Oliver Queen is the best at what he does, and what he does is shoot arrows very, very accurately. Since making his debut back in 1941's MORE FUN COMICS #73, Green Arrow has shown us time and time again just how gifted he is with a bow. He's defeated countless goons and used well-placed arrows to save the day and topple threats. There's plenty of great examples of him beating fodder or ending things with a single arrow, but we want to celebrate some of his most intense and memorable battles. If your favorite Emerald Archer fight isn't below, go ahead and show it some love in the comments.
vs. Hackett (GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE #3)
Andy Diggle, Jock, and David Baron's GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE is all about Ollie transforming from a spoiled brat into a brave man. He initially crafts the bow for survival purposes (it makes catching fish easier, and a guy needs to eat, yes?), but when he discovers the island he's stranded on is run by a cruel heroin manufacturer named China White, he takes action. Technically, his first fight was against a plane (which was quite awesome) and the limited series concludes with some great action, but what's especially memorable is when Ollie discovers that Hackett, a man he previously worked with, is part of China White's operation. Ollie stalks the man in the woods and the two have a gripping confrontation. Seeing Oliver dodge bullets and then fire and arrow at the man while doing a flip was absurdly cool. In the end, it's Hackett's bloodlust that allows Oliver to walk away from the encounter, but it's still a terrific fight. Jock and Baron's excellent pages are just a very nice bonus.
vs. Brick (GREEN ARROW #45)
Brick, a guy with boosted durability, has worked his way up the criminal empire's ladder and become Star City's crime lord. He has several key players in his pocket and he's enjoying the power. Oliver, however, wants to take his city back. Instead of creating an elaborate plan to take down Brick's operation, Oliver simply walks in and challenges the dude to a fight. Whoever wins gets control of the city. The villain views himself as a business man and has no problem agreeing to the terms. Seeing as Brick refers to Ollie's weapons as "toys," it's obvious he was more than confident he had this one in the bag. What follows is fantastic. Brick's too durable for Oliver's arrows and attacks. Ollie keeps trying and trying, but eventually Brick begins to smack him around. Thinking he has the clear edge, he begins to run his mouth, and Oliver uses that literal opening for an upgraded glue bomb (he says it's a high-grade industrial adhesive). As if the physical defeat wasn't humiliating enough, Green Arrow gives him a verbal beating, too. If you don't think Green Arrow's badass, read this full fight and it's sure to change your mind.
vs. Komodo (GREEN ARROW #20)
Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo's New 52 run is loaded with exciting action, but Oliver's fight with Komodo in a graveyard was jaw-dropping. Taking place during a heavy downpour, Sorrentino and Maiolo created some brilliant and amazingly immersive panels as these two archers unleashed projectiles at each other. Eventually, it came down to close quarters combat and, as you can see above, the fight took a very savage turn. It's without question one of the most stunning scenes from the run and has unforgettable artwork.
vs. Onomatopoeia (GREEN ARROW #15)
Onomatopoeia, a heartless villain who targets human heroes, has shot Oliver's son, Connor, in the head. As doctor's struggle to save Connor's life, the villain interrupts and wants to finish what he started. Green Arrow's able to swiftly get the better of the gunman and places an arrow right in the foe's mouth. The conditions are simple: If Connor dies, Oliver fires the arrow. If he lives, well, they'll just have to wait and see what happens. More than thirty minutes pass and, as you more than likely know, Connor is saved by the doctors. Ono's bites down and kicks Ollie away, and what happens next is a bloody good time. Oliver puts non-lethal shot after non-lethal shot into the bad guy, but the fiend just won't slow down. Even though he's heavily injured, Onomatopoeia is able to eventually escape after falling off the side of the building. It's all delightfully over-the-top and brutal.
vs. "Richard Dragon" (GREEN ARROW #34)
Junior Diaz -- a seriously skilled fighter who has taken the name Richard Dragon -- has come face to face with Green Arrow and John Diggle. Even though it's two against one, Diaz has the advantage. He's able to analyze his foes and swiftly discover the best way to defeat his opponents. It's an embarrassing showing for the two heroes as they suffer a relentless beating. Diggle's stabbed in the hand, Oliver's bow is broken, and the two are treated to a flurry of strikes. It seems like all hope is lost, but then the two use a bit of twisted teamwork to overcome the odds. Diggle rips the arrow out of his hand, tosses it to Ollie, and then the DC hero uses that to stab Diz in a femoral artery. Oliver and John suffeed one hell of a beating, but they were most definitely not broken. Obviously, Sorrentino and Maiolo's creative pages are another big reason why this is such a memorable showdown. The encounter sells Diaz's reflexes short in the end, but it's still awesome.
vs. Solomon Grundy (GREEN ARROW #18)
"Grundy no like arrows in face!"
