If your only knowledge of Oliver Queen comes from The CW series, you might be forgiven for thinking that he’s quite a dark and gloomy character. Heavy on the drama, the series does a lot of absolutely fantastic things with the comic book character, but it does often miss some of the lighter and sillier aspects of the green-clad hero. In the comics, the Green Arrow is quite a bit campier, with a tendency to wisecrack and a quiverful of trick arrows that lighten the crime-fighting mood.
Although the show doesn’t always capture the same tone of Oliver and his trick arrows, several of these have made an appearance. Grappling hooks, traquilizers, flash bangs, explosives, syringes, wires, tear gas, router hacking and voice recording arrows have all come into play over the last four seasons. Even his most infamous trick arrow, the laws-of-physics-defying boxing glove arrow has shown up! There are still many, many more arrows that Arrow could use, though. Over his comic history, Oliver has created arrows for any situation you could possibly imagine, and we would love to see more of these fan favorites appear in the hit show.
Note: Images do not always correlate to the arrow described, but most of Oliver’s trick arrows look very similar before they hit their target.
15. Greek Fire Arrow
Although Stephen Amell’s Oliver has used incendiary arrows in the past, the Greek Fire arrow is something truly special. Named after the flaming weapons used by the ancient greeks that would burn (even on water), the Greek Fire arrow can release a stream of burning liquid into or onto its target. This would allow the Green Arrow not just to set things on fire, but to do so with remarkable precision and in a straight line. If the arrow is shot at close enough range to sink into the target, the liquid is injected into the target, burning through it.
We’d love to see this because: Fire is fun! It’s not that we’re all pyromaniacs, of course, but seeing flames leap up during a show just looks downright impressive on screen. It changes the lighting, the colors, and the overall intensity of the situation. This is also one of Green Arrow’s best known trick arrows, and we want to see the greatest hits on the small screen.
14. Phantom Zone Portal Arrow
Originally belonging to Superman, Speedy stole this arrow and kept it in the Team Arrow arsenal for some time, because you just know that it’d come in handy eventually! Just as the name suggests, this is an arrow that, once it hits a target, opens a portal to the Phantom Zone. The archer can either shoot it at the person they want to transport to the other realm, or shoot it at a wall and then push the person in. Like most portals, it only remains open temporarily. This arrow is also blue, rather than green.
We’d love to see this because: With Supergirl joining the Arrow family on the CW, and Superman coming to Supergirl, it’s time to see some of the Super-family mythology in the Arrowverse. This would not only fit with the more magical characters that we’ve been seeing recently, but would be the perfect way to integrate the two shows.
13. Glue Arrow
Designed for use on particularly large and strong opponents, the glue arrow is topped with a ball, and designed to look like an explosive arrow. However, on impact, the ball explodes – releasing a reactive industrial polymer that dries in seconds. This immobilizes the target, wrapping them in glue so that they can’t move (or, if it hits their face, can’t see). Oliver carries a spray that can dissolve the glue, or he can just leave the now-trapped bad guy for the cops.
We’d love to see this because: It’s hilarious. This is one of those trick arrows that has some real comedic value, without defying the laws of physics or feeling completely out of place in the Arrowverse. We’ve also seen several of the kind of huge villains that this would work well against, especially in The Flash. This would have been a fantastic help when taking down Gorilla Grodd, or trying to slow down some of the less noble speedsters on the show.
12. Aqua Arrows
In one of Green Arrow’s early appearances, he and Speedy come up against a gang of criminals who work underwater – the Human Sharks. To defeat these submerged villains, the two create an Arrow submarine (hands up if you also wants to see that!) and a whole new quiver of aqua-themed arrows with which to fight. These were fired with the Aqua-Bow, a speargun/crossbow hybrid, and included an Electric Eel, Glowfish, Jellyfish, and Octopus arrow. Of course, the arrows did more than just make us laugh – the Electric Eel arrow actually electrocuted the bad guys, knocking them out so Arrow could apprehend them.
We’d love to see this because: Arrow needs to lighten up sometimes, and launching aquatic creatures in battle, Despicable-Me-style, would definitely lighten things up! In addition, it would be amazing to see Arrow head to another environment. He’s great at rooftops, islands, mountaintops…but aqua arrows would be a huge help if King Shark ever got loose again.
11. Handcuff Arrow
Although we have seen Oliver Queen firing various arrows that trap his opponents, we haven’t actually seen the handcuff arrows make an appearance – probably because they are impressively unrealistic! This arrow has a pair of handcuffs at the tip, which allows the archer to get them to close around their opponent’s wrists, or on a wrist and some handy piping/bars/etc. Particularly useful for criminals who wander around holding their wrists together…
We’d love to see this because: It’s a lot of fun. Another arrow that could lighten the tone of the show a little, the handcuff arrows would be a perfect way for Oliver to show his solidarity with the Star City police department. Obviously not too useful against magical or super-sized opponents, this would be a great arrow for the more common/garden variety criminal.
