Saturday, April 11, 2020

Green Arrow vs. The Pirates, #1: Something Ought To Be Done!

It begins in the great seaboard city that Green Arrow calls home.

"Robber-Craft" is the name of my next quartet.  Or maybe "Flaming Destruction".

He calls it 'home' because it doesn't have another name. At least not yet; this is early Green Arrow.  Hilariously this pirate ship is... quite literally a pirate ship. Not a modern ship for plunder, a robber-craft, as it were.  It's just a crappy bedraggled sail-driven schooner with the cast of "Penzance" aboard. 

Is this anachronistic approach endemic to backwards-thinking Star City?  I mean, its crimefighter uses a bow and arrow.  Are the newspapers made on Gutenberg presses?  Do they use candles instead of lightbulbs, and if so are they made from tallow? It would explain much.

Speaking of anachronisms, the pirate ship naturally has on it an Unwilling Cabin Boy:

"Unwilling Cabin Boy" was a GREAT movie. If you get the chance, watch it.
Alone, of course. Or with a very close friend.

"Slight but spirited boy"? That's from the ad for Piratical Peg Boy that Johnny answered, I assume: "Slight but spirited boy wanted for position on pirate ship. Maybe several positions."

Front cover illustration for the "Unwilling Cabin Boy" DVD.

I've read Treasure Island, by the way, and pirates are not glamorous in the stories told about them, if you are paying any attention.  They stink, are unshaven and badly nourished, and are covered in a hodgepodge of bad tattoos; they are the Carnies of the Sea.

Back cover illustration for the "Unwilling Cabin Boy" DVD.

Meanwhile, as this Stevensonian nightmare is unfolding along the waterfront of the great seaboard city, urban sophisticates Ollie Queen and that boy who unaccountably lives with him idly ponder the news.

Thinking! NOW we know what his role is!

Poor, lazy Oliver.  "The Harbor Police, what DO we pay them for?! Yas, someone REALLY should do SOMETHING. Something that doesn't involve my lifting my ass off this magenta credenza,  because my hip is KILLING me." Count dysplasia among the 1001 Ways To Defeat Green Arrow.

Eventually, the boy's sense of civic duty (or boredom, because "trapped in an apartment with Oliver Queen") impels them out of their apartment (because Ollie spends too much of his money on arrow-crap to afford a HOUSE) and into ....

"Arrowcraft" is the name of my next quartet.


Gotta hand it to Ollie (or, at least, his creator George Papp). He may be a slavish and shameless imitator of Batman, but he's an ORIGINAL slavish and shameless imitator of Batman.  Batmobile; ArrowCAR. Batboat; ArrowCRAFT. Batplane; Arrow--.  Well, two out of three ain't bad.

Or, as we say in my circles, "Let's go boating for the afternoon, chum!"

Note that not only is Ollie not the World's Great Detective, he's not any kind of detective at all.  Noncommittal, he relies, as usual, not on planning or thinking (which is Speedy's job) but on dumb luck. Fortunately, he is almost as lucky as he is dumb. As we shall see tomorrow... .

1 comment:

John C said...

So, wait. Are emerald green coveralls standard issue Unwilling Cabin Boy gear, just the sort of thing Li'l Johnny James needed to complete his escape from the parents, or a sign that he's secretly a (highly inept) Green Arrow confederate? And honestly, given how much slack is in Johnny's chains, maybe the entire crew is in on the sting.

I'll tell you, though, of all the advantages Batman has over Green Arrow, I don't think Bruce is confident enough in his masculinity to rent a secret boathouse in the Hot Pink neighborhood of Gotham City. Or to make sure his branding is "green," only to paint all his vehicles yellow, for that matter!

And that doesn't even get to Ollie's unshakable faith in the editorial process to answer "how are we going to find a super-conspicuous pirate ship" with "I guess we just ignore the plane and take out a low boat in the middle of the night."