When I first started reading Green Arrow, not caring about the Marvel vs DC thing, I thought he was the only bowman superhero - and he looked like Robin Hood. Then I found Hawkeye, who was more like a Native American type of hero. Nevertheless, I though that it was the same character brought up in a different time and place.

These two heroes have many similar traits, similar suits, use similar tools, and have similar skills. What distinguishes them from one another. Apart from the background story, what are the main differences between Hawkeye and Green Arrow, as opposed to Marvel vs DC.

  • 28
    The Green Arrow has the superpower that allows him to cause a left turn arrow to go green instantly, no matter what point in the cycle the traffic lights are. Hawkeye, on the other hand, has the ability to blind all hawks merely by thinking about it. Falcons and eagles are unaffected.
    – John O
    Aug 28, 2012 at 22:58

4 Answers 4


They are surprisingly similar in temperament. Both are often brash and outspoken, particularly given the company they keep. But the differences in the characters are not related to their mastery of archery but more in how they lived before they became archers and their lifestyles after they became heroes.


  • Oliver Queen was a successful businessman whose technology corporation made millions annually. First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73, (1941).
  • Clint Barton was an orphan and successful circus performer. He would later work for SHIELD as a costumed agent. First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #57 (1964).


  • Green Arrow acquired his archery skills as an adult while he was stranded on Star Fish island.

In Adventure Comics #250, Pre-Crisis, Pre-Arrow (TV), Oliver Queen was an adult before he learned to use a bow and arrow. The origin has been retconned since the restart of the DCNU 52 universe and the Arrow television series. (Please do not edit this answer. This answer is the correct one. If continuity is desired, then add an apocrypha entry at the end.)

From ComicVine's History of Green Arrow from the Golden Age to "Arrow"

Together with writer Ed Herron, comic book legend Jack Kirby presented a new Silver Age origin for the jade bowman in 1958's "Adventure Comics" #250. The new continuity stated that Green Arrow had originally operated alone and didn't meet Roy or recruit him as Speedy until after he was already established as a famous hero. In "The Green Arrow's First Case," Ollie explained to Roy his origins -- a wealthy playboy, Ollie Queen is on his yacht one night when he accidentally falls overboard (as you do). Oliver makes his way to the deserted Starfish Island and realizes he's stranded.

Ollie makes a makeshift bow and arrow, spending months developing archery and other skills to survive. To camouflage himself while hunting small game, he uses what he can to make a dark green costume that looks not unlike Robin Hood. He also develops several trick arrows to help him achieve various purposes.

  • Hawkeye trained from a child as a circus performer using a bow as his primary performance tool.


  • Green Arrow created with a variety of his own experimental arrows and had a career as a lone hero before joining the Justice League. Unfortunately this career was unremarkable as a comic character existing for nearly 25 relatively uninteresting years.
  • Hawkeye started his costumed career as a villain sent to attack the Avengers. One year later he joins them. Loudmouthed, tempestuous, short-tempered; he was an instant success by comic hero standards.


  • Green Arrow used his vast fortune to create the weaponized payloads for his trick arrows. He later takes advantage of the technology available to the Justice League to customize his loads. He also preferred to use a customized longbow. His most loathed arrow: The Boxing Glove arrow, a mainstay during the happy years of the Silver Age stories.

  • Hawkeye's first loads were customized from his time as a circus performer. He would later work with Tony Stark (Iron Man) and SHIELD to create high tech customized weapons. His bow of preference would be a customized composite bow. His most loathed arrow: The USB virus arrow used to take down the SHIELD helicarrier. Hated it!


  • Green Arrow has always been a bit more of a loner, preferring to work with a single partner (either Black Canary or Roy Harper - Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow).

  • He has trained at least two students in archery, Speedy/Arsenal and Green Arrow II/Conner Hawke.

  • He was also known for many years to work with Hal Jordan in a strange Democrat/Republican relationship. While their philosophies often clashed, their teamwork was impeccable.

