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Green Arrow’s Secret Weapon Makes Absolutely No Sense


Green Arrow’s secret weapon makes absolutely no sense when revealed in a recent issue of Justice League, proving that Oliver Queen is no Bruce Wayne.

Warning! Spoilers for Justice League #61

Green Arrow’s secret weapon makes absolutely no sense when it’s revealed in a recent issue of Justice League. Now that he’s an official core member of the team, Oliver Queen is just as prepared for battle as Batman was in the previous roster.

Throughout Green Arrow’s history, he has had some of the most outrageous arrows in his arsenal, many of which have taken a note from Batman’s playbook. Although the days of boxing-glove and magnet arrows might be in the past, Oliver Queen is still just as well equipped as ever. Since he joined the Justice League, he’s taken on a lot more responsibility than he had been used to, and he’s living up to the challenge. Green Arrow’s role as League leader continues in Justice League #61, written by Brian Michael Bendis and Ram V. with art by Xermanico and David Marquez.

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When a villain attempts to shoot Green Arrow with his own bow, it violently electrocutes the thief. Oliver warns him that he shouldn’t let the arrow loose, but when he does, he learns his lesson. Before Green Arrow is interrupted by Black Canary’s scream, he explains, “It’s all tied to my fingerprint.” The problem is, it makes no sense to shock the person holding the bow only once they’ve let go of the bowstring. At that point, the energy stored in the string is released, meaning that either the arrow will fly off wildly when the user is shocked, or else Ollie’s bow has to not just read the user’s fingerprint and shock them, but clamp down on the bowstring to stop the arrow harming anyone (something it clearly doesn’t do, as the bowstring is no longer pulled back when the bow falls from the villain’s hands.) This is as opposed to just shocking a villain when they grab the bow or right as they begin to pull back the string.

Releasing an arrow isn’t like firing a gun, and Green Arrow’s failsafe kicks in when the only thing its victim is controlling is where the arrow goes next. Interrupting the shot at the last minute makes no sense as a safety precaution, either causing the victim to loose the arrow in a random direction or requiring the bow to be so technologically sophisticated that the whole point of Green Arrow is lost. While the moment works as karmic payback, triggering the secret weapon only when it’s a certainty the villain intended to kill Green Arrow,  it’s a huge design flaw on a practical level, and one easily fixed by having the fingerprint fail-safe trigger earlier in the process.

This may explain Green Arrow’s warning beyond just his heroic nature. In one panel, the arrow is ready to be released, and in the next, the string is taut and the arrow is nowhere to be seen. While it’s possible it fell loose, there also doesn’t seem to be anything about this system that would stop it flying in some random direction: Ollie may have not been just giving the villain one last chance to surrender, but legitimately trying to protect his own life and the safety of the villain’s own gang. Green Arrow may have taken over leading the Justice League, but that doesn’t mean he has to match the complexity of Batman’s gadgets – especially because the skill required to fight superpowered enemies with a bow and arrow is only downplayed if the bow itself is programmed to have the last word on what actually happens once you let go of the string.

More: Green Arrow Has His Own Version of The Batmobile

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