Adventure Comics #259
"Green Arrow's Mystery Pupil!"
Ed Herron (Script)
Lee Elias (Pencils And Inks)
The Green Arrow is in a showdown -- such as those in the old west. His
opponent is Vance -- his student. While the Ace Archer will not take a
human life -- Vance will. A newspaper ad attracts the attention of Green
Arrow and Speedy... They have come in answer to the summons of someone
who has a million dollar check for the bowman's favorite charity... if he
trains him to become an ace archer like him. Not one to refuse money for
charity, Green Arrow accepts the offer. The targets have already been
arranged on the grounds, and class is ready to begin.
The first lesson in the fundamentals of Archery... two feathers can good
distance for an arrow, but three feathers increase its accuracy. The
pound-pull is all about the number of pounds necessary to draw a taut
bowstring. THWUNK! With the wind and the shadows, the student makes his
first bull's-eye. Proving to be a bright student, the lessons progress
with the introduction of Green Arrow's trick arrows... The net arrow,
with a fine silk net rolled up inside of the shaft... a triggering
mechanism within the shaft releases the net after being fired... and a
"lion" is netted as fast as a rifle would bag it. A section on the shaft
of the next arrow has a rubberized fabric and a capsule of compressed air
inside of it. In the air, the capsule is released, and the rubberized
segment expands -- until it becomes a balloon arrow... It can be used
for long distance messages or to get attention when lost.
Other trick arrows are soon shown from the quiver... The rain arrow,
used to put out fires. The smoke arrow... to serve as a smoke screen.
The sun-arrow with its brightness created by gases released from inside
the shaft. After many weeks of training... Vance has become a fine
bowman, and has mastered the art of the trick arrows. The teacher has
one final piece of advice. Green Arrow always keeps his back to the sun
-- and in his opponent's eyes. This gives him the advantage, and he vows
never to use an arrow to kill anyone. That night, Oliver Queen and Roy
Harper are at home, and are about to go out on patrol. In the city, the
guards of an armored car have found themselves within a smoke screen.
The startled citizens watch as a bowman in a crimson costume swings away
with the payroll. While on the street in their Arrowcar, the Ace Archers
soon see the crimson-clad bowman. The catapult is activated, with the
two of them landing on the roof. TWANG Green Arrow fires off a boxing
glove arrow... BIFF! The crimson-clad bowman has done the same, then
fires off another arrow, complete with balloon and rope ladder for a fast
getaway. Seeing that the Crimson Archer has used the same trick arrows
as theirs, Speedy figures that he must be Hector Vance. Green Arrow
doesn't understand why a multi-millionaire would be content with a
thousand dollars. Whoever their new foe is, they hope to see more of
The balloon arrow lands at Vance's estate, with the multi-millionaire
remembering his days as Herb Vraney, the kingpin racketeer. This was
before the Green Arrow found Vraney in Glenville -- and broke up his
gang. After his time in prison, the former kingpin had his face altered,
and found the loot he had hidden before he went to jail. He was
determined to have Green Arrow defeated with his own weapons. The
Crimson Archer now knows the Battling Bowman's one weakness, and after
taunting his foe, their next meeting will take place in Glenville. Thus,
Hector Vance will once again become the true kingpin once more. The
nights pass, with the Crimson Archer leaving his mark on the city. Dawn
finds the crimson-clad bowman in the suburbs of Glenville. Green Arrow
and Speedy step out of their Arrowcar, where their opponent introduces
himself as Hector Vance. Those residents who are already awake, are
startled to see the tableau occurring on the street. The Crimson Archer
wants to have a duel to decide which of them is the best bowman. At that
moment, the rays of the sun fall directly on the eyes of Green Arrow.
Vance has made certain to use this to his advantage, and keeps the sun
ZING The Crimson Archer fires off some near misses, knowing that his
fellow bowman won't kill, but he will. With the sun in his eyes, Green
Arrow rolls onto the ground, and fires off the smoke-arrow. Soon, the
smoke-trail forms a cloud between the sun and the two archers. TWANG!
ZIP! ZIP! Now, G.A. has got a fighting chance. Flame arrows soon have
the heroic bowman surrounded by a wall of flames. TWANG! A
specially-treated rain arrow puts an end to the potential hotfoot.
K-POW! K-POW! Vance's gun-arrows come complete with real bullets.
Since his opponent has got a large advantage, Green Arrow uses the
sun-arrow, and now it is the Crimson Archer who can't see. The
rope-arrow soon has things wrapped up, with the Ace Archer learning from
his mistake, and using it to trap Vance. With the Crimson Archer in
custody, Roy reads about Hector Vance's fingerprints revealing his
identity as Herb Vraney. Oliver smokes his pipe, knowing that the loot
has been found, and his "student" will never use another trick arrow
This story was reprinted in World's Finest Comics #154 (December, 1965).
The Editor's Round Table chose this from Green Arrow's 200 adventures as
being his greatest.
As a multi-millionaire, Hector Vance is a pipe-smoker who wears a yellow
jacket with matching ascot, and brown pants.
Nowadays, multi-millionaires tend to host reality TV shows, not become
super-heroes and super-villains.
I'd be interested to hear if any of these trick arrows could possibly
exist in real life.
The Crimson Archer's costume matches that of Green Arrow.
Other heroes and villains who share the same appearance include:
Superman/Bizarro, Batman/Owlman, Flash/Reverse-Flash, and Green
The Composite Superman had the combined appearance of the Man of Steel
and the Caped Crusader, but also possessed the super-powers of the Legion
Another villain who has had his share of plastic surgery is Two-Face.
Wilson Fisk was the Kingpin of Crime in the Marvel Universe of the Silver
"Green Arrow's Mystery Review!"