  • His work in the Justice League as always been exemplary, if a bit argumentative, believing the Justice League to be a bit heavy-handed and authoritarian in their process.

  • Hawkeye has always had a big mouth and this has not helped people warm to him.

  • Wanting to be acknowledged as a meaningful and contributing member of the Avengers, he has always pushed himself to excel. Learning hand to hand from Captain America, while at the same time, being in Cap's face arguing all the time made for a challenging relationship.

  • Hawkeye has never trained another archer or sidekick, but he did eventually leave the Avengers and lead his own team, the West Coast Avengers and later the villains-turned-heroes, the Thunderbolts.

  • Please do not forget that Hawkeye (Clint Barton) was such a skilled fighter, that after Captain America was killed, both Tony Stark and Nick Fury offered the "role" of Captain America to Barton. Proving that not only his archery skills, but his leadership and hand to hand skills were much better than that of Green Arrows.
    – user10744
    Nov 11, 2012 at 17:04
  • 2
    The answer is very good detailed, but a little wrong. A few weeks before this was posted, Hawkeye began training/mentoring Kate Bishop in the new Hawkeye series.
    – user13885
    Apr 17, 2013 at 16:22
  • 7
    The fact that Hawkeye was offered the role of Captain America means nothing when comparing leadership and hand-to-hand skills with Green Arrow who exists in a completely separate universe.
    – phantom42
    Apr 17, 2013 at 16:44

As far as personality there is no major difference. Green Arrow was first, Hawkeye is pretty much a rip off given how similar. Quite a bit of information that has been posted is false and clearly biased. Green Arrow was orphaned as a child and he lost his fortune. His arrows were modified by himself while on the Island where he had to survive and craft his own weapons and fought his way out . He either creates his own arrows or has help, since his busy fighting crime and all. Green Arrow has been very successful, given that his survived for so long and has had a successful book from 80's - Present day. Then Hawkeye who's first attempt at his solo title was a flop, but now in the hands of a great writer and artist he seems to have finally caught on. Green Arrow is better then Hawkeye, Green Arrow is the people's hero .... Which is another thing Hawkeye has recently ripped off from Green Arrow despite the hero having this for decades. Green Arrow can kick Hawkeye's ass anytime, the official USA team for Archery named him the beat fictional archer(yes over Hawkeye) and his a better fighter.

  • @Kinser please don't make edits to a post which defaces the post. Additionally, calling someone "stupid" even in an edit comment is rude and unnecessary.
    – Möoz
    Dec 6, 2016 at 23:18

I am pretty sure Green arrow is much better in hand to hand combat.. since he has been taught by one of the teachers who taught Slade AKA Deathstroke who is one of the most amazing martial artists.. if not the best.. sure Hawkeye was taught by Captain America.. but that doesn't really mean anything since the stats in my opinion are usually higher than the marvel superheroes.


Deathstroke would stomp Hawkeye, and Green Arrow was trained in hand to hand combat by the very same man who taught HIM. Captain America is a GOOD hand to hand combatant, but is by no means the best in his universe (that would most likely go to Iron Fist, who knows every martial arts on the planet PLUS other mystical martial arts from Kun'Lun. He also actively holds back when fighting other heroes to make the sparring fair.) Not only that but Green Arrows backstory has been retconned in his "Brightest Day" series to show he has been using a bow since a child (hence why he turned to it on Starfish Island.) His feats include being able to shoot 25 arrows a minute at a leisurely pace, and cutting a water drop in half as it fell from a block away. He also beat Solomon Grundy to death with his bare hands and a broken bow. His. Bare. Hands.

Green Arrow always had "natural skill" with a bow, but despite being a damn prodigy with it he has also backed that advantage up with years upon years upon years of intensive training. He has even been stated to possess an almost "spiritual" connection to his weapon, using it as an extension of himself. While Hawkeye is tough, he is no Oliver Queen. If they ever fought, I imagine that Ollie would be more than happy to teach Clint how to use a bow.

Plain and simple, Clint is outmatched in close combat or from a long range.

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