Trick arrows
File:Trick arrows.jpg
Several examples of trick arrows used by Green Arrow.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Marvel Comics
In story information
Type Weapon
Element of stories featuring (DC Comics)
Green Arrow, Speedy, Red Arrow
(Marvel Comics)
Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, Trickshot

Trick arrows are projectile devices that are seen in various media of fiction. Trick arrows are shot with bows like arrows but can possess a specialized function (technological or magical) such as compact explosive charges or rotary drills. They are often found in the world of comic book superheroes, used by archers such as Green Arrow of DC Comics, and Hawkeye of Marvel Comics.

In some portrayals, particularly during the Silver Age, trick arrows are sometimes shown to defy the laws of physics and reality, to varying degrees.

Overview from other mediaEdit

Trick arrows are generally technological, although they can be magical, like those used by the comic book characters Celestial Archer and Maya, or Hank the Ranger of the Dungeons & Dragons TV series.

A live-action variety of explosive arrow, kit-bashed from two M203 grenades, was used in the movie Predator. Explosive arrows were also seen in the film Rambo: First Blood Part II. The character Yeoman of the Wild Cards superhero anthology series also makes occasional use of exploding arrows. Bo and Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazzard used arrows with dynamite tied to them because they were banned from having firearms after being caught moonshine running. Trick arrows were also featured in the book Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games series, when both the heroine, Katniss Everdeen, and her friend Gale Hawthorne use special arrows against the Capitol including fire arrows and explosive arrows designed by their scientist colleague, Beetee.

In the Thief computer game series, the main character Garret employs types of arrows to alter the environment or for confrontation; such as Water Arrows (to extinguish torches), Moss Arrows (to create a "carpet" for silent walking), Rope Arrows (for climbing), Vine Arrows, Fire Arrows etc.

Green Arrow's trick arrowsEdit

Oliver Queen is DC Comics' primary archer hero. His arrows over many decades worth of stories (of various tones and degrees of seriousness) have included:

  • Acetylene Arrow
  • Acid Arrow (contains a vial of highly corrosive acid which is released on impact)
  • Antler Arrow
  • Atomic Warhead Arrow (contains an extremely miniaturized atomic warhead)
  • Aqua Lung Arrow
  • Avalanche Arrow
  • Baby Rattle Arrow
  • Bait Arrow
  • Balloon Arrow
  • Bloodhound Arrow
  • Boomerang Arrow
  • Bola Arrow
  • Boxing Glove Arrow
  • Bubblegum Arrow
  • Buzzsaw Arrow
  • Chimney sweep Arrow
  • Cryonic (Freezing) Arrow
  • Diamond Tipped Arrow
  • Drill Arrow (tipped with a motorized drill-bit)
  • Donut Arrow
  • Explosive Arrow (contains a simple compact explosive charge)
  • EMP arrow first appear in Smallville episode "Reunion." It is designed to disable electronic devices.
  • Fake Uranium Arrow
  • Fan Arrow
  • Fire extinguisher Arrow
  • Firecracker Arrow
  • Flash Arrow
  • Fountain Pen Arrow
  • Glue Arrow
  • Grappling Hook Arrow
  • Handcuffs Arrow (tipped with a pair of handcuffs that close around a person's wrist on impact, if aimed properly)
  • Harpoon Arrow
  • Ice- Cutting Arrow
  • Ink Arrow
  • Kryptonite Arrow (contains an isotope of Kryptonite, to be used against Kryptonians such as Superman or Supergirl should they go rogue)
  • Laritat Arrow
  • Magnesium Flare Arrow
  • Mini-Arrow
  • Mummy Arrow
  • Net Arrow (contains a spring-loaded nylon mesh which is released and entangles the target on impact)
  • Nth Metal Arrow (to be used against supernatural beings. Used in an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.)
  • Paint Brush Arrow
  • Parachute Arrow
  • Peppermint Stick Arrow
  • Rain Arrow
  • Reflector Arrow
  • Rope Arrow
  • Safe-Cracking Arrow
  • Smokescreen Arrow (releases a wide stream of harmless obscuring smoke through the air after being fired)
  • Sonic Arrow
  • Stunner Arrow
  • Sun Arrow
  • Trap Arrow
  • TriClamp Arrow (arrow separates into three handcuff-type clamps)
  • Tear Gas Arrow
  • Tumbleweed Arrow
  • Quantum Arrow (actually two arrows to be used simultaneously, one fired by Green Arrow and another by his sidekick Speedy. Used in an episode of JLU, "Patriot Act").
  • Greek Fire Arrow
  • Umbrella Arrow

Green Arrow's aqua-arrowsEdit

The Aqua-Bow was a cross between a speargun and a crossbow from World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #130 (December 1962).[1]

  • Electric Eel Arrow
  • Glowfish Arrow
  • Jellyfish Arrow
  • Octopus Arrow

Miss ArrowetteEdit

  • Lotion Arrow
  • Hairpin Arrow
  • Hair Tint Arrow
  • Needle and Thread Arrow
  • Plan B Arrow [citation needed]


The miniseries Infinite Crisis introduced a one-off Phantom Zone arrow, used by Green Arrow's sidekick Mia Dearden/Speedy.

Hawkeye's trick arrowsEdit

Trick arrows used by Marvel's Hawkeye include:

  • Acid Arrows
  • Adamantium Arrows (often combined with Electrical arrowhead)
  • Blunt Arrows
  • Bola Arrows
  • Boomerang Arrowhead (allows an arrow to return to shooter)
  • Cable Arrow (allowing him to swing through the air)
  • Electrical Arrow
  • Boxing Glove Arrow
  • Blast (Explosive) Arrow
  • Flare Arrow
  • Magnetic Arrowhead (adheres to metal surfaces; can be added to other arrows)
  • Magnesium Flare Arrow
  • Net Arrow
  • Putty Arrow (adheres to rough surfaces, and can stop exposed machinery)
  • Pym Particles Arrow (increases or decreases the size of an object or opponent)
  • Rocket Arrowhead (boosts range, can be added to other arrows)
  • Smoke Arrow
  • Sonic Arrow
  • Suction Cup Arrowhead (adheres to smooth surfaces; can be added to other arrows)
  • Tear Gas Arrow
  • Thermal (Incendiary) Arrow
  • Vibranium Arrow (must have supplement Magnetic, Putty, or Suction Cup arrowhead to stick to target; deadens kinetic and vibratory energies)
  • USB Arrow (to remotely shutdown computer systems)

City of Heroes/VillainsEdit

These Superhero-based Massively Multiplayer games had a Trick Arrow power set as a primary power set for Defenders and a secondary set for Controllers, Corruptors and Masterminds. Arrows available in CoH were:

  • Entangling Arrow
  • Flash Arrow
  • Glue Arrow
  • Ice Arrow
  • Poison Gas Arrow
  • Acid Arrow
  • Disruption Arrow
  • Oil Slick Arrow (which can be ignited by an energy attack into Flaming Oil Slick)
  • EMP Arrow


  1. World's Finest Comics vol. 1 #130 (December 1962)

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