Monday, August 5, 2013

It's just not that easy to make archery seem 'hip'

I ended up watching Marvel's The Avengers twice this weekend* and I feel like we as a people can no longer avoid one simple undeniable truth. - Being really good with a bow and arrow just isn't that cool as a super power.  I'm sorry, but we have to face that together before we can move on from this point.

* It was raining and I was with two different people who hadn't seen it at different times and who are you to judge me.

I'm referring here of course to the character of Hawkeye as played by young Jeremy Renner in the aforementioned film.  Hawkeye's superpower is that he's a really, really good shot with a bow and arrow.  Which means that Joss Whedon got to add in lots of lovely shots of Mssr. Renner shooting one way and looking the other.  Plus Hawkeye was the character who got the obligatory 'brainwashed into working for the enemy so pretty much unrecognizable as a character for most of the film'

It was this last point that apparently didn't sit well with Jeremy who has gone on record as saying that he was disappointed that that 'wasn't the character I signed on to play'.

To which I respond  - No... THIS is the character you signed on to play...

Having dodged the enormous pointy fuschia mask, I think you came out ahead of the deal, Jeremy

Which brings me to my point.  The defining feature of Hawkeye is the bow and arrow.  And bows and arrows just aren't particularly cool in and of themselves*

*Unlike bowties.

 Leaving aside the fact that a superhero who uses a bow and arrow just begs the question of whether murdering bad guys in the name of protecting the innocent is morally justifiable (because if your main weapon is the bow and arrow you don't have a whole ton of other options really.  Kill, wound, wound slightly less and startle.  Oh, and that cool computer virus arrow thing that Hawkeye did in the movie but it's not like that's going to help you stop a mugging, now is it.)

It all goes back to Robin Hood of course.  Robin Hood was pretty cool.  Robin Hood used a Bow and Arrow.  Therefore Bows and Arrows must be cool, so the syllogism goes.

To which any sane person responds -  Robin Hood was cool because he robbed from the freakin' rich and gave to the freakin' poor.  His choice of accessories had precious little to do with it.  You know why Robin Hood used a bow and arrow?  Because it was the highest level of weaponry at the time, that's why.  It's not like he stopped while putting on tights and thought 'Gosh, maybe tonight I won't use the taser... the bow and arrow has such panache!'

So, fast forward a few centuries and DC comics decides to create a new superhero who was more or less a modern Robin Hood and therefore used a bow and arrow and dressed in forest green with a jaunty cap.  This character at least used a lot of trick arrows like smoke arrows, net arrows and in at least one unfortunate episode - boxing glove arrows.*

*As opposed to the current televised version in the show Arrow who merely teaches us that the secret to crimefighting is to spend a lot of time brooding in a warehouse with your shirt off.  But to be fair, he is pretty ripped, and if I was I'd probably do the same, so fair point to him.

This is classic Green Arrow.  
You're going to have to Google pictures of shirtless Stephen Amell on your own.

Eventually, because there is a longstanding law that anything remotely original at either Marvel or DC must immediately have an almost identical version created at the rival company, Marvel created Hawkeye.  Who was totally unlike Green Arrow because he wore purple.  

So take heart, Jeremy Renner - Things could have been much worse.

No comments:

Post a Comment