Archery, from the Latin word Arcus, is the act of using a bow to propel an arrow. Used for sport and hunt, it is one of the earliest forms of long-range projectile weapons in history and though not as explosive as guns or cannons, it is still a very useful weapon in the right hands. The two characters I am exploring have made the bow and arrow very effective in their capable hands. In a universe filled with super-powered meta-humans, aliens, sentient cyborgs and deities of the like, a combatant that wields a bow and arrow may not seem as impressive as super speed, strength, eye beams, elemental manipulation or a walking artillery depot. However, these two guys, from their perspective universes, must’ve not gotten that memo. Marvel’s Hawkeye and DC’s Green Arrow have faced down foes bigger and stronger with a swagger and a style that is, to put it simply, on point.
Have you ever wondered who the better archer is? Well YouTube’s Screw Attack has an opinion and they have a pretty convincing argument, claiming that Marvel’s Archer is better. Well who knows what would really happen if the two actually had a battle, but we can compare them in their video games to start. DC and Netherrealm studios’ blockbuster sequel offering Injustice 2, released May 11th 2017, has exploded on the fighting game scene and has dominated popular attention ever since. With new characters yet to be released and a huge tournament following, the Injustice franchise seems to be going full speed ahead with no signs of stopping. Marvel has also tag teamed with Street Fighter developer Capcom to bring forth some of the most bombastic, frantic, and action packed dream paring matches of all time with their Marvel VS Capcom franchise. Their newest installment released September 19th 2017 has garnered a lot of positive reviews amidst its cult following. Even though both of these fighting game styles are very different, their archer characters seem very similar.
Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow was first introduced in DC’s More Fun Comics #73 in 1941.
Green Arrow’s origin story has been retold differently several times with different versions. The Golden Age iteration of Green Arrow’s origin story and the more popular one from the Silver Age of Comics differ greatly. I prefer the latter, so we will be looking at the Silver Age origin story version. Oliver Queen, the millionaire-businessman-turned-vigilante of Star City, was originally a playboy and an accident that saw him falling off of his boat and being stranded on a deserted island forced him to teach himself archery to survive. Eventually, a ship came close to the island and he swam to it hoping to be rescued. Unfortunately, the shipmates were having a mutiny-in-progress and Oliver was forced to take them all down and commandeered the ship back to Star City. After establishing himself, Green Arrow lent his archer skills to help the Justice League. He originally was supposed to be an archer version of Batman. He then gained his own politician left-winged silver-tongued voice and became his own character. In other versions of his origin, he was a master martial artist trained by Natas, the assassin for hire and Deathstroke’s trainer. Green Arrow has crazy accuracy with the bow. It was said that he can fire off 29 arrows in a minute and can launch one as fast as 117 mph! He is also known as a skilled tactician and survivalist. In his quiver, he has almost every kind of arrow imaginable including acid arrows, flame arrows, ice arrows and the infamous boxing glove arrow. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his quiver as he has some really off the wall arrows at his disposal as well including a baby rattle arrow, an EMP arrow and an atomic warhead arrow. In injustice 2 he utilizes the fire, ice, electric and boxing glove arrows. Green Arrow has been portrayed in lots of mediums as well as TV shows, and video games but has not been played in a motion picture like Hawkeye has. (After watching the Justice League movie I would be surprised not to see him in the next movie(s)).
Clint Barton aka Hawkeye debuted in Marvel’s Tales of Suspense #57 in 1964, and then joined the Avengers in Avengers # 16 in 1965. As a child he lost both of his parents in a car accident and was sent to an orphanage. Clint and his brother Barney ran away to join the Carson Carnival of Traveling Wonders. Showing a natural affinity for archery, Clint would be trained by The Swordsman along with the help of Trick Shot, who were unbeknownst to him at the time, were actually criminals. Clint caught The Swordsman embezzling money from the carnival and tried to turn him in. instead, he was beaten badly and was left for dead while his brother joined TrickShot. He went on to further hone his archery and became known as Hawkeye “The World’s Greatest Marksman”. Then one day he saw Iron Man in action and decided to become a hero. His first attempt didn’t go smoothly as a misunderstanding led him to be seen as a criminal when he tried to return the stolen jewels that he recovered from the real culprit. He later was invited to join the Avengers after saving Tony Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis. Hawkeye went on to fight alongside the Avengers, The Defenders and the Thunderbolts and was a key team member in all three teams. Hawkeye also has a bevy of Arrows including acid arrows, explosive fire arrows and freezing ice arrows. He also has some pretty eclectic arrows in his quiver as well like a hacking arrow and a Pym Particle arrow which when shot explodes into hundreds of arrows. Hawkeye has been in a number of different mediums including comics, cartoons, video games and movies.