10. Parachute Arrow
The fact that this arrow hasn’t yet made an appearance is actually a big surprise – it’s incredibly useful, and not that unrealistic. As the name suggests, the parachute arrow has a folded parachute attached to the shaft, which releases after the arrow is launched (while an attached cord is held by the archer). If Oliver finds himself tossed off a building, this is his saving grace – just fire the arrow into the air, grab the cord, and parachute to safety. Easy!
We’d love to see this because: Oliver Queen does so much of his fighting and chasing on rooftops, it’s getting a little unrealistic that he’s never once been pushed off a building. We’d love to see him falling, and have that sudden fear that he could actually die (again)… until he deploys his shiny new parachute arrow and floats to the ground, unharmed. Also useful if a devious villain decided to drop a loved one off a building, or a random child – villains do that relatively often in the comics!
9. Kryptonite Arrow
Green Arrow fans (and fans of The Dark Knight Returns) often wonder why Oliver doesn’t get more credit for this one – seeing as he actually took down Superman with it. Created by Bruce Wayne, the arrow doesn’t kill Supes, but it could have, if Wayne wanted it to. It’s a simple concept, too. This is just an arrow tipped with synthesized Kryptonite, and otherwise acts like any normal arrow. Obviously, this only works as a trick arrow against Kryptonian opponents.
We’d love to see this because: With Supergirl and Superman joining the Arrowverse next season, Oliver and friends are bound to run into some Kryptonian villains (or perhaps they’ll have a confrontation with the Man and Girl of Steel themselves). Developing something as simple and effective as a Kryptonite arrow just makes sense! Of course, this would mean that Supergirl would have to trust Oliver with her weakness, but she’s already a big fan of the Flash, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Including the iconic green rock in the Arrowverse would be amazing!
8. Nth Metal Arrow
Nth Metal is an alien metal (from the planet Thanagar) in the DC universe, known for granting whoever wields it or uses it all kinds of wonderful powers. It’s most commonly associated with Hawkman and Hawkgirl, although various other heroes have used Nth metal over the years… including Green Arrow. Oliver has made an arrowhead out of Nth metal, which also has the property of destabilizing magic and supernatural forces. It’s the perfect choice against the more magical foes.
We’d love to see this because: With Hawkgirl and Hawkman now a huge part of the Arrowverse, bringing Nth metal into the fold just makes sense. Arrow is also becoming increasingly supernatural, and Oliver could have really used one of these bad boys against the pro-apocalypse Damien Darkh. This would also be a useful weapon should Green Arrow team up with Constantine again – or if we ever managed to get the Arrow/Supernatural crossover that so many fans are rooting for!
7. Fountain Pen Arrow
This may sound like a less-than-useful concept, unless you take the old adage about the pen being mightier than the sword a bit more literally than most! In practice, however, this fountain pen arrow helps Oliver deal with villains who are faster than he is. The arrow is shot at the bumper of a getaway car (or other vehicle), and an attached “pen” drags on the ground, drawing a line to the bad-guy’s hideout. All Oliver has to do is follow it. Theoretically, he could even fill the “pen” with ink that only shows up under UV light (for example), so that the drivers wouldn’t notice the trail that they’ve left behind.
We’d love to see this because: Having the Flash around is really handy for chasing down bad guys in fast cars, but Barry Allen has enough on his plate. This would be a fantastic arrow to use against super-speedy villains, or when Team Arrow is distracted fighting and their target is able to escape: just fire the arrow at the car, keep taking out the lackeys, and then figure out where the car went!
6. Quantum Arrow
Another arrow from the animated world of Justice League Unlimited, the Quantum Arrow is actually a two-parter. Green Arrow and Speedy both have one arrow, and fired simultaneously, they create an intersecting blue charge of so-called “quantum” energy. It was designed to attempt to take down a huge superpowered foe, and although it failed in “Patriot Act,” this could still be a viable option for taking down particularly strong adversaries. (Of course “quantum” is largely just a word that sounds good here, but we could count on the writers to come up with some fun pseudo-science to explain just how this would work.)
We’d love to see this because: This the kind of arrow that Mr. Terrific would love to create, and we need to see a whole lot more of Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt in the future. As well as the pseudo-science, this could be an arrow with all kinds of possibilities, and it would allow us to see traps laid with both Green Arrow and Speedy working together.
5. Smokescreen Arrow
Pretty self-explanatory, the smokescreen arrow is one that explodes on impact and creates a billowing cloud of smoke, preventing anyone from being able to see until the smoke clears. This is commonly used as a diversion, so that Green Arrow can get away without being caught or scoop up an item or person that he needs before fleeing back to the Arrow cave. It’s also 100% within the realms of physical possibility, would be easy for Team Arrow to whip up, and would be useful against just about anyone.
