If there’s anything that Green Arrow knows how to do, it’s improvise. Since 1941, the Emerald Archer has charmed generations of DC fans with his outspoken personality, emotional honesty and clever tricks. After all, in a world where alien invasions occur with regularity and the next threat to the multiverse is always right around the corner, an ordinary human like Oliver Queen has got to get ahead somehow. Green Arrow’s famed “trick arrows” debuted in 1942’s More Fun Comics #77, which also happened to be the character’s second ever comic book appearance. That makes these clever, campy weapons of justice a part of who Green Arrow is from the very beginning.

With the climactic Green Arrow #11 now on stands, and Joshua Williamson and Sean Izaakse’s series recently elevated to an ongoing, it seemed like a good week to take a look into Green Arrow’s quiver and round up some of his best trick arrows. And before anyone asks, while we love the boxing glove arrow as much as everyone, we didn’t include it on the list. The Emerald Archer has got so much more up his sleeve than that.

Chainsaw Arrow

There’s something undeniably evocative about chainsaws. There’s a reason they’re used in so many horror movies and Halloween haunted houses. The roaring sound and spinning blades are made even better, however, when they are attached to the end of an arrow. In Williamson and Izaakse’s Green Arrow #1, a universe-displaced Oliver Queen saves the life of Lian Harper by firing a chainsaw arrow into the head of a robot. This moment encapsulates what so many Arrow fans love about Ollie: he’s got a scrappy, inventive spirit that is maybe a little unhinged, too.

Lead Paint Arrow

The presence of lead in acrylic paint was a widespread household danger in the twentieth century, but Green Arrow found what may very well be the only good use for it. His lead paint trick arrow in Justice League of America #21 helped his teammate, Superman, recover from kryptonite exposure. While fighting the villain, Dr. Alchemy, Green Arrow was able to get the Man of Steel back into fighting shape by shooting a kryptonite fire hydrant with a paint arrow. As the paint dripped down the hydrant, the lead in the paint nullified the effects of kryptonite, restoring Superman’s strength. Ironically, this clever bit of storytelling is anything but paint-by-numbers!

Mass Hysteria Arrow

Barring Batman, there’s perhaps no person better prepared for extremely specific situations quite like Green Arrow. In a story in the Green Arrow 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular by Mariko Tamaki, Javier Rodriguez and Andworld Design, Green Arrow and Speedy must hunt down a disappearing thief. As they assess the tools at their disposal, we see a range of different trick arrows, including a rather deadly-looking one called the mass hysteria arrow. Speedy and Ollie, unfortunately, don’t choose to use the mass hysteria arrow, but it’s only a matter of time before we’ll eventually get to see what it can do.

Bleach Bottle Arrow

Remember what we said about Green Arrow’s sense of ingenuity? It’s on full display in 2001’s Green Arrow #1 by Kevin Smith and Phil Hester, which kicked off their run with a destitute Ollie in dire straits. At the time, Ollie was presumed to be dead while his hometown, Star City, collapsed into chaos. Thankfully, our hero makes an appearance at the very end of the issue, shooting first an arrow with a martial arts sai on the end of it before loosing his smelliest arrow yet: a gallon of bleach. The bleach smacks into the head of a criminal trying to mug an old man, knocking the goon out cold. People say bleach can be powerful cleanup tool—apparently that also includes cleaning up the city streets.

Safecracker Arrow

As Batman can attest, being born into wealth has its benefits for vigilantes. As Green Arrow demonstrates in Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Tom Grindberg and Barry Kitson’s Flash and Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold #4, his wealth affords him the resources to do things like creating a safecracker arrow. That’s right, he has an arrow specifically designed to unlock safes! It’s hard to know what might have convinced him that spending the resources on something like this was worth it, but keep in mind that Ollie probably has a lot of safes himself and having something like this arrow on hand would mean he wouldn’t have to remember the combinations to any of them. It’s probably fair to say that most of Ollie’s trick arrows are used to fight crime, but that doesn’t mean ALL of them are. Some might just be used to make life a little easier for the guy. Green Arrow is someone who goes into battle against the forces of Darkseid with a weapon that dates back to the Paleolithic. Cut the man some slack.

Green Arrow #11 by Joshua Williamson, Sean Izaakse, Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Jules Chin Greene writes about comics for DC.com, and his work can also be found at Nerdist, Popverse and Multiverse of Color. You can follow him on Twitter and Bluesky at @JulesChinGreene.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Jules Chin Greene and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.