Poll Position: Hawkeye vs. Green Arrow

This week, I give you two characters who are virtually identical in concept, neither of whom anyone gives a crap about. To make it (slightly) more compelling, the visuals are from the live-action versions of them both. Ladies and gentlemen, I present "Hawkeye vs. Green Arrow", aka "The Carnival of Suckage":


Going purely by the costume design of these two incarnations, I have to go Green Arrow. And that was done with a TV show budget, folks. I dig the shades, I think they're the ideal replacement for the traditional domino mask. Of course, that innovation derives partly from Millar and Hitch's "Ultimates" version of Hawkeye, by way of the Matrix. Come to think of it, a lot of that series was Neo-flavored ...

I also like GA's bow better. Those compound pulleys rock. And the green and yellow look more super-heroish as contrasted to the by-now-boring black leather of movie Hawkeye.

Getting beyond the movies, here they are in their more traditional comic book guises:

I wanted to say this was a tougher call, because honestly, Green Arrow, what is up with that hat? Yes, I get it, Robin Hood, but if you're going to be running around in a leather vest with a yellow-green sleeveless turtleneck and a literal feather in your cap, I don't think "Merry Men" is the image you want to conjure.

However, next to the Brobdingnagian fashion disaster that is the West Coast Avengers' flagship character, all other sartorial horror shows must give way. It's bad enough you stole Wolverine's mask, Hawkeye, but did you have to rub salt in the wound by dying it purple? Then, just to be sure people would have at least some clue to identify him in case the horrific outfit didn't give it away, he plastered a big "H" on his forehead.

Actually, now that I look at these designs, I wonder if that monstrosity on his head isn't actually supposed to be Green Arrow's forked beard turned upside down ... hmm, I think I might be on to some sort of conspiracy here. I'll have to ask Jim Shooter now that he has a blog.

Once you get past the costumes (if you can), you have to consider their powers, since in theory this is a head-to-head matchup kind of thing. On the plus side, this is the one fight they'll ever be in where the other guy doesn't blink and say "Seriously? Arrows? You know we've mastered gunpowder now, right? I mean, even COBRA has lasers, dude, and that's speed-of-light we're talking about." So they have that going for them.

Both are known for, in the past, using a wide variety of trick arrows. The boxing-glove arrow is a staple of the super-hero archer, of course, and I think GA came up with that one. But he didn't stop there -- after all, he knows Batman, and why fit all those amazing gadgets into an easy-to-wear belt when you can super-size them and make yourself carry them in a giant quiver on your back?! You've got your classic Green Arrow acid arrows, smoke arrows, and grenade arrows, sure, but then you get to the truly epic stuff like the Phantom Zone arrow. If you squint, that's cool.

But my favorite Green Arrow trick arrow is the boomerang arrow because how in the name of physics is that supposed to effing work?! Here's my challenge to you, HeroMachine Nation: Go buy a boomerang, then glue a stick to it, and see if it comes back to you. This is putting aside the question of whether any self-respecting arrow would come back to a guy dressed like either of these losers in the first place, of course.


Hawkeye's no better, as you would expect from a poorly-dressed knock-off of a second-rate character. They share all the classics in terms of gimmicks, but whereas GA has the Phantom Zone arrow (send criminals to an alternate dimension where they're harmless!), Hawkeye's signature is the Pym Particles arrow.

I crap you negatory. That is an actual arrow actually used in an actual comic book. By Hawkeye. For reals.

Yes, his master plan is to give the other guy the same super powers used by an Avenger!

Although now that I think about it, as lame as Hank Pym tend to be, maybe that's not such a bad idea ...

But you've had enough of my nerd-rage spittle flung upon you, gentle reader, so I turn it over to you: Which of the two super-hero archers would you prefer, and why?

33 Responses to Poll Position: Hawkeye vs. Green Arrow

  1. Worf says:

    Uh, Jeff… Did we forget something? Like a voting box? šŸ˜‰

  2. Gero says:

    Yep, no vote box up. But when it does appear, I’m voting for Arrow, because he’s basically a Robin Hood-themed Batman. Think about it: rich guy, secret identity, vigilante, skills and advanced tech instead of super powers, etc. Also, he glues boxing gloves to arrows so he can punch people from across town, which instantly gives him the win…

  3. Jeff Hebert says:

    Geez you guys are picky!

