Green Arrow, kung fu master, Pt. 2Posted: 11/06/2013
As we watched the Silver Monkey humiliate Green Arrow last time, the unfortunate first loss — used to show the superiority of an enemy and thus heighten the suspense for our dear superhero — must be a predecessor to the exciting and inevitable rematch. We pick up with round two of Connor Hawke versus Silver Monkey:
Most superheroes keep their costumes on underneath their clothes, but Hawke just puts on a jacket. Now y’see, martial arts work looks impressive, but it rarely pays the bills. Sure, Silver Monkey could teach all those fancy moves to preteens and whatnot, but that’s more of a studio apartment than a life of luxury. So to support that glorious lifestyle he leads as an arrogant asshole, Silver Monkey takes the route most traveled by comic book supervillains who dabble in kung fu.
The assassin. A popular and violent career almost certain to end with a batarang to the face. Sometimes they get outsourced to other superheroes. In the home of Hawke’s mother, Green Arrow battles a bad guy dressed like every character from Dragonball Z.
Honestly, my Green Arrow knowledge is lacking. I know writers use Oliver Queen as the voice to question authority, an angry passionate voice for the left. I also know that a non-powered Robin Hood with cool facial hair needs more than a boomerang arrow to catch on with fans. Hawke, a relatively new character (about five years into his introduction at this point in today’s comic), must possess a a trait to grab hold of readers as well. The world’s finest martial artist? At least the world’s second (or third or fourth) greatest martial artist? That’s something readers can grasp onto. That and brooding’s already taken. Though it takes a while for Hawke to find his combat groove.
I’ve seen enough Jackie Chan movies to know that even inferior opponents sometimes get lucky shots and smack our hero with pinball machines and stepladders. Silver Monkey, while probably close to Green Arrow’s skill level, is not Green Arrow. It’s hard to tell right now, but trust me. But he does nail the color-plus-relatable-noun name thing going on.
As Hawke musters up the right emotional frequency, let it be known that Hawke wins not by brains or cleverness. Spider-Man wins that way. Batman wins that way. Superman wins by punching dudes into orbit. But as Green Arrow claims victory today, he does it the old fashioned way — smashing bad guys until they turn into mush. Tomorrow, he’ll go up against his toughest baddie yet. It’ll be a doozy.