Monday, June 16, 2008

Spotlight:: Adventure Comics #254

Issue: Adventure Comics #254

Title: The Green Arrow's Last Stand

Credits: Dave Wood (script) Jack Kirby, Roz Kirby (art)

Cover Date: November, 1958

Synopsis: As Green Arrow and Speedy vacation near Crow Mountain. Suddenly, a report comes over the radio that a group of scientists is stranded nearby. Hopping into the Arrowplane, Green Arrow uses a "Two Way Radio" Arrow to communicate with the scientists on the ground., Since the area is far to rough to land the arrow plane, GA tries another tactic. Using his superior acrobatic skills, he hangs off a rope and grabs each scientist on the fly.

Soon after, a storm blows in and damages the Arrowplane. Forced to pout down in a cave, Ollie determines that the plane will take at least several hgours to fix. Just then, they're surrounded by angry Indian braves! They fire a mulitutde of arrows at our heroes, but are finally driven off by a net arrow, a rope arrow, and a siren arrow.

Puzzled, Ollie eventually figures out that the braves are part of a tribe that was driven into this valley long ago, and has been without contact with the outside world ever since. We later learn that both the medicine man and the chief of the tribe are perfectly aware of how the outside world has changed, but are hiding it from the rest of their people, because they would lose all their power if their tribe ran off to the modern world.

In order to get rid of Green Arrow and his outside influence, the duo convince the tribe that GA may be the "legendary" (in quotes because they made up the legend on the spot) "Greatest Archer of the Tribe." They challenge Ollie to prove that he is the greatest archer by passing the "legendary" test: he must fire an arrow at the full moon and cause the sky to burst forth in rain and thunder. If he fails, he will be killed as an impostor.

Of course, the test is a set up. The moon is only a quarter full and there's not a cloud in the sky. Ever resourceful, Ollie uses a "Two Stage Rocket" Arrow and a "Glowing Balloon" arrow to simulate the full moon, a "Firecracker" arrow to simulate thunder, and a (sigh) "Dry Ice" Arrow to seed the clouds and cause rain.

Having passed the test, Ollie, Speedy and the scientists are allowed to leave, taking the tribe with them. The medicine man and the chief disappear, frightened of what the tribe will do now that their lies have been exposed.

Thoughts: Tons of silly trick arrows in this one, that's for sure! Seriously, a dry ice arrow? The stereotypical "Indians" would probably not fly with a modern audience, but hey, it was the 50's. Also, we get some Arrowplane action, and that's never a bad thing!

1 comment:

Luke said...

As silly as the Dry Ice Arrow is, I am more intrigued by the Two-Stage Rocket Arrow. Does this mean that GA has a Single-Stage Rocket Arrow as well? How exactly does the arrow remain light enough to fire with an external fuel source attached to it? How does it ignite said fuel? This story just leaves so many unanswered questions!