Being able to properly use a bow and arrows is an impressive feat. Being able to properly use a bow and arrows while fighting crime is a very impressive feat. Not only does it require a tremendous amount of skill and concentration, but it also requires the user to have lightning-quick reflexes and incredible stamina. After all, shooting off a bow and arrow is a little more strenuous than simply shooting a gun.
I suppose this is why there are very few superheroes who use them. Yep. There are only a handful of notable superheroes whose preference is to use the very manual weapon. Who are they, you ask? Good question. In today’s post, we bring you a list of the 4 best superheroes who use a bow and arrows proficiently, and well, one not so great.
5. Miss Arrowette
Miss Arrowette first appeared inside the pages of World’s Finest Comics #113 back in November of 1960. She was created by both Dave Wood and Lee Elias.
The original Arrowette’s actual name is Bonnie King and Bonnie King was once a promising young archer. Her abilities were unrivaled so much so that she competed and won a bronze medal in the Olympics. Unfortunately, as good as she was, she wasn’t good enough for her mother. While Bonnie was pleased with a bronze medal, her mother was unhappy she didn’t win gold. The constant shame her mother pushed onto her caused Bonnie to give up archery altogether.
Now without direction, Bonnie found herself aimlessly wandering the streets of Star City. Luckily, Star City is the home to two very famous archers. These are, of course, Green Arrow and the then-named Speedy. Inspired by the duo, Bonnie created a costume for herself, fabricated a number of trick arrows, and took on the moniker of Arrowette. Although her abilities as a superhero weren’t on the same level as her idol’s, she did make every attempt to use them as a way to change the world for the better.
4. Kate Bishop
Kate Bishop first appeared in Young Avengers #1 in 2005. She is the creation of Jim Cheung and Allan Heinberg.
Kate Bishop is the daughter of publishing Baron, Derek Bishop. Due to this, she was born into a life many can only dream of. By all accounts, Kate could’ve lived out her life on the family fortune but chose not to. Instead, she chose to take after her mother who had spent her life contributing to various charitable causes.
Kate’s path to Hawkeye started the night that she was attacked in Central Park. Although the details of the attack aren’t precisely known, it’s believed that this instance caused Kate to learn various forms of combat. That is, instead of allowing the attack to cause paranoia, Kate looked at it in a positive light and gave herself a reason to better herself. Along with all the combat training, Kate also learned archery, fencing, and sword fighting. Due to the immense amount of training, she became extremely proficient in most types of weapons. This includes, but was not limited to bows, arrows, and swords.
3. Roy Harper
Roy Harper was created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris and first appeared on the pages of More Fun Comics #73 back in 1941. In this appearance and for the next many decades, Roy went by the name Speedy.
When just a boy, Roy lost his father to a forest fire on a Navajo reservation. Sensing great skill in the young Harper, the medicine man of the local tribe, Brave Bow took him in. Under Brave Bow, Roy learned and excelled in archery and marksmanship. In fact, he didn’t just excel, he became as synonymous with the bow and arrow as Elton John is with the piano.
Roy has shown that with practice and patience, anyone is capable of great feats. For example, he’s so proficient in archery that he has shot droplets of water dripping from a faucet. While Roy doesn’t possess any inherent powers that make him powerful, his ability with a bow and arrow could be considered a power. Under this logic, he cracks this top 10…easily.
Of all the superheroes who use a bow and arrows, Hawkeye might be the most well-known. After all, he was Marvel’s first mainstream character to become popular using them.
Hawkeye is an archer who never misses his mark. He was trained by the Swordsman and associated with the most deadly of heroes. A quick glimpse into his past shows his alignment with Black Widow, Bucky Barnes, Daredevil, and Wolverine. As an archer, he utilizes many different types of trick arrows, techniques, and technologies to fight crime.
Although his original costume leaves something to be desired, over the years Marvel has done a fantastic job of modernizing him. Instead of a purple get-up with a ridiculous set of boots and an absurd mask, he runs around in a sleek military garment more suited for his line of work.
1. Green Arrow
Both Green Arrow and Aquaman were introduced in More Fun Comic #73. Of the two, Green Arrow became an instant hit. Oliver Queen was an orphan, playboy, and millionaire, who, while traveling the world, fell out of his yacht. Using his smarts, he crafted a bow and arrow from wood, stone, and some nearby vines. He quickly became an expert with the weapon and learned to make trick arrows. Of them, the most impressive was a net arrow to catch fish and a drill arrow, fashioned from stone, vines, wood, and the elastic from his socks.
After months of isolation, he saw a ship that had docked at his island. Upon closer inspection, he saw that a mutiny threatened the lives of the ship’s crew and took it upon himself to save them. He proceeded to smear anchor grease around his eyes (as a mask) and then, using his special arrows, save the crew. As repayment for his efforts, the crew took him back to the mainland where he devoted his life to serving society as the Green Arrow.
Once home, he used his resources to create trick arrows and vehicles to fight crime. Eventually, he found out that his company, Queen Industries, was manufacturing weapons. This discovery caused him to renounce his fortune and take to the streets as one of the few superheroes who use a bow and arrows.