    That was a pretty major oversight, my apologies.

  4. Joshua says:

    Jeff, you know by now we’ve learned to bathe in that nerd-rage spittle of yours *L*. Between Hawkeye and Green Arrow, who are closer in similarities than even Aquaman and Namor (…though the grand prize for that still goes to Swamp Thing and Man-Thing), I have to separate them by politics.

    I actually don’t know what Hawkeye subscribes to, and that’s a relief to me. *Sigh* With Green Arrow, however– he wears his politics on his sleeve, or in this case, his arm guard. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with some of his left-leaning ideologies to an extent, but he spouts off a bit too much for me. And who’s to blame? Denny O’Neil? Frank Miller? Doesn’t matter. Sometimes having a character with a political or religious belief gives them some nuance. In this case, Arrow being an unabashed, dyed-in-the-wool Liberal or Libertarian who frequently brow-beats anyone else with a conflicting viewpoint? Nah. Going with Hawkeye.

    Plus, in the Ultimates Universe, Clint Barton qualifies a expert marksman with most military grade rifles and sidearms. He’s a sniper par excellence who prefers to use a bow. I mean that right there? Dizam.


  5. Panner says:

    I just can’t vote for someone that thinks a boomerang arrow is a good idea. If memory serves, it even came back with the sharp end first! No, I’ll have none of that. Hawkeye it is.

  6. Dan says:

    Gotta go with Hawkeye. To me, he’s way cooler than Green Arrow. Hawkeye has the better origin, better codename, better real name, and better equipment. Plus Hawkeye isn’t saddled with the annoying hippie “personality” that they gave Green Arrow. I know that I’ll get outvoted, because the Marvel guys always lose these polls.

  7. Lewis says:

    I like bow guys! I played one in Champions in the late 80s as archery was a hobbie.

  8. Phatchick says:

    Hawkeye. Smart, tough, total badass; IMO he could take GA any day of the week.

  9. Worf says:

    Hm, going purely by memorability I’d have to go with GA. I remember reading avengers sporadically as a kid, and I’d always have to struggle to remember who that guy was (oh yeah, Hawkeye). I never had that problem with GA. Plus GA is cooler just by association (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern). Also, I can’t remember a single story about JUST Hawkeye. I can think of a more than a few with JUST GA.

    GA Wins! šŸ˜‰

  10. jransom says:

    Hawkeye deff!! now dont get me wrong green arrow is cool, its just his name is to simple, not to mention there is also a “red arrow” as well. i mean really! come up with something better. Now at first reading the avengers i wasnt to big on hawkeye’s mask, but the more i read it grew on me, also, id like to point out that hawkeye would soon become another marvel character known as ronin, does GA have a second alias? dont think so. As far as im concered ii agree with jeff, GA is to robin hood and is also snarky, wich can be good in some cases but proves more annoying. Hawkeye on the otherhand, has a little spunk, but can prove to be gritty and serieous when needed. las but not least…GA is to depenendt on his arrows and bows, hawkeye isnt, hawkeye is widly skilled in other things…such as, infiltration, recon, sabotage and stealth. GA on the otherhand is not, sure he has great aim, but in the reality of it its only good for shooting/throwing a varity of projectiles and making a quik buck on “i bet i can hit 8bulls eyes” at the local bar.

  11. Myro says:

    Green Arrow has the better costume (working on Clint Barton only as Hawkeye; I will say Barton had maybe the best costume of the two during Dark Reign when he was Ronin, but then again, this is offset by his also wearing the bandau mansierre as Goliath).
    Of course, the question was, who was better in a fight, not who had the better costume, who had a hotter wife (pretty close actually, but I’ll go with Black Canary over Mockingbird), or whose politics was more palatable (already previously stated in the posts above me). And frankly, in a fight, these two are actually pretty equal. Both are accomplished marksmen, skilled martial artists, swordsmen, and acrobats.
    I’ll go with Hawkeye because…umm… oh! I guess when push comes to shove, Clint will just take some Pym Particles, grow to 30 feet tall, and squash Oliver Queen under his gigantic foot. But only after these two have exhausted each other by trying to empty their quivers at each other, and then actually go at it fist to fist.

