Hawkeye's Apparently Magical Wooden Arrows

In "The Wrong Side," I examine comic book fights that were particularly notable in the wrong side winning (or at least that the fight wasn't won the "right" way). This really isn't a big deal, of course, as it doesn't really matter if the "wrong" person won a fight. But it's fun to talk about! Here are our past editions of the feature.

If you want to suggest a fight for future inclusion in this feature, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com. Don't suggest a fight in the comments!

Reader Tom A. wrote in to suggest a famous scene from Secret Wars #8 (by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck and John Beatty).

Normally, the way that I do these things is that I demonstrate the power levels of each character, but that's actually unnecessary here, since the comic itself explicitly does that FOR us...and yet still gets it wrong.

One of the cool bits in Secret Wars was how it showed that the superheroes who were stranded on Battleworld by the Beyonder and forced to fight a bunch of supervillains were running low on supplies. Hawkeye, for instance, was all out of his trick arrows and thus was forced to just carve out wooden arrows...

That's important. These are just wooden arrows. They are not wooden arrows with a steel tip on them. They're strictly wooden arrows.

Now, it is very true to note that the penetration power of arrows are very underrated. Due to the fact that a steel-tipped arrow is a bladed weapon, they actually can penetrate better than most bullets fired from close range, because the round bullets pretty much start to break apart as soon as they make contact, while the bladed tip is designed to cut into the object it is being fired upon.

Here is a cool military film about how arrows have more penetrative powers than most close range bullets...

That is undoubtedly what Jim Shooter had in mind in this very cool sequence in Secret Wars #8, where Hawkeye takes on the seemingly more powerful Piledriver. It's an iconic Hawkeye scene, with great Zeck and Beatty art...

However, as noted earlier AND EVEN SHOWN IN THE ACTUAL PANELS, Hawkeye's arrows are purely wooden. A wood-tipped arrow is not the same thing as a steel-tipped arrow. The arrow might surprise you in how much of an impact it would have, but an arrow made out of wood simply is not going to penetrate a guy whose skin is bulletproof. Essentially, Hawkeye should have gotten some titanium or steel-tipped arrowheads at some point to make the scene make sense.

Still a very cool scene, though.

Thanks to Tom for the suggestion!

If anyone else out there has a suggestion for a fight that you think the "wrong" side won, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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