Friday, March 13, 2015


From the git-go, Green Arrow was riding Batman’s hog pretty hard. An Arrowcar, an Arrowcave, an Arrowplane and a kid sidekick, not to mention a bunch of gadgets and more than a few colorful crooks, it only made sense that the Battling Bowman would also have his very own clown-themed criminal nemesis. Thus was born BULL’S EYE!

Not to be mistaken for Daredevil’s girlfriend-stabbing baddie, this Bull’s Eye began his career as an incarcerated crook improbably named Leapo! Leading an escape through the sewers running underneath the prison – shades of Shawshank! – Leapo escapes justice by picking up a gig at a nearby carnival as a clown at whom people pay to throw things.

I dunno, TRY the bullet.
This is a legit thing people used to pay for the privilege of doing, back in the days before video games and hard drugs. Mom and Dad would bring the kiddies out to the carnival with a sack of quarters and an attachĂ© case full of razor-sharp darts, to while away the afternoon trying to poke holes in some yokel’s paint-daubed pan. Everyone gets ice cream if you stab him in the balls, kids! Throw harder!

Impressed with his own ability to dodge dangerous darts flung by the blood-hungry nuclear family of the modern day, Leapo also realizes that his signature slipperiness is a total giveaway to the cops. With this in mind, he drops his Christian name of Leapo – his mother will weep salt tears, she named him after a granduncle who fought in the Civil War! – and becomes Bull’s Eye, dressing up from head to toe like a leering Pagliacci or possibly a mascot for a circus-themed laundry detergent.

Bull’s Eye was in and out of the Green Arrow mythos (Green Arrow’s got a mythos??) with less than a half dozen appearances, and his supreme dodging ability played at least a small role in every one. When not actively encouraging Green Arrow and his kid sidekick Speedy to try plugging every hole on his body with a well-placed boxing glove arrow or three, Bull’s Eye would keep his body limber and well-trained by having his own henchmen huck knives and shit at him and hopefully he wouldn’t die.

I guess it paid off, although ultimately Bull’s Eye succumbed to the one thing he couldn’t dodge. Only ever a County Fair version of the Joker, Bull’s Eye was eventually struck by obsolescence, and hasn’t been back since.

1 comment:

BillyWitchDoctor said...

And of course Arrow's quiver filled with stupid gadgets was his "utility belt." I remember reading all kinds of nonsense ginned up to explain why his quiver never dumped its contents when Ollie was swinging and flipping around, but hey, at least it all paid off for The Avengers, hey?

The worst stolen-from-Batman gimmick for me, though, was the Arrowsignal: a giant fiery green arrow launched (somehow) from police headquarters (usually by Sergeant Generic Cop; I don't know if Ollie ever got himself a Gordon), in the direction of the scene of a reported crime in the hope that G.A. would be outdoors and looking up for the three seconds such a thing would be visible, or else attracted to the horrible smoldering human carnage the thing left behind at its point of impact.

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