Monday, August 29, 2011

1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrrow

Let's return to someone whom I and the rest of the world have abused a lot--but not nearly enough. Green Arrow. I figure I have to get my licks in now, because, frankly, I fear my worst nightmare is looming on the horizon: an acceptable make-over of Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). Yes, all the advance word I'm reading about how Green Arrow will be portrayed in the New 52 sounds like he just might be a unique, interesting, and likable character. Damnation! Is nothing sacred? But before we lose him forever, let us pay homage to one of comics' greatest and most enduringly and unendearingly unlikeable buffoons. My idea for doing so came from a story title that I recently stumbled upon in researching a previous, unrelated post: "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow". "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow"?! How delicious! Why, it sounded like something I myself might write! Here's a description of that story from the scholarly and extremely kind Dr. Mike Grost of Detroit:
1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow (1952). Writer: France E. Herron. Art: George Papp. A professor sells a book called "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow" to the underworld, full of pre-planned schemes to defeat Green Arrow. Many of the schemes here involve understanding Green Arrow's psychology, then using his typical responses against him. This is a subtle approach. Green Arrow eventually understands this. Herron would write other tales of psychological manipulation by bad guys, such as "The Invasion From Indiana" (Strange Adventures #49, October 1954). Green Arrow's eventual call to abandon his predictable use of logic has a Rimbaud like feel.
Of the many astonishing things I have seen or might reasonably imagine seeing some day, a description of a Green Arrow story as having a "Rimbaud-like feel" was not one of them. Unless, of course, one focuses on the point in his life where...
Rimbaud's behaviour became outwardly provocative; he drank alcohol, spoke rudely, composed scatological poems, stole books from local shops, and abandoned his hitherto characteristically neat appearance by allowing his hair to grow long.. At the same time he wrote to Izambard about his method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a "long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses.
Because that actually sounds a lot like Ollie Queen to me. "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow" was originally published in this comic (Adventure Comics 174):
As much as I want to focus on Green Arrow, I'm also dying to find out about How Lana Lang Invented Lesbian Chic. Some other day, perhaps.
"1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow" was reprinted in this Bronze-Age issue of Brave & Bold.
Because when you've got to put a Haney-penned B&B story that makes Batman look ridiculous in the front of the book, there's only one way to make him look better: put a Green Arrow story in the back.
Anyway, so this Professor of Evil writes a book with 1001 chapters, each one of which tells you a different way to defeat Green Arrow. If I had such a book, I would read a chapter every day, like a quotidian devotional, a veritable The Upper Room for Green Arrow haters. Except "1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow" is really more like asubtitle; it needs a catchy title like "Easy Target: 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow". But, sadly, I do not have 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow the book; I don't even have 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow the story. I don't own it, can't get a copy, and can only find this one page on line: So with your help I'll just have to make it up! What are 1001 ways to defeat Green Arrow? I want this to be an ongoing series, something to soothe our souls with the stupidity of classic Green Arrow during these lean and hungry years to come while we must endure this new, cool and interesting version of Green Arrow in the New DCU. I'll need YOUR suggestions, either here or emailed to me at Here, let me start the ball rolling!
1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #1: Window bars. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #2: Mock the 'Arrow-Car'. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #3: Take away his arms.... and his teeth. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #4: Ice cream man suit + bad hair day = fail. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #5: Report him to Child Services. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #6: Wait for him to expose himself. Or, at least, his secret identity. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #7: Bring a gun. You don't even have to fire it. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #8: Use a circus clown. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #9: Require him to use the donut arrow. 1001 Ways to Defeat Green Arrow, #10: Judd Winick
See how easy it is?! Now it's YOUR turn....!


Bryan L said...

Ways to defeat Green Arrow, #11:

Show up in a tank.

B.G. Christensen said...

#12: Bring a woman to distract him. Nothing special, anything with two X chromosomes will do.

Greg said...

You don't know me and I don't know you, but God bless you for subtly emphasizing that Judd Winick is . . . well, he's Judd Winick and he just shouldn't write any comics other than Barry Ween. Maybe Exiles. However, under no circumstance should he be let near any DC characters.

Michael Condon said...

#13 Stab him in the back Jack.
#14 Hit him with a bus Gus.
#15 Get Roy to act coy; oh boy!

Anonymous said...

Damn you, you beat me by seconds:

Just do a redact, Jack
Don't clone your dead pal, Hal
Shoot up in Hanoi, Roy
Just listen to me

Don't duplicate Kane's Wayne
You don't need to ordain pain
You're not writing "Gigli"
Now get yourself free

Jeff McGinley said...

I don't think any of the other 991 could top number 10 for finality.

Imitorar said...

Yeah, what earthly use is a donut arrow? Now, a plastic cat arrow, THAT'S dependable.

Anonymous said...

The donut arrow could take down corrupt Gotham cops. I'll be damned, there's something Green Arrow could do better than Batman.

CobraMisfit said...

#52 - Allow him to remain married to Black Canary. She'd bury him under the weight of a "honey-do" list.

TotalToyz said...

"Green Arrow's Fruit Snacks". You've gotta love the fat kid in the Superman T-shirt. "What's 'fruit', Green Arrow? When did you stop hawking Twinkies?"

steve mitchell said...

It's basic, but it works: Have Detective Jones shoot him in the leg.

Scipio said...

OMG, why didn't I think of that?!

Here I was thinking J'onn would use his Martian breath to blow the arrow just slight off course...

SallyP said...

This is magnificent. Utterly utterly magnificent, and the one that you were born to write, Scipio.

Oh, and Lana is a traditionalist. She simply wore the bathing suit that won her grandmother, the title of Miss 1904!

I'm also rather fond of the vacumn arrow that Ollie used to suck up Lois's pearls.

Wait...that came out wrong.