We’d love to see this because: Smokescreen exits are amazing. There is some real camp value to the idea of a smokebomb clearing to show the hero mysteriously gone – and it’s even better when that smoke bombs leave the villain’s lackeys wrestling each other and looking confused. Even though Oliver Queen is pretty darn good at the mysterious disappearance exists, smokescreens would still be an amazing addition to his quiver.
4. Safe-Cracking Arrow
Another arrow that does exactly what it says on the tin, the safe-cracking arrow is one that can be shot at a safe in order to get it open. Which is pretty impressive, although potentially more useful for criminal-types than for our heroic vigilante on a day to day basis! However, it can allow for Oliver Queen to get into the safes/secret hideouts of criminals and discover their plans. An arrow with this kind of tech could potentially also be used for getting through heavy-security doors with safe-like locks, although that would depend on exactly how it worked.
We’d love to see this because: It would be incredibly useful, and would allow Felicity (and Papa Smoak) to put some of their code-cracking talents to portable use. Thus far, most of Queen’s big bads have had a lot of money (Damien Darkh, Malcolm Merlyn), and getting into their safes quickly and easily would have been a huge help. He will undoubtedly be up against another bad guy who keeps their plans under lock and key in the future, too!
3. Drill Arrows
In the comics, when Oliver Queen was stranded on a desert island, he first started to create trick arrows in order to survive. These included a net arrow used to catch fish, and a drill arrow made using the elastic in his socks! An updated version of a drill arrow is tipped with a metal drill bit, and (while not totally realistic) can be useful for our green archer. It’s a simple concept, but an effective one for getting through a tough surface hands free! He’s also got a few more handyman-style arrows in his quiver, including a buzz saw, flashlight, clamps, and an acetylene torch.
We’d love to see this because: We’ve got one more season’s worth of island flashbacks, and with many fans getting sick and tired of Lian Yu, seeing Oliver Queen getting back to his Arrow-training might be a little more fun to watch this year. Now that he’s become a killer, a skilled torturer, and a survivor, Island Oliver might get back to work on his archery – including the creation of some of his first trick arrows.
2. Freezing Arrow
Weapons that freeze their targets are a staple in the comic book universe, and Green Arrow isn’t one to feel left out when it comes to cool gadgets! Like freeze-guns and freeze-rays, freezing arrows instantly ice up anything that they hit – pretty simple stuff. They are perfect for putting out small fires, dealing with incendiary superhumans and immobilizing enemies. Plus, of course, they can also allow the archer to break anything that is weakened by intense cold.
We’d love to see this because: With Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) off the regular roster, we’d love to see a little freezing-cold tribute to everyone’s favorite villain-turned hero. He could also return — because time travel — and we’d be all for Captain Cold and Green Arrow teaming up to take down a fire-y bad guy with their freezing cold weaponry. Plus, of course, freezing things is such a gloriously comic-book-y way to deal with superpowered threats that it would be a great way to call back to Arrow’s roots on the printed page.
1. Amnesia Arrow
The ability to give someone amnesia can be a real boon to superheroes – especially when it comes to protecting that all-important secret identity. Amnesia arrows could either release a liquid or a gas that would destroy the target’s memory for a specific period of time. Think the neuralyzer from Men in Black, but in projectile form. While this would be perfect for making sure that anyone who sees the Green Arrow unmasked would be unable to reveal his identity to the world, this is also a potentially hazardous creation. If these are turned against our hero, who knows what he’d end up forgetting!
We’d love to see this because: Amnesia is the kind of plot line that always has potential – should Oliver be hit with one of his own amnesia arrows, he would be lost, and Team Arrow would be left attempting to convince Oliver that he is actually a masked vigilante! On others, this is an incredible way to protect Oliver Queen’s identity (and new job as mayor). It’s starting to feel as though half of Star City knows who the Arrow is — maybe it’s time to start Men-In-Black-ing some people…
Bonus! Robin Hood Arrows
DC isn’t afraid to recognize how much of their emerald archer has been drawn from the legendary outlaw, Robin Hood. At several times in the Green Arrow’s career, he’s ended up going back in time and subbing in for the Sherwood Forest vigilante. During these times, he’s come up with some brand new trick arrows, such as the Falcon Arrow, Yoke Arrow, Jousting Arrow, Vine Arrow and Soot Arrow. They were all appropriate to the time period, and useful in the guise of Robin Hood.
We’d love to see this because: Time-travel has now been firmly established in the Arrowverse, in both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Why not send Oliver Queen back in time to meet the most famous archer in the world? Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) has also gone back in time to meet Robin Hood in the comics, and we’d love to see a time-travelling team up that sends them both to Sherwood Forest. Even as a one-off episode that has no relevance to the rest of the season. Sometimes, you just want these characters to have a little fun!
Which trick arrow do you want to see Ollie bust out in season 5? Sound off in the comments!