Oliver Queen has come a long way since Arrow first burst onto our screens in 2012 – from comic books’ Robin-Hood-knock-off to fan favorite badass. Stephen Amell’s version of the character didn’t come with the goatee or green hat that fans know from the comics, but he did come with an island origin, a green suit, and a love for vigilante justice. Since then, the small screen Oliver Queen has grown closer and closer to the hero that comic fans know and love, with new suits, trick arrows, and a parade of potential Black Canary candidates to team up with.
He’s also encountered many of his classic villains from the comics, delighting fans with a live-action look at the kind of awesome throw-downs that Oliver doesn’t always rely on arrows to win. Just as he is in the comics, the small screen Oliver Queen has kicked some serious ass over the past five years – but he hasn’t always come through unscathed. He’s been beaten down, stabbed through the chest, and now it seems that he’s lost all those who are near and dear to him… but that’s nothing new to comic fans. The Green Arrow has suffered his fair share of beat downs in the DC comic universe as well, and we’ve got fifteen of the best from page and screen right here.
15. Blown Up On An Oil Rig…
Throughout his comic history, Oliver Queen’s origin has been consistent; he somehow ends up stranded on an island, and ends his playboy life to become a vigilante. In the New 52, we saw what may be the most brutal version of the origin yet (although none of them are particularly pleasant).
This run starts with a young Oliver Queen partying it up on an oil rig, and fooling around with the bow and arrow that he’s been learning to use for fun. When the rig is attacked, Ollie tries to stop the attacker with his arrows, but the rig explodes, nearly killing Oliver and stranding him on an island with only the bow and arrows that he was carrying at the time of the explosion. Surviving an explosion and the deaths of his friends and being stranded isn’t the worst thing about this origin, however.
14. …And Then Captured And Waterboarded
After spending months on the island, honing his skills and beginning his journey to becoming the Green Arrow, Oliver’s situation gets worse. He was captured by men in army gear and balaclavas, who tied him up and tortured him. He was waterboarded, starved, threatened, and tortured for weeks while he begged for mercy and promised his captors riches if they would let him go.
It finally ended when one was about to pull his teeth with pliers – and he headbutted the man, broke free, and stabbed his torturer with a piece of the chair he’d been tied to. After breaking free, he was finally able to get off the island and return home. It was only much late that he learned it was all part of his father’s plan to turn him into the leader of the ‘Arrow Clan’ and holder of the Arrow Totem.
13. Kidnapped And Imprisoned In A Basement
During a point in time where Oliver had no soul (it happens, in the wonderful world of comics!), he had a run-in with Satanist Stanley Dover that didn’t go well for him at all.
Dover is a sorcerer who is constantly seeking to transfer his soul into the body of a demon. When Oliver rescues him from a mugger, Dover recognizes him as a soulless vessel, and sees that he could use Oliver’s body for himself – to extend his life span and allow him to keep searching for the beast. He traps Oliver in his basement, and straps him to a table, ready to perform a blood ritual that will destroy Oliver and transfer his soul into the Green Arrow’s body.
12. Eardrum Blown Out
In the New 52, Ollie suffers an injury that may not look too brutal on the outside, but that nearly permanently destroyed his ability to aim his bow. On a mission to rescue Shado, Oliver went up against Count Vertigo, a villain with the ability to create feelings of extreme nausea and vertigo in his victims.
That alone doesn’t sound too bad, but when he fought Oliver, Vertigo was able to boost his power and channel it to the point that a blast does physical damage – in this case, blowing out Oliver’s eardrum. As well as being intensely painful, the trauma to his inner ear prevented Oliver from being able to aim properly, a terrifying fate for the master archer. He eventually recovers, but not before going into battle without his bow – and winning, ripping Vertigo’s device off the back of his head and throwing him in jail for his crimes.
11. Tossed Off A Building
Oliver Queen dies one of several times in the world of Convergence – a DC crossover series which looks at the fates of all the worlds that are abandoned and rewritten in the DC Comics universe (by Crisis on Infinite Earths, for example).