  12. Gene says:

    *Removes handkerchief from pocket and wipes nerd rage spittle from face*

    I almost always ‘Make mine Marvel’ but in this case My vote went to the Green Arrow.

    But first, there’s nothing wrong with a bow slinging super hero. And Really? We’re gonna criticize their stunt arrows? really?? We got guys with swords, wipps, boomerangs, hammers, and virtually every imaginable item out there in the comics, and we’re gonna go there?!?!?!

    Yeah, it’s a utility belt on the back, but it’s a long range utility belt.

    so….you know….. šŸ˜›

    Anyway, I’ve read a bit of green arrow, and a fair amount of Hawkeye, and I think GA has a bit more style. Plus, Hawkeye always came across as kind of a butt head (To put it politely) to me.

    So, yeah, I went GA.

  13. Michael says:

    I have to go with GA. I like him a lot more. His costume isn’t quite as bad as HE’s. Plus if I’m not mistaken he’s dating/married/whatever Black Canary. Who is HE with?

  14. McKnight57 says:

    I’m more of a DC fan so I’m going with GA. Ollie has over the years been more interesting than Hawkeye will ever be. Also, he has a better costume in the DCnU. Despite being Batman with a bow, he’s become his own character. At least more so than Hawkeye ever did. Another nice thing is that, like seemingly 60% of the HM crowd, Ollie’s always had the facial hair that everyone but Tony Stark and the hook-handed Aquaman are lacking. So minor points there.

    Also, Gene is correct that Hawkeye is more or less a giant a$#hole in every comic. And how has nobody yet mentioned that Hawkeye’s costume just makes him a blue and purple Wolverine with a Robin Hood fetish? By the way Marvel, you can quote me on that for every description of Hawkeye from here on out. I have nothing good to say about Hawkeye. Mostly because i don’t care about him one way or the other.

  15. Aaron says:

    i disagree with the fact that u said that nobody gives a crap bout them i think they’re both underused characters they should both be used more often but for the winner i say Green Arrow

  16. Jessica says:

    Wow! This is a tough one. I mean, there’s really not much basis for Hawkeye. As live action, he only had a cameo and he didn’t even do any fighting. Green Arrow, however, had tons of exposure on Smallville. Completely not fair. As a comic book character, however, I always liked Hawkeye better because he was more badass than Green Arrow. Also, he was proficient in weapons other than arrows (i.e. sniper rifles, sidearms, etc.). I guess the tying vote would have to be in who looks better in live action. I mean, Ollie’s got the whole playboy clean good looks. But Clint has that whole badass slightly disheveled look. Plus Clint looks better in his outfit. I don’t know but something turns me off about a costume that has to define the “package” by outlining it and making it pretty colors. Clint’s look is more real, more street. *Sigh* I guess you all know where I’m leaning. Sorry, Ollie, gonna have to go with Hawkeye.

  17. ProfessorMangle says:

    First off, both charecters have proven themselves valuable time and again, being able to deliver specialized ordance to long range targets with absolute precision is a very useful skill. Also, the Pym Partical arrow shrinks it’s target down to less dangerous size, it does NOT give them the power to control that effect. Anyway, this is a tough call form me, I like DC, and WOULD like Marvel if the current editorial staff would stop using the comics as aplatform for they’re political views,(Civil War) crapping on heroes lives with lame rehashes of previously settled issues,(how many times have they split Hulk from Banner, killed Aunt May, or had the X-Men fight some stupid psuedo-religous mutant hate group?) and benching well established charecter, in favor of flash-in-the-pan newcomers.(Red Hulk; Red She-Hulk; Savage She-hulk; girl Ghostrider; Tanarus, god of Thunder, ect.) But anyway, Jeff is right about the similar concepts, heck, they also have the follows things in common:
    Blond haired love interests with bird code-names.( Black Canary for GA, Mockingbird for HE)
    Both have died, REALLY died, not comic “died” and come back.
    Both have recently had teenaged girls as sidekicks, GA’s is runaway who got Aids from being a prositute, HE’s took a greater interest in her archery and other combat lessons after being sexually assualted.
    I’m sure there’s more, I just can’t think of it right now.
    Long story short, I pick Hawkeye, sure, he only occansionally has his own book, but GA’s book get’s canceled and restarted alot, and at least Hawkeye is a regular member of the Avengers, while GA is only a reservist.

