Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spotlight:: World's Finest Comics #98

Issue: World's Finest Comics #98

Title: "The Unmasked Archers"

Credits: Ed Herron (script) Roz and Jack Kirby (art)

Cover Date: December, 1958

Synopsis: Oliver Queen and Roy Harper are hanging out at Queen's club when the Police Commissioner (presumably of Star City, though Ollie's Base of Operations is as yet unnamed) tells him that the next night the club officers will be named.

Just then, the duo notice the Arrow Signal in the sky. While ducking into a room to change, they see a newspaper headline: Oliver Queen and Roy Harper are Green Arrow and Speedy!" With their secret IDs blown, they decide to finish this one mission, then hang up their bows.

Arriving on the scene, the archers use fan arrows to drive away the smokescreen the criminals were using to hide themselves, and then a (I swear I'm not making this up) fountain pen arrow to mark the car to make the crooks easier to follow.

Afterward, Ollie and Roy present themselves to the Police Commissioner to turn themselves in. The Commissioner think s they're joking, as apparently the newspaper was a fake, designed as a joke on Ollie as part of his club initiation. Now the pair must play along, allowing the Commish to believe they're just dressing up in a costume as part of the initiation.

Soon, they're called on the thwart a train robbery. Ollie must act as though he;s just a guy in a costume, while at the same time foiling the robbery. He shows up and fires off an arrow, missing by several yards. This convinces the Commissioner that he's just Oliver playing along with the joke, but the arrow ricochets over the train and launches a net, capturing the crooks.

The Commissioner is fully convinced by the Arrow-plane flying overhead. Obviously Ollie can't be GA if Green Arrow is flying s plane over their heads. We later find out that Roy had used a Balloon Arrow shaped like the plane to simulate the silhouette across the moon. (Why Roy didn't just fly the actual Arrow Plane overhead is a mystery).

Thoughts: Wow, this story was a bunch of convoluted nonsense, even by Silver Age standards. Nothing about it really makes sense, from the strange club initiation to the Balloon Arrow trick. I guess we can just chalk it up to Silver Age weirdness and a need to compress the story into 4 pages.

Up next: Green Arrow's origin story!

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