He is most famously portrayed by the actor Jeremy Renner in The Avenger’s franchise. The similarities between Oliver Queen and Clint Barton start back in the comics. They both have a strong sense of justice, they both have really good one-liners, and they both use arrows-ha-ha. In the video games, their attacks also mirror each other as well. The fact that Hawkeye followed Green Arrow in the comics and the newest installations of the games bears noting as indicators of their similarities.
Both Hawkeye and Green Arrow use a variety of arrow based attacks in their games. Both archers employ basic straight arrows that do a little damage; although Hawkeye’s normal arrow is a little harder to do than Green Arrows normal arrow input-wise. Green Arrow’s normal arrow is his character power so all you have to do is press one button as opposed to Hawkeye’s forward +1 input for his normal. Hawkeye’s straight arrow deals minimal damage alone but is good for pokes which can lead into a good conversion combo. Green Arrow’s single arrows are the more effective attack as it can be utilized as an effective zoning tool. Both Archers use fire, ice and electric arrows, but Green Arrow’s character power is used to diversify his arrows by minimal input; and similarly Hawkeye’s custom arrows also require minimal input. They seem to deliver the same amount of damage. Hawkeye’s freeze arrow melts quicker than Ollie’s (but it may just be an effect of the pace and flow of the MVCI game itself) and his multi arrow shot deals decent damage when Green Arrow has to meter burn for multiple arrows at once. A weird thing I discovered with Hawkeye’s intermediate arrow attack is that it has two different names for the same attack. The fire attack Kiss of Fire and another called Silver Scatter Shot, seem to be the same exact move. Green Arrow’s savage blast is both a damaging attack and an evasive maneuver that really plays into the archer style-being evasive at times and at other times backing the opponent up for a follow up attack.
Green Arrow has to execute precise inputs in order to gain a combo of more than say 6 hits. Hawkeye’s fighting style blends well to the game’s mechanics, and does a good job being the tactician or the aggressor when he needs to be but this move set seems to prefer the up close game rather than getting damage in distance. Green Arrow though very offensive when he needs to be, tends to be a little cagier with his defensive/ offensive approach as evidenced by his savage blast, a move that deals damage to the approaching opponent and also propels him backwards to give him more space to execute attacks from a distance. Unlike Hawkeye, that is played most comfortably as a straightforward offensive type, Green Arrow defers a direct straightforward offensive attack for the balanced defensive/offensive play to gage the opponent by use of some excellent zoning. Again these play styles are different as zoning is not something that is easily done in MVCI. Alternately, insane combos numbering in the hundreds (if you can pull them off) is not something that IJ2 specializes in. The limited stage space in MVCI plays into the monster combos as well by using the infinity stones as devices to either trap characters, blitz them or to just assist in dealing some damage makes for very different yet entertaining matches. The Injustice franchise-and more so Netherrealm specializes in stage transitions that are also fun to try to pull off in matches making it possible to transition from one to the other in a match that also has it’s own flavor of fun in game. For all of their differences across comic book lore, media and in this case gaming platforms, one can argue that Marvel’s Hawkeye and DC’s Green Arrow are strikingly similar.
Who is Better?
I came into this wanting to clearly define who is better. I thought that, since Green Arrow is the older character, he must be better, but I would be doing a disservice to Hawkeye given his own accomplishments (even though I still believe Marvel took some ideas from DC’s Arrow character for their own). However, in the end it doesn’t matter. I like Hawkeye and I also like Green Arrow. The only difference that I can definitively measure is which one I enjoy playing with more. That would have to be Injustice 2’s Green Arrow. I simply like the game a bit more and, though the fast paced action and characters on Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite are a blast to play, it just gives me more satisfaction playing with Ollie as the game is a more immersive experience overall.
What do you think? Which game has the better fighting game experience? Do you think Hawkeye is just a carbon copy of Green Arrow? Do you want to see Green Arrow in the upcoming Justice League franchise? Is Hawkeye important enough to have a standalone film? Please reply and comment below and let us know your Critikal thoughts.