Fenton Quigley (The Archer)

On with the secondary villains from the Batman tv series, we find The Archer, a modern-day Robin Hood portrayed by Art Carney. This organized thief commits crimes along with his own version of the Merry Men, comprised of Maid Marilyn, Big John and Crier Tuck, but is soon stopped by the Dynamic Duo. In the comics, the Archer is a villain who originated in Earth-Two, who didn’t face Batman but rather the other superstar from DC Comics. He even recently resurfaced in Prime Earth, albeit with a totally different story. Let’s see together.

Fenton Quigley was born in Metropolis, the heir of one of the wealthiest and most important families of the city. His life of privilege allowed him to indulge in a number of expensive hobbies, but his favorite soon became hunting. He traveled to distant and exotic locations to find the best sport, and became renowned as a skilled big game hunter. As many rich people have their caprices, so did Quigley, and he specialized in archery to make the hunt more difficult, and thus more interesting and entertaining. He was supposed to inherit all his family’s fortune, of course, but all this was taken away from him when a political discussion with his father escalated to a real argument, and the two broke relationships. All hope of reconciliation were cut short when Fenton’s father cut him off the family’s fortune, and for the first time in his life, the once wealthy heir found himself in the unbearable condition of working for a living. Not willing the least to accept this compromise with his wealthy life from before, Quigley decided to put his hunting skills to good use, and to switch to a human prey. He sent letters to many rich people from Metropolis, demanding quite a lot of money in exchange for sparing their lives, signing simply “The Archer”. As it was foreseeable, nobody took him seriously, but they would have, after his first strike. He targeted one of the men who had ignored his letter, Thomas Gayford, and killed him with bow and arrow, striking from a distance, right in the middle of a huge party he was holding at his manor. This way, he had a lot of witnesses who had realized that nobody could be safe from The Archer.

A major strike to his ego arrived when the police was unable to determine if there was a single man responsible for the letters and the killing: Quigley sent them a message tied to an arrow, in Gayford Manor, to make things straight… but this way he attracted the attention of both detectives and reporters, who started investigating on the new Public Enemy #1. Two journalists from the Daily Planet, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, proved to be pretty persistent, and thus dangerous. He tried to kill them in a couple of occasions, shooting arrows at them and cutting their car’s breaks, but Superman always intervened to save them. Quigley decided to leave the reporters be, and killed yet another man. Then, taking advantage of the fact that the police had arrested a loony dressed like Robin Hood believing him to be the killer, he sent threats to a jeweler, sure that this time he would have been paid. The jeweler, however, was convinced by Lois Lane not to pay, so the Archer resolved to kill them both… but Superman arrived just in time: he saved both his intended victims, and captured and unmasked him. The Archer spent the following years in prison, thinking of a way to take his revenge on the Man of Steel. He devised new, special arrows that would have gave him an advantage. He escaped from prison, then he challenged Superman, declaring with a message in the sky that he would have killed Lois Lane, leaving him powerless in the process. Then, he kidnapped Lois, luring her into a trap calling her and pretending to be the ambassador she was supposed to interview. Superman found them, but thanks to the Archer’s new tech, any time Superman used one of his powers to stop the arrows, he lost it: first flight, then super-speed and invulnerability, heat vision, super-breath, super-shout, and finally his super-strength, leaving him with nothing to save Lois with. Superman, however, realized how Quigley was truly stopping his powers, and snapped out of it, taking the Archer down in a matter of seconds. Then, as the hero was saving the beauty, the Archer tried to escape, but was stopped by Jimmy Olsen, arrived on the scene following a tip. So long for this long-dreamt revenge.

Fenton Quigley is a murderous and amoral man, ready to resolve to homicide and theft in order to maintain his wealthy life style after being disowned by his own father. As the Archer, he’s in perfect shape, a skilled athlete and a superb archer, as his name suggests; apart from regular arrows, he also uses special ones rigged with brain-wave devices studied to act on Superman’s psyche, so that when the hero uses a power to stop one arrow, he’s hypnotized into the certainty of not being able to use that power anymore. A terrorist and a mercenary who’d do anything for money, the Archer is a spoiled brat who reinvented himself as a professional killer, and turns out to be pretty good in be both of them.

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