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Did Green Arrow Really Kill A Villain in the Classic 'Night Olympics'?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Nolino tweeted the following question to me, “Got a New Question..regarding Night Olympics (Det 549-550 / Alan moore + Klaus Janson) Did Ollie kills Lomax (the Punk Archer)? The story leaving the interpretation open.”

Nolino is referring to the classic two-part Green Arrow back-up feature by Moore and Klaus Janson that ran in two issues of Detective Comics in 1985. The story, titled “Night Olympics,” opens with Green Arrow causing a psychotic break in a criminal. We then cut to a brand-new villain, Pete Lomax, a nihilistic punk who just wants to cause death and mayhem…

We then see Green Arrow and Black Canary discussing the idea about how superheroes might have been too much for the average crook, hence that aforementioned crook who had a psychotic break when he was apprehended by Green Arrow. Oliver explains to his girlfriend, Dinah, that perhaps their presence has forced out the “normal” crooks and weeded out all but the psycho criminals, like supervillains.

As they’re debating this, Lomax fires.

In the next issue, we see that he wounds Black Canary…

She survives and once Green Arrow makes sure that she is being tended to, he heads off after Lomax. Lomax, again, believes himself to be this nihilistic dude and he brags about hurting Black Canary, daring Green Arrow to come after him. However, WANTING Green Arrow to come after you and HAVING Green Arrow come after you are two different things, as Lomax discovers when Green Arrow stuns him and quickly disarms him with his shockingly precise shooting…

With Lomax now disarmed, he suddenly finds himself at the mercy of Green Arrow and he does not handle it well, fainting at the sight, which leads to Green Arrow making another pissy comment about how maybe villains really AREN’T that good nowadays…

Green Arrow then heads to visit Canary in the hospital and Moore concludes the story with a riff on the whole olympics motif, with “laurels” given out at the end…

Now, could you read Lomax as having been killed by Green Arrow? I don’t see how, honestly. The whole thing is based around Lomax, when it boiled down to it, punking out and fainting. If Oliver killed him, dragging his body out would be really weird, right?

So no, Nolino, Green Arrow did not kill the bad guy in “Night Oympics.”

Thanks for the question!

If anyone else has a comic book related question, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

In their latest reader-submitted question, CSBG revisits the classic Alan Moore-written Green Arrow back-up story, 'Night Olympics.'

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