Green Arrow's secret identity: what's the point?

Dear Johnny Fanboy,

The latest Green Arrow graphic novel Heading into the Light opens with someone unknown, but obviously a super-villain, blowing up the house of Oliver Queen (alias Green Arrow). Queen is shocked and outraged to realise that someone has discovered his secret identity.

Isn't this a little odd? Isn't his so-called "secret identity" in fact quite rubbish? How many men have a ridiculously over-the-top blond goatee beard and moustache along with that trademark well-groomed blond hair? Even an average member of the public could work this one out!


Shirley Perham

Johnny Fanboy replies:

Nobody ever notices Green Arrow's facial hair because they're too busy laughing at his green tights. And no one ever pays much attention to Oliver Queen's facial hair because they're fully occupied sniggering at this surname.

Seriously, though, I believe this is known as hiding in plain sight. Anyone trying to work out Green Arrow's secret identity will most likely look for someone who doesn't look much like Green Arrow at all. They might assume that his real hair is a different colour and that the beard is fake. It will not occur to most people that the blond-haired Oliver Queen is really the super-hero. Surely Green Arrow would have a better disguise than that, they will think. Maybe Queen (huh huh, Queen!) is just copying the look made famous by Green Arrow.

And perhaps Oliver enhances his disguise by being really crap at darts whenever he goes down the pub!

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