Green Arrow, kung fu master, Pt. 1Posted: 11/05/2013
Did you know Oliver Queen, the most recognizable and goatee’d Green Arrow, has a son? Connor Hawke, a man that Queen never met until Hawke’s adulthood and raised in a dojo, took over the superhero mantle after Queen exploded in a plane. Sad stuff. But it turns out that shooting boxing glove arrows isn’t Hawke’s only talent — he’s also one of the finest martial artists in the entire DC universe. I’m talking Cassandra Cain-level of kung fu aptitude. This week, we’ll examine all the perks and annoyances of being a martial art master. Spoiler alert: it’s entirely annoyances. In Green Arrow #121, written by Chuck Dixon and drawn by Will Rosado, and Greeen Arrow #127, written by Dixon and drawn by Dougie Braithwaite, our protagonist battles Silver Monkey — an opponent far fiercer than his name suggests.
Basically, the dojo/ashram Hawke spent much of his youth in gave way to a new owner. A greedy, new age, selfish owner. Kung fu’s about spirituality, love, and punching, and Hawke figures it’s time to correct this problem.
Notice Hawke’s Green Arrow costume differs from the traditional Robin Hood-esque outfit that Queen wore. Also, if you notice Hawke out of uniform in the first page, he’s a mix of Asian, African, and Queen’s European heritage — a wonderful role model for those seeking a non-white superhero to identify with. Oh, and Fritz Mueller’s champion?
Silver Monkey doesn’t always smile. The mask gets painted that way. Like a Greek comedy, or the wild tragedy that’s about to unfold. Silver Monkey turns out to be way more than a Legends of a Hidden Temple tribe.
This fight scene combines my two favorite things: brawling and lectures on crowd mechanics. I don’t know why Green Arrow brings his bow with him. Or why he only has one bracelet. But just like every great martial arts movie, when our hero gets down, all he needs for his second wind is an incoherent ghost speech. I feel after a few massive blows to the end, it’s more the tone than the message that matters anyway.
Kung fu masters also have to learn humility, like getting beat up on video camera. Luckily for Hawke, in six issues, he gets that precious rematch. And this time, the stakes rise higher than a dojo and a best selling DVD.
If you don’t mind, I have to stop here today a bit earlier than I would normally. To make it up to you, I’ll post part two tomorrow and we’ll finish with our big finale on Friday. Thank you, I appreciate it! Have a great day!