Ollie and Roy have returned to the Arrowcave, but it turns out Solomon Grundy has decided to call the place his home. Roy is immediately taken out of the fight and Oliver can't tell if his partner is still alive. The fight reminds us over and over again how much of an uphill struggle this is for the hero and how he's lucky to be alive when all is said and done. Oliver's constantly telling us the pain he's going through and it shows the lengths he'll go to protect the people he loves. When all is said and done, Roy asks, "Did you really beat Solomon Grundy?" Ollie's reply is simply, "Yup." It's a hugely impressive showing for the hero and, just like with many of the other choices, Phil Hester's animated character work is a real delight.
vs. Deadshot (DEADSHOT #3)
How could we not include a battle between two of DC's best marksmen?! Writer Christos Gage makes the fight every bit as fun as it should be. Arrows are shot out of the air; arrows get stuck in gun barrels; and the two seem to enjoy bantering as they stay on the move and keep on shooting. It isn't too long before the residents of Star City's "The Triangle" interrupt the fight and Ollie realizes Floyd Lawton's actually helping the community. So, instead of being stubborn and continuing the shootout, the two go to a bar to discuss what's going on. And yes, they play a game of darts.
vs. Constantine Drakon (GREEN ARROW #29)
Constantine Drakon dominated Green Arrow in their first fight. The arrogant assassin has an unspecified level of super-speed and it allows him to effortlessly dance around Ollie's attacks and catch all of his arrows with ease. He's crazy good and he sure likes to brag about it. The only reason he doesn't kill Oliver in their fist fight is because he wouldn't get any cash for it. However, Oliver decides to use this against the villain in another fight. Knowing Drakon loves to showoff and catch projectiles, the archer uses that to his advantage and makes sure Drakon catches a trick arrow. He then adds insult to injury by planting an arrow in the bad guy's foot. Even though Drakon's blinded and full of rage, he's still firing two pistols with frightening good accuracy, so Ollie makes a run for it. Still, it was thrilling to see Oliver temporarily get the better of this insanely dangerous character.
vs. Count Vertigo (GREEN ARROW #24)
"ONE PUNCH! ONE PUNCH!"
Count Vertigo's causing all kinds of chaos in Seattle and only Oliver Queen can stop him! Vertigo unleashes his ability and Oliver thinks about how it makes him want to vomit, but this isn't the first time he's been hit by the attack. Instead, he stops fighting it and begins to accept the madness and adapt to it. While others may collapse and lose control, Ollie finds the strength to move forward and clock the Count with a glorious punch. To make sure Vertigo can do no more damage, Ollie then rips off the device that grants Vertigo his power. Once again, this whole conflict is brought to life beautifully by Sorrentino and Maiolo.
vs. Deathstroke (GREEN ARROW #62)
Everyone knows Batman can do virtually anything with some prep time. This encounter reveals that Ollie isn't exactly shabby with it, either. Thanks to having new skills with a blade and a whole lot of time to prepare, Oliver's trap for Deathstroke works perfectly. Deathstroke ends up in a pit and its sticky floor restricts his movement, but Oliver's boots are coated with a substance that allows him to be every bit as nimble as he wants to be. It's an entertaining display as Oliver holds his own against Slade Wilson and the mercenary even thinks to himself about how much better Oliver has become. The authorities show up shortly later and Slade has two options: go down fighting or surrender. The deadly dude picks the latter. Sure, the next issue reveals Slade allowed himself to get captured so he could meet with Constantine Drakon in prison, but it's still quite a showing, isn't it?
"But what about the boxing glove arrow?!" Fine, here you go.
What's your favorite Green Arrow battle?