In one of the many Metropolises on these multiple Earths, Convergence tells the story of how their world came to an end, with the sky turning red, monsters appearing (including pterodactyls), and earthquakes splitting the ground beneath them. It is at this point that Oliver meets yet another end, while he and Speedy are trying to save a reporter who has been scooped up by one of the flying dinosaurs. They manage to shoot the creature from a rooftop, but then an earthquake tosses both heroes off the building, leaving them to fall to their death. The reporter is saved by another hero, but it is too late for the red and green archers.
10. Crushed By A Building
In Future’s End, alternate near futures (5 years ahead) are explored for many of DC’s greatest heroes – including Green Arrow, who doesn’t make it out of his issue alive.
Five years in the future, when Earth is still recovering from a war with another Earth, Oliver Queen sends out a distress call to Jason Rusch, Firestorm. However, by the time the hero reaches his lab at the Queen Industries building, the tower has collapsed, leaving only a pile of rubble. Firestorm does his best to save Oliver, but by the time he finds him, he is already dead – crushed by the wreckage and impaled by multiple pieces.
Thankfully, it turns out that Oliver was faking his own death, and is still alive and working in secret, but this revelation from Emiko only came long after the Justice League had mourned their fallen hero.
9. Thrown In The Ocean, Left For Dead
The start of Rebirth didn’t go that well for Oliver, as the first issue ended with an incredible betrayal by the ones that he loves. He starts off doing his usual vigilante thing, alongside Black Canary, Shado, and Emiko. However, by the end of the issue, Oliver has been betrayed, as Shado hits him with arrow after arrow, taking him down. Ollie tries to get Emiko away, only for the second part of the reveal to hit – she is also in on it (although not entirely, as we later find out).
The two take the bloodied mess that is Green Arrow and toss him off the side of a boat for the sharks to take care of. He ends up being saved by his tech guy, but he takes a while to heal from those injuries – physical and emotional.
8. Lost An Arm
In The Dark Knight Returns, an older, white haired Oliver Queen appears – and he’s missing an entire arm. It’s not made entirely clear how exactly this horrific injury occurred, but it’s suggested that Superman has something to do with it. When Oliver talks about the Man of Steel, he rubs his stump and says that it still hurts sometimes… but he may not have lost it to Supes in battle.
In another comic, Arrow ends up with his arm trapped in a bomb’s deadman switch, and chooses to die rather than let Superman amputate. In this universe, it’s likely that Oliver made a different choice, allowing Superman to remove the arm to save his life. The loss of a limb, even semi-willingly, is a brutal enough injury for anyone, but for an archer? Oliver has obviously found a way around this limitation in TDKR, but we can only assume that it was a long journey to finding himself without the ability to draw a bow in the traditional sense.
7. Nearly Beaten To Death by Komodo…
The New 52 version of the character has a particularly rough time during the Kill Machine storyline, where the villainous Komodo does his best to completely and utterly destroy Oliver Queen. He starts by murdering the CEO of Queen Industries and framing Oliver for the crime, before killing his team and blowing up Q-Core, leaving Oliver friendless, penniless, and alone.
At this point, he is able to take him on in person, with some extra help from Oliver’s own arsenal. The two duke it out multiple times over the next several issues, and Oliver is owned by Komodo several times over. Komodo shoots him time and time again, knocks him down, throws him off a building, and generally wipes the floor with the young archer before revealing that he killed Oliver’s father as well. Oliver is eventually able to defeat Komodo (with an arrow through the eye), but it takes him several rounds to match up to this new foe.
6. … Then Shot Through The Chest By His Sister
During Green Arrow and Komodo’s second big fight, there is a moment where Oliver almost gets the drop on his enemy… before taking an arrow to the back. This arrow is fired by Emiko, a young girl who is later discovered to be Oliver Queen’s half sister, but at this point believes herself to be Komodo’s daughter. Her ‘father’ has trained her to fight, and her shot through Oliver’s chest is nearly enough to kill the emerald archer.
At first, Oliver doesn’t want to fire back at her, as she is just a child, but she quickly proves herself to be a formidable adversary, and blocks his own shot before shooting him a second time through the thigh. He manages to escape, but only just, before being picked up by an ally and passing out from the massive blood loss from his wounds.
