Tuesday, July 18, 2023

DEATH IS THE PRIZE: Will the real Green Arrow please stand up?

The title of this post, for those who do not recognize it, is from an old game show, To Tell The Truth (1956-78), in which three contestants (one the genuine article and two fakers) would claim to be a certain person with a particular backstory in an attempt to fool a panel of celebrities (professional cocktail guests, mostly).  Winners got, I dunno, a blender.

Actually, it was about $500.
The losers were executed on live TV.

Why, you ask...?

Well, when we last left Ollie and Roy, Ollie's bow and arrows had been *snort* STOLEN when he dropped them during a rooftop battle with some low-rent gang-in-ties.

No comic book hero has a higher Longevity/Competence ratio than Oliver Queen.  
I mean, at least you have to approach Hal Jordan FROM BEHIND to hit him in the head. 

Turns out, the weapons were snagged by an undetected member of the gang, who have decided to use it to lure Green Arrow into a trap.

I miss gangs-in-ties, whose native language is Exposition.

If your first thought is, "Really?! How can the criminals be that stupid to believe such a plan will work?"  The obvious answer is "because they are from Star City, the City Without Sense (tm)".  But the correct answer is:

CLEARLY, Roy, barely containing his amusement, knows this is a trap and just wants to see whether Ollie will fall for it. There is an entirely different (and MUCH more interesting) version of Roy Harper in the Golden Age then the drug-addled douchebag the unimaginative modern age has made of him. 

"Because Green Arrow is that stupid and it will."

"SURE you will, 'G.A.'  Meanwhile, I will stay here, dressed as an adult, studying for the LSATs and boning up on the inheritance rights of 'wards'."

So. Ollie goes to reclaim his bow and arrows. After all... what could possibly go wrong?

Joe Quesada cosplaying as G.A., that's what.

"I can sell it at ComiCon!"

It's really easier to think of Green Arrow as Star City's Greatest Loser. But you're forgetting the host of Green Arrow FANS in Star City.  Even though this one's avoirdupois makes it obvious he's not Green Arrow, he still thinks he's going to pull it off, because he's from Star City, The City Without Sense (tm). At least he's the only one.

When you become a criminal in Star City, you sign up to be the beleaguered Everyman in a faded sitcom.

That is, a surprise OTHER than that spelling of "dumbfounded".

Whoa, settle down, Beavis! Cornholio wants some arrows for his quiver-hole.  For some reason, this hardened criminal doesn't just tell these losers to hit the road, because they are obviously not the loser he's waiting for.  But it's all complicated by the fact that two apparently credible candidates for genuine Green Arrowhood arrive immediately after.

"It's the plumber; I've come to fix the sink."

Add "cosplay" to the 1001 Ways To Defeat Green Arrow. How are they going to figure out who is who?!

Oh. Right.

Ah, this is one of Green Arrow's "William Tell" stories, where The Plot awkwardly positions him in some sort archery test/contest.

"Whoever wins the basketball game is the REAL Green Arrow!"

Gotham City villains would have simply shot them all. Or put them in an ersatz death trap.  But this is Star City, so the criminals HAVE to determine which one is Green Arrow so they can kill him and not the wrong ones.

I'll sure they'll be no complications with that.


Anonymous said...

Star City is Baltimore. It’s so easy to see these people as the parents of the bystanders in a John Waters movie. And what is the Baltimore Foot Stomper if he is not the perfect villain in a 1940s Green Arrow story?

- Hoosier X

Anonymous said...

Okay, credit to this story, it IS an amusing twist that Ollie has to deal with a gaggle of fan-boys.

Always good to see the Harlem Globetrotters, and I observe that the Super Globetrotters had a host of powers that the LSH would have been fools to reject. Who needs Triplicate Girl when you can have Multi Man?

- HJF1

cybrid said...

The reference to Gotham City villains reminded me that I sometimes wonder if Gotham City villains who didn't make the "transition" to the modern age have been retconned into having fought Alan Scott, not Batman. Not sure who the corresponding Metropolis villains would have fought; if a "new" Metropolis hero has been retconned into the golden age, I haven't heard about it. :-|

Scipio said...

I tried hard NOT to think of either Baltimore or the Super-Globetrotters when writing this post. But I'm guess I'm just made of sterner moral fibre than you guys...!

Bryan L said...

Okay, this story better end with Ollie launching a new band of crimefighters called the Lieutenant Arrows, like Captain Marvel's groupies. But if they're called the Merry Men I shall be cross. Too on-the-nose.

Scipio said...

Fat Arrow, Tall Arrow and Hilliblly Arrow.

Reno said...

That Joe Quesada joke made me spit out my drink.

Scipio said...

Reno; clean it up quickly or he might barge in to lap it up.

Scipio said...

Hoosier, Star City is NOT Baltimore. Star City has rooftops; the crime-ridden neighborhoods in Baltimore don't even have ROOFS.