  18. Mr.MikeK says:

    @Michael: Hawkeye is with Mockingbird, a knockoff of Black Canary without the sonic scream and superb fighting skills.

    I have to give the edge to Hawkeye. Arrow always comes off as the kind of knee-jerk liberal that is more annoying at parties than actually helping his case in conversations. Yeah, Hawkeye’s a jerk but I understand him. He reminds me of a lot of several guys I knew in the service. A little hard to be around but the first ones you wanted at your back in a firefight.

    Plus, when they put down the bow, Hawkeye still kicks butt. Sure, GA can hold his own, but Clint is an expert hand to hand combatant trained by Captain America himself. When the arrows run out, and they will, Ollie goes down.

  19. I believe that Green Arrow is a master of medieval weapons as well as the bow. Likewise, Hawkeye is trained in melee combat. I prefer live-action Hawkeye’s costume to the comic. Same with Green Arrow. However, I like live-action Hawkeye over live-action Green Arrow.

    Could say Green Arrow is the egg and Hawkeye is the “chicken.” That leaves personality / attitude. Which is why I voted for Hawkeye.

  20. Sutter_Kaine says:

    Wasn’t Hawkeye created before Wolverine?

  21. McKnight57 says:

    Sutter_Kaine (20): It’s likely but Hawkeye has no following and Wolverine has a following of at least 70% of Marvel’s readership. So in other words it’s an excuse to be right even if I’m not.

  22. DubbleYoo says:

    Wow, that is a terrible picture of Hawkeye. His mask looks even more ridiculous than usual.

    As for the voting… well, GA started out as a Batman clone (with Arrowcar, Arrowcave, etc.) with some Robin Hood for good measure. On the other hand, Hawkeye seems to exist because Marvel wanted their own version of Green Arrow. So I’m gonna have to go with the copy, over the copy of the copy.

  23. Sutter_Kaine says:

    That only works in politics.

  24. Dan says:

    @Sutter_Kaine Hawkeye sure was. He came out in the 60’s and was an Avenger before Wolvie was even a thought in someone’s head. And @McKnight, Hawkeye has enough of a following that he was given the main stories of Solo Avengers in the 80’s, along with a couple of mini’s. I think most people who are Avengers fans will tell you Hawkeye has been one of the most popular members over the years. It’s kinda why he’s in the movie. And the cartoon. Granted you might not like him, but alot of people do. Personally, I don’t like Green Arrow. I would never read a solo Green Arrow story, but that’s my taste.

  25. knight1192a says:

    Can’t pick.

    If I were to go by looks alone, and then by live action looks, I’d go for Hawkeye. The Smallville Green Arrow just looks like a young punk whose begging to have his sorry, rich arse handed to him on a daily basis. Maybe he got upset he couldn’t get a part in Twilight and turned to vigilanteism to take out his frustration (Yeah, I looked it up, Green Arrow was introduced at least a couple years before Twilight hit theaters, but it would have been about the time they were casting and starting filming for the movie). Hawkeye’s older look has a slightly more grizzled appearance to it that says “Yeah ***********, ya gotta a gun and I don’t give a rat’s ******. I’m still gonna waste ya with my bow.” Seriously, you go into a fight with some bow and you’re totting a pistol who you gonna worry about more, the young punk or the guy who clearly doesn’t give a ******? I’d worry about the latter.

    But both the comic versions have a kind of grizzled, don’t give a ******** look to them. However, everyone knows the Robin Hood story, and everyone knows what kinda a shot Robin Hood was supposed to be. You get a guy dressed as Robin Hood totting a bow then you have to figure either this guy’s insane or he’s a ******* good shot with that thing and I may not have a chance with this gun. So on the comic appearance I’d go with Green Arrow.

    However, ultimately costume and appearance are useless in this one. It comes down to skill and super human powers. Which leaves it at skill as neither has really exhibited any super human powers. Both are master archers so there’s no real advantage there. Both are skilled with a sword, no advantage there. Both are acrobats, no advantage there, And both have matiral arts training. Their pretty much on an even keel. Trick arrows end up a joke, either one could grab and use the other’s arrows so they won’t give an advantage. So ultimately it would be who was the luckier one.

  26. hyperanthropos says:

    Hmm, tough decision. Both characters are excellent archers. Both characters have been dead! Both characters went through a lot of changes over the years and have been members of differnt teams or the different incarnations of a team.
    Green Arrow actually had a family with Black Canary, but Clint Barton took on the role of the hero Goliath, so I am giving my vote to Hawkeye.

  27. Joe says:

    I’m sorry. Best superpower ever? Money. And Ollie has it in spades. Gotta give it to the Sage Sagittarius.

  28. William A. Peterson says:

    Joe, I’d remind you that Ollie gave away his entire fortune a long time ago, so he could leech off of his girlfriend’s flower shop income, but, with the “New 52”, I guess he’s wealthy, again! {Aargh!}
    Jeff, sorry, man, but it’s Wolverine who stole Hawkeye’s mask (Hey, Department H is Canadian, you know how they feel about Defense spending!}, not the other way around! At least it’s not purple…
    Gotta go with Ollie. Clint learned to shoot a bow from “The Swordsman” (!), who later died and ran off with the Celestial Madonna (I guess that makes him the Celestial Sean Penn? No?}, while Oliver was self-taught, but later continued his education at a Tibetan Monastery, where he learned the Secrets of Zen Archery!
    Plus, he *routinely* argues with the Batman, and gets to live to tell the tale!
    Okay, Marvel fans, what has your guy got to top THAT? šŸ˜€

  29. Joshua says:

    But Mr.Peterson, how do you know that Batman hasn’t, in some fashion, punished Green Arrow for his insolence? Mind you, his vengeance takes place off panel, but there’s subtle clues that point to it. For instance, is Ollie truly wound up because of political outrage? Sure, he comes across that way, but wouldn’t you blame your rage on politics when the true reason is…bowel irregularity?! Yes! For years, Batman has been slipping Mr. Queen various Bat-intestinal formulas. One day, ol’ Ollie’s backed up worse than Lincoln Tunnel, and others he’s as loose as a whore near a Naval base. Ollie’s been wearing green-hued “Arrow”-themed Depends for years! šŸ™‚

    Clint Barton (…Ultimates, anyway) stays regular. Well, except that time the Hulk leapt toward the plane he was on to make a meal out of him– then he mostly kept control. Mostly.

  30. Hammerknight says:

    Green Arrow hands down. Hawkeye is just a supporting character, while Green Arrow has been a lead character for years. Plus GA has all the Jr. bowmen that look up to him. GA has always had a cool outfit even from the start, the Robin Hood style was great. What boy out there didn’t want to be Robin Hood. So as a legendary Bowman GA ranks up there right under Robin.

  31. Joel says:

    Green Arrow wins. He is cooler, and as some have pointed out, he is the original. I might agree that if they both ran out of arrows then hawkeye might win, but GA wouldn’t let that happen. Plus, he could just fire a boxing glove arrow, and if Hawkeye somehow manages to avoid it he would probably have another arrow already fired at him. Again, Green Arrow wins.

  32. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Gotta go with GA on this, Kevin Smiths run on Green Arrow ten years ago got me back into DC and got me reading past GA titles like The Longbow Hunters. Clint always seemed like he was trying really hard to be a superhero but never made it even with the Avengers or the Thuderbolts to back him up.

  33. Schuyler Corson says:

    The problem here is the presentation, I’m afraid. One, the images are both of poor representations of the characters. GA has a far better version with the hood and domino mask arrangement, and Hawkeye looks much better when not being borrowed from that cartoon series. Two, if we are only speaking of them as solo characters, then, yes, Green Arrow is the firm winner. He was much better as a solo, and was only useful in the groups as the devil’s advocate or the Batman wannabe. Hawkeye, however, was always at his best leading a group. He was sorely underrated as an Avenger, usually due to the eternal chip on his shoulder. Three, remember the character backgrounds decided their initial looks – GA wanted the Robin Hood look after being stranded on an island, and Hawkeye was originally a carnival performer – quite literally substance vs. style. (Okay, not great amounts of either, I suppose.) But Hawkeye’s garish look also meant that he was noticed on the battlefield a lot more, giving his teammates time to deal with the enemy while he annoyed them. If we’re purely talking solo beings, GA wins. If we’re talking about someone who has had a decent effect on the world of superheroes, then Hawkeye stands up a bit taller.