5. Stabbed Through The Chest
The mid-season finale of Arrow season three ended with a cliffhanger that had fans wondering how the show could possibly recover, when Oliver Queen was killed in a duel with Ra’s Al Ghul. The head of the League of Assassins fought the Green Arrow to avenge the death of Sara Lance, after Oliver claimed (falsely) to have killed her. He was protecting someone else, and took on the Demon’s Head in a trial by combat – one that he simply couldn’t win.
The two stripped down on a mountaintop and chose their swords, and while Oliver put up a good fight, he lost when Ra’s stabbed him straight through the chest. Oliver tumbled down the side of the mountain, presumably mortally wounded, leaving fans utterly shocked. Of course, Oliver didn’t actually die (as we all know by now), but was found and nursed back to health by Tatsu (the Arrowverse’s Katana).
4. Shot Through The Eye Then Frozen
During the events of Blackest Night, the Green Arrow was dead… which means that he was resurrected by a Black Lantern ring. This is not a welcome return from the dead, however, as the real Oliver is trapped inside his own body, unable to control it. His body is being killed by the ring even as he watches ‘himself’ attacking the ones that he loves – not just physically, but telling them that their worst fears are true, breaking their hearts.
His loved ones are forced to battle his black lantern body, and Connor shoots him through the eye, while Mia aims arrow after arrow into his chest. He keeps going, until Connor is forced to punch his lower jaw off, and finally to douse him in liquid nitrogen to freeze his body and stop him completely. It’s a series of brutal injuries, but the worst part of it is Ollie struggling to stop his body from hurting the ones he cares about most.
3. Shot In The Chest And Raped
Most fans know that Oliver Queen has a son, Connor Hawke, who eventually took up the mantle of the Green Arrow himself. What many don’t realize is that Connor is not Oliver’s only son – he has a second with the assassin Shado, and it wasn’t a romantic conception. Instead, Shado became pregnant while she had Green Arrow helpless and delirious with fever after being shot in the chest with an arrow… by Shado herself. She didn’t intend to shoot him, of course, and actually nursed Oliver back to health after he was injured.
However, while he was recovering and completely unaware of his surroundings, Shado rapes him – and in his stupor, he believes that he is dreaming of Dinah. It’s a horrifying part of the Green Arrow mythology, not least because there are essentially no repercussions for Shado herself once Oliver finds out what happened.
2. Beaten To Death By Superman
In the alternate universe of Injustice: Gods Among Us, Green Arrow meets his end at the hands of Superman, when he sacrifices himself to save his friends. The Injustice world is one where Batman and Superman are enemies, and where Green Arrow is viciously beaten to death in the Fortress of Solitude. He is there attempting to steal a ‘super pill’ that Superman and Lex Luthor created to turn anyone into a superhuman, and when Supes finds him, he goes into an incoherent rage.
Oliver attempts to fire an arrow at Supes, but it ends up hitting Jonathan Kent instead – for which Superman decides to beat him to a bloody pulp. He does manage to shoot a final arrow out of the Fortress with a single pill on it that Batman can use, but dies of his injuries almost immediately after.
1. Shot, Then Blown Up
In the mid-90s, Oliver Queen goes undercover to try and stop an eco-terrorist cell, and it all goes horribly, horribly wrong for the hero. He does manage to undercover a plot to drop a plastic-eating bomb on Metropolis (that will cause buildings to collapse), and gets on the plane to try and stop it. However, while up there, he gets shot at and then trapped with his arm in a deadman switch. If he lets go of the switch, the bomb detonates.
He’s bleeding to death, and even though Superman shows up, there’s no way that he can save Ollie and Metropolis without amputating Oliver’s arm. The Green Arrow refuses, and releases the switch… blowing himself and the plane up over the ocean, saving Metropolis, and sacrificing himself. Some may argue that he would have been better off without the arm (and he manages to pull it off in TDKR, as we’ve seen), but he chose the path that was guaranteed to save millions, even if he blew himself up doing it.
What other horrific injuries as Green Arrow endured over the years? Let us know in the comments.
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