Sunday, April 3, 2016

The origins of #TheQuiver...amalgam of Hawkeye & The Green Arrow


     Oliver Barton was born to billionaires Harold and Edith Barton.  Spoiled and arrogant; Oliver flourished as a reckless playboy with his brother Barney acting as his tireless guardian.  Their father was a brutal drunk who abused both boys repeatedly; scarring Oliver for life in the areas of trust and empathy.  If not for Barney's constant intervention, taking many voluntary beatings in his brother's place, Oliver would have succumbed to a dark, bitter, and utterly cynical existence.  His mother, Edith, also a victim of her husband's incessant abuse, remained helpless in protecting her sons from their constant torment. 

     On a prolonged fishing trip, aboard their parent's yacht, the patriarch, and his offspring attempted to reconcile their differences.  But the futile effort was quickly interrupted when a violent storm capsized their vessel, leaving the three to drift along on the harsh seas in just a simple lifeboat.  Without food or clean drinking water, and with the sun and unforgiving heat assaulting their essences, Harold became overcome with grief and regret.  Realizing the monster he had become he took his life with a gun he had salvaged from the sinking vessel; his suicide occurring in front of his boys.
     After a week at sea, Barney succumbed to the elements and died too, in front of his sibling's worn and weary eyes.  Oliver's small vessel eventually came ashore on a strange, solitary island known only as Lian Yu, meaning purgatory.  There he was forced to learn to fight, hunt, and forage for himself, setting aside his privileged life of greed, gluttony, and pleasure. 

     A year later he met Yao Fei, an exiled archer who was once an infamous Chinese assassin.  Fei fled his native land after he was asked to kill an innocent man and his family.   The man was a humanitarian, trying to bring equality and justice for the poor and oppressed.   Having nowhere else to go, Fei escaped by sea, with only his bow and quiver, and limited supplies.  He had been stranded on the island for nearly a decade before meeting Oliver.  

     Knowing its landscape by heart, Fei took pity on the emaciated but determined Oliver and taught him how to truly survive among the merciless terrain.  Oliver became an adept archer under the tutelage of his new ally and learned how to sustain himself quite proficiently on what little sustenance their new home had to offer.  

     After five years on the island, living in secret among the vegetation and shadows, Fei and Queen were discovered by a guerrilla force led by General Amanda Ross.  Ross enlisted the two men to assist her team in infiltrating the dangerous drug gang, led by China White, who had set up a base of operations for opium growth, refining, and distribution on the island.   Fei knew of their presence but avoided their territories to protect Oliver.  

     Knowing Fei's in-depth topography of the Isle, Ross knew they would be able to surprise and take the cartel.   Promised both a covert defection and free ride home, Fei and Oliver agreed to assist Ross in taking down the infamous drug lord and his minions. 

     After a successful but violent raid, Ross made good on her promise, well sort of.  Fei was given asylum in America but continued working for Ross' secret agency called A.R.G.U.S.  Oliver, too, was given no choice but to serve under Ross for the next four years.   Knowing, there was nothing waiting for him at home, as he was already presumed dead, Oliver complied.  

      Serving as a ruthless mercenary, Oliver did horrible things in the name of Ross' definition of national defense.  It was only after an attempted assassination of a man named Stick, the suspected leader of the extremely powerful League of the Chaste, that Oliver would find a chance for redemption.   Ross knew Stick and his associates literally rewrote history because of their various interventions.  He also knew that if he could kill Stick and take control of the League, A.R.G.U.S would become the most lethal "security" force in the world.  But Ross failed and her team was decimated, all except for Queen.  

     Stick had a gift for spotting new talent and knowing the true condition of a man's soul.   He took Queen under his wing and trained him to become the most accurate and agile archer history will ever know.  It was under Stick's guidance and protection, Oliver met Dinah Romanova, his eventual love interest.   But Oliver eventually left Stick and his budding romance, to return to the states and become a vigilante in his home, Star City. 

     For many years, he fought the forces of evil, and the remnant of China White's organization who too, had settled there.   It is only when faced with his arch nemesis, The Brick, a metahuman able to become any material he touches but preferring to remain in a living granite like state, that he came in contact with the hero called the #DarkAvenger.  Together they defeated Brick and his criminal empire and saved Star City. 

     It was then the #DarkAvenger enlisted #TheQuiver to become part of the "LeagueofAvengers, also reuniting him with his lost love, #TheCardinal.  Oliver fought alongside his new friend for many years until a horrific tragedy forced him to fight alone again; facing new, more terrifying enemies while desperately trying to save the only woman he ever truly loved.    

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