Public Domain Super Heroes


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The Arrow
The Arrow

Real Name

Ralph Payne

First Appearance

Funny Pages vol. 2 #10 (Sep 1938)

Original Publisher


Created by

Paul Gustavson

Golden Age Origin

The Arrow, the first costumed comic book hero to appear after the debut of Superman, began in the September 1938 issue of Funny Pages.

A vigilante archer, the Arrow owed his origins to Robin Hood as well as pulp magazine heroes like the Shadow and the Spider.

Hidden under a crumpled red suit and face-covering cowl, he was a man of mystery without name or background. A no-nonsense fellow, the Arrow coldly shot arrows into hands, shoulders, and hearts of slobbering fiends who were always putting blondes into bondage.

Paul Gustavson wrote and drew the series.

After making his debut in the Funny Pages (and a brief stop in Fantoman Comics), the Arrow received his own magazine. The stories in the first two issues, however, were reprints from earlier comics.

By issue #3, the Arrow was drawn by a new artist, Bob Lubