Green Arrow Secret Files & Origins
I've mentioned it a few times, but the time has come to explain why the lead story in this comic is so aggravating.
As the story opens, Ollie and Connor are practicing shooting at long distance targets, "placed about as far away as I could but still make them out with the naked eye," which leads into this conversation:Connor: We should be using long bows for this.
Oliver: You carry a spare long bow around with you in the field?
Connor: I have a collapsible one, yes.
Oliver: Really? Blasphemy. You can't possibly get the same tension from your Swiss Army-knife toys than an actual bow.
Connor: Join me sometime in the 21st century. I'll show you some adaptations that would make your trick arrows look like buggy whips.
Stop. Rewind. Let's go through that again, with some editorializing from yours truly...Connor: We should be using long bows for this.
Me: Really? Why? Do you think a "long bow" is called that because it's used for long shots? You should be using compound bows for this. Of course, at the distance suggested here, the targets should be lying flat on the ground, and you should be shooting way up in the air to create a parabolic arc. There's no other way to make that range.Oliver: You carry a spare long bow around with you in the field?
Connor: I have a collapsible one, yes.
Me: Say what? Do you mean a takedown? Yes, there are two-piece takedown longbows, but most longbow shooters are pretty much purists; they want the one-piece, as Ollie says. And nobody calls them "collapsible" except people who are utterly ignorant of the sport. Oh. Wait.Oliver: Really? Blasphemy. You can't possibly get the same tension from your Swiss Army-knife toys than an actual bow.
Me: Um, that sentence isn't even English. Aside from that, "tension"? What tension? Who talks about tension in archery? Ollie, have you ever shot a bow before?Connor: Join me sometime in the 21st century. I'll show you some adaptations that would make your trick arrows look like buggy whips.
Me: "Adaptations"? Sounds like B.S. to me. You're just trying to pretend you know what you're talking about, aren't you?
And so on.
Next page, we're informed that the boys are shooting "the length of several football fields." Okay, sure. Olympians only shoot at 90 meters (about 100 yards), but we'll take them at their word... that is, until we get to the next page, where Connor can actually see a 3/8" thick arrow hit the approximately-5-foot-diameter target, when we were just told that they could barely make out the targets. I didn't know super-vision was among Connor's gifts. (Of course, if they had any supervision, they wouldn't be engaging in this silly game anyway... har!)
Eventually, the boys get to the point of the scene, which is a segue into yet another of Winick's tales about a demon attack, which amazingly enough, only has one really dumb archery moment. But before we get there, Connor allows as how he has "about a thousand arrows to get to here," so he has plenty of time to hear the tale.
Indeed he does. Any archer knows that fatigue sets in rapidly if shots are taken too close together. It takes about 20 seconds for the lactose buildup in the muscles to dissipate, so any smart archer will pace himself. In tournament settings, archers are permitted two minutes to shoot three arrows, but let's assume that Connor is used to shooting an arrow every 30 seconds (10 seconds to shoot, 20 seconds to recover before taking the next shot). So he's going to take 500 minutes at least to get through those arrows, or in other words, 8 hours and 20 minutes. I hope they packed lunch.
That doesn't include the time it will take to walk back and forth the several hundred yards (a mile is 1760 yards) to collect their arrows. Assuming that their quivers hold 50 arrows (a not unreasonable number, considering my quiver holds about 18 max). they're going to make that walk 20 times at least, round trip, for a grand total of about 10 miles. Walking at a brisk pace, they cover 3 miles an hour, so in addition to the 8:20 shooting time, add another 3:20 walking time, for a grand total of 11 hours and 40 minutes at the range. I hope they packed dinner.
But I digress.
So now Ollie is into his demon story, replete with all the usual silly archery mistakes (gravity-defying arrows that suspend themselves in the air without any support, arrows on the wrong side of the bow, balancing the arrow on the tip of the thumb, drawing the string up over and behind the ear, and so on), but the really egregious part is coming. Ollie has to make a shot at a really long distance over a ravine, and he strains to do it...
"God... I hope... I don't snap the bow... before I get the shot off... it's just... such... a long... one..."
Tell me, Ollie, have you ever shot a bow before?
A big part of aiming a bow is what they call "anchor." This means putting the hand against the face in a certain spot, the same way every time. this functions like the rear sight on a rifle. Without a consistent anchor, accuracy is impossible. When making a long shot, one does not draw the bow back further (which would be impossible anyway if he's shooting properly; the drawing is done with the back muscles and there's only so far they can move); one would switch to a lighter arrow or heavier bow, or one would simply aim higher and allow gravity and inertia to do the work.
So Ollie finishes his story, and the boys set off on their quarter-mile hike to collect their arrows... with full quivers on their backs. Dunno about you, but if I were going to shoot that far, I'd go ahead and empty the quiver before I went and collected the arrows. But that's just me. I guess they like long walks.
Or more likely, Judd Winick engages in hyperbole in order to hide the fact that he doesn't know the first thing about the central fact of his main character, and can't really be bothered to find out.
In any case, that's the last Green Arrow story I'll be reading until he's gone.
Labels: archery, MacQuarrie