrow: That’s a way of saying Muggsy escaped from prison!

So… “Bush Parole”. A term meaning someone who should be in prison, but isn’t. I LIKE it!


How many items in the picture below did 9/11 change?

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5 Responses to Speedy, The Catapult! Hurry!

  1. Lanf says:

    How many items in the picture below did 9/11 change?

    9/11 changed EVERYTHING.

  2. David Thiel says:

    Hee hee hee! The Kirby stories were collected in an earlier TPB, so I’m familiar with the international Green Arrows. The first superhero franchise! Whatever happened to Red Dart? Surely, someone needs to write a story to explain the disappearance of all those crimefighting archers.

    I’ve always loved the fake uranium arrow! For those unfamiliar with it, there’s a story which recounts GA’s origin–he’s shipwrecked on a desert isle with a bunch of crooks–and when researchers arrive on the island, thus [somehow] threatening to learn his secret identity, he fires off the fake uranium arrow to make them think the place is radioactive. Thus, an arrow which can only be useful if someone happens to have a Geiger counter.

    Personally, I was always fine with the boxing glove arrow, except that I couldn’t figure out how it fit in his quiver, especially if he carried several.

    What struck me about the Silver Age GA stories is just how much of a Batman ripoff he became. He had an Arrowcar, Arrowplane and Arrowcave. I can’t recall, Dave, was there an Arrowsignal as well?

    I know your love for Bob Haney; I believe that you may even dig him. I’m currently reading the “Metamorpho” collection, and was surprised to find that Haney created him. I’m finding his Metamorpho stories very enjoyable, and (so far) not even in a “so weird, they’re good” way. They’re just very straightforward, fun superhero tales.

  3. Dave says:

    Lanf: YOU ARE CORRECT. Specifically, the TSA would prefer passengers not ride planes while wearing domino masks.

    Dave: There is indeed an Arrow-signal. Unlike the Batmobile, however, the Arrowcar is equipped with a giant wooden catapult so that GA and Speedy can spring into action all the more quickly (while the Arrowcar, presumably careens out of control towards fruit stands and stuff.)

    Also, the explorers will find out GA’s identity because he kept a journal an the walls of the cave while he was stranded on the island.

  4. David Thiel says:

    Ah, yes…forgot about the catapult. I presume that the whereabouts of the abandoned Arrowcar are one of those vehicular mysteries that shall never be solved, such as where the trailer portion of Optimus Prime goes to when he turns from a truck into a robot. (On the cartoon, it just drove in from off screen, even if Optimus was on the moon.)

    As for the journal, well, that’s just poor planning on GA’s part. At least Superman is smart enough to write his own journal in Kryptonese in a metal book with pages too heavy for a normal man to turn.

  5. Lanf says:

    “a metal book with pages too heavy for a normal man to turn”

    Was this sourced somewhere? Man, that’s absolutely golden. ^_^