The Boxing Glove Arrow is the most recognized, most iconic, and most controversial trick arrow of them all. Green Arrow didn’t have many arrows he could fire directly at someone without killing them in the beginning. He needed a good non-lethal direct attack, and the Boxing Glove Arrow was the perfect answer.
Often the object of ridicule, this trick is a relic of the Golden Age that keeps showing up when you least expect it. It is one of the DC archers’ most reliable tricks. DC only, though; Hawkeye never uses the Boxing Glove Arrow. (That doesn’t stop cosplayers from giving it to him, though.)
Despite the cartoonish appearance, the arrow can strike harder than a professional heavyweight boxer. It was created specifically to evoke that image, too. Green Arrow was created right in the middle of boxing’s Golden Age (1920s-60s). Joe Louis was the heavyweight champion and boxing was everywhere. Boxing glove gags were plentiful in the slapstick of the time. The spring loaded boxing glove punched out a variety of cartoon characters and film comedians. Even Green Lantern was creating giant green, glowing boxing gloves to attack with. Everybody knew what the glove meant and what it could do. The visual iconography was well established.
Today, the Boxing Glove Arrow is equally loved and reviled by fans. There was a time when GA tried to distance himself from it. It keeps showing up, though, in comics, animation, video games, and even live TV.
The Boxing Glove arrow is this author’s favorite trick arrow, and in fact writing an essay on the subject is what triggered the creation of this website. While others might see it as childish or silly, I see it as whimsical and adventurous and just plain fun. Judging by the numerous attempts to create a real one on YouTube, I can see I’m not alone in this opinion.
- Type: Non-Lethal Arrow
- Frequency: Infamous
- Effects: A boxing glove arrowhead designed for stunning or knocking out living targets.
- First Appearance: Adventure Comics #118 (1947)