In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Checkmate, a massive blindspot in Green Arrow’s archery skills is revealed when the Question is shot in the arm.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Checkmate #3
In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Checkmate, Green Arrow was forced to confess to a rather large gap in his knowledge and skills as an archer. Despite being one of the greatest heroes to ever fire a bow and arrow in the DC Universe, it seems as though there’s one skill in particular that eludes him (though it’s probably the result of his expert aim). In the new issue, it’s revealed that, while Green Arrow has no problem putting arrows into people, he does struggle when it comes to taking them out when the situation calls for it.
In prior issues of DC’s Checkmate – from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev – Leviathan has dismantled and absorbed several different counter-intelligence agencies in a massive hostile takeover, seeking to make the world “safer by force” as it absorbed ARGUS, the DEO, Spyral, Kobra and more. In response, Checkmate was rebuilt, and Green Arrow himself has been helping run the organization with any financial needs as they work to find a way to bring Leviathan down.
Now, while Checkmate is trying to prevent Leviathan from accessing the network of secrets shared by the Hall of Justice, Batcave, and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, Green Arrow has a more mundane yet challenging problem on his hands. While he and the Question were meant to cover Lois Lane in the series’ second issue, they were attacked, leading to Lois being kidnapped while the Question took an arrow in his back from Oliver Queen’s longtime foe Merlyn. Now, in Checkmate #3, it’s revealed that Oliver doesn’t know how to take arrows out, struggling to help Question remove the shot. While it is a pretty funny scene, it’s actually quite surprising as well. Shouldn’t a master archer know how to remove arrows and treat wounds?
Apparently, Oliver Queen puts arrows in people just fine but rarely takes them out. Arrow removal certainly seems like a skill he should learn for a variety of reasons, if only due to the fact that he has a foe who shoots arrows back that he just faced in the previous issue. In Green Arrow’s defense, he’s a pretty great archer who almost always hits his targets, meaning that if he’s shooting at someone, he probably wants the arrow to stay wherever he wanted it to go. However, that’s still a pretty slim excuse considering he now has an ally with an arrow sticking out of their back and he’s comically at a loss for how to help.
In any case, it’s nice to see some humor injected into this new series, especially considering how serious the narrative is by its nature as a story of rival espionage groups. As Checkmate continues, it’s going to be interesting to see how Oliver Queen’s time is split between Checkmate and his role on the Justice League. Here’s hoping Green Arrow can get a better handle on things in future issues from DC Comics.
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