Glad you asked, because here a few facts on Green Arrow’s most wanted bad guys!
The Clock King first appeared in World’s Finest Comics #111 (August, 1960, by Ed Herron and Lee Elias – he’s not on the cover because Green Arrow was on few covers back in the early 1960s). William Tockman was a man out of time…he thought he was going to perish, and planned to rob a bank using his impeccable ability to schedule (and a clock costume…well, hey, it was the Silver Age!) to get money to support his sister, but he was stopped by Green Arrow and Speedy…and sent to prison. He worked with Dr. Destiny and the first gathering of foes of the Justice League of America…and later still, found out that he wasn’t really dying at all! The Clock King faced Green Arrow a few times in before the Crisis on Infinite Earths (and appeared in that book as well, issue #9 with all the villains), and then joined the Injustice League with Justice League International #23 (January, 1989) with Major Disaster, Multi-Man, Cluemaster and Big Sir. He worked with that team for a while (even when it changed to Justice League Antarctica), both helping and hindering the JLI. He even worked with other foes who had a time fascination, like Atom’s foe – Chronos, the Batman’s Calendar Man and Batman/Green Lantern/Animal Man foe the Time Commander in a group called the “Time Foes” in Team Titans #13 and 14 (in 1993) and in Showcase ’94 for Zero Hour.
Dream A Little Dream
Making his first appearance in Justice League of America #5 (June-July, 1961, by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky), John Dee was a criminal scientist who was the first foe Green Arrow faced as a member of the Justice League, having joined the issue before, and he was the first villain who recruited the foes of the members to battle the team together (in case you are wondering, those foes are Wonder Woman’s Professor Menace, Aquaman baddie – the Electric Man, Martian Manhunter nemesis – the Getaway Mastermind, Flash foe - Captain Cold and Green Lantern’s villain - the Puppet Master…who later took the name the Puppeteer…). After a few more battles with the JLA, Dr. Destiny invented the Materioptikon…which allowed him to manipulate dreams into reality. This made him much harder to defeat, and after stopping another gathering of villains (foes after the hero – Superman/Luthor, Batman/Penguin, Aquaman/Cutlass Charlie, Flash/Captain Boomerang, Green Lantern/Tattooed Man, Martian Manhunter/Dr. Light, Atom/Plant-Master and Hawkman/Mr. I.Q. in Justice League of America #61, March, 1968) where the JLAers all acted as Green Arrow, the team had Dr. Destiny hypnotized to be unable to dream.
He even returned to face the JLA a few times after before he was only a dream….
Turn on the Light
Arthur Light was kind of a failure as a scientist, and he carried that on through the rest of his life. Arthur ended up facing the Justice League to make himself feel superior, and he’s been losing ground ever since. Using light based weapons, he was able to isolate the individual JLA members, and dispatch them to alien planets…and, but for a bit of luck and honorary JLAer Snapper Carr, the members would still be there.
Dr. Light went on to face members individually, then even attacking the gathered sidekicks of the group in the Teen Titans (first time, in Teen Titans #44, November, 1976, with Green Arrow’s own sidekick, Speedy, in attendance). Dr. Light even formed a group of villains to attack the teens (under the direction of the demon, Trigon), the Fearsome Five (other members included Gizmo, Mammoth, Shimmer and Psimon in New Teen Titans #3, January, 1981, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez).
This also didn’t work out well for the doctor….he was in prison quite a bit, which didn’t turn out well for him either. Dr. Light got recruited to the Suicide Squad…and killed on Apokolips. Still, hell didn’t want this loser and sent him back to Earth…where he still had problems.
He got a new costume (which he later dumped), faced the new Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), which got him recruited to play in Lex Luthor’s Injustice Gang (from JLA #10-15, as Green Lantern’s foe, with Luthor there for Superman, Joker for Batman, Ocean Master for Aquaman, Circe for Wonder Woman, Mirror Master for Flash…and a surprise for Martian Manhunter!). Still, Arthur ended up in jail, and even partnering with the Joker didn’t keep Dr. Light safe from the toxic Joker’s Last Laugh…but that was nothing compared to the Identity Crisis he’d later have. Seems Arthur was really villainious one day, so bad that the JLA had to wipe his mind…and that started a whole nasty chain of events, leading to tons of problems for the world’s heroes. And, it was after all this that Arthur faced Green Arrow alone (well, not so alone….as he brought help, including Killer Frost, Mirror Master, Deathstroke the Terminator and Merlyn, all in Green Arrow #54-59 in 2005/2006!).
Archery is Black Magic
Merlyn didn’t really use magic, but his skill with a bow was like magic. Arthur King first came on the scene in Justice League of America #94 (November, 1971, by Mike Friedrich and Dick Dillin); he was a member of the League of Assassins, and had been an archer idolized by young Oliver Queen, and even once able to beat Green Arrow early in his career before Arthur became an assassin. Merlyn was also a recruit in an “anti”-Justice League (composed of foes of the team, including Superman’s foe-Brainiac, Batman villain-Clayface, Aquaman’s opposite-the Ocean Master, Flash nemesis-Grodd, Green Lantern’s arch enemy-Sinestro, Atom’s foe-Chronos, Black Canary villain-the Harpy and the Queen Bee to face Elongated Man and Red Tornado) in Action Comics #443 (January, 1975) and faced Black Lightning (a future friend to Green Arrow with lightning powers) in that electric hero’s second issue.
A Shot in the Dark
Deadshot started off as a Batman villain in Batman #59 (June, 1950, by David Vern and Lew Schwartz), and then sat out for a while, all the way until Detective Comics #474, where Steve Englehart returned the character (and the late Marshall Rogers gave him his one-eyed fully-masked assassin look). Then, with the manipulations of Darkseid turning the world against its heroes in Legends, Deadshot joined the Suicide Squad, where he remained a member for most of its original 66 issue run (all under the talent of writer John Ostrander, fleshing out the character of Floyd Lawton, and why this rich kid went to the wrong side of the tracks, becoming a trickshot artist and assassin), even boasting a 4-issue mini-series all his own! Even after the Squad went away for a while, Floyd stayed in groups, joining the Killer Elite, and even coming back to other versions of the Suicide Squad, where this man could use his deadly talents to help people (because, even though Deadshot is a killer, somewhere with him, he wants to be an old style gunslinger, pulling into town to keep the law…like he did the first time he met Batman).
These two incredible marksmen…just kept missing each other. Seems something must have kept them off-balance…
Down With the Count
Werner Vertigo started off fighting Green Arrow’s ladyfriend, the sonic-empowered Black Canary, in World’s Finest Comics #251 (June-July, 1978, by Gerry Conway and Trevor von Eeden), trying to take back jewels owned by his family, as he was part of the ruling class of the small Eastern European country of Vlatava that the Russians had taken over; and his genetic inner ear disorder, which he inherited as well, had been neutralized by mechanical means, by which he could affect the vertigo of anyone around him. Vertigo returned in the next issue of World’s Finest to face Green Arrow (switching with the Stinger in a “tag-team” style, where the Stinger faced Black Canary…but still ending in defeat for the villains). Green Arrow kept Vertigo as a villain for a few more battles…until Darkseid turned Earth against its heroes in Legends, and Count Vertigo faced Black Canary again. Count Vertigo was captured by Manhunter Mark Shaw, and went to work with the Suicide Squad, starting with issue #24, where he and Deadshot had a few confrontations over time. Still, Count Vertigo stayed with the team through issue #66, when the members left to pursue individual interests.
All of which is a way to show how interconnected Green Arrow’s foes are, both with each other, the Manhunters, and the various villainous organizations of the DC Universe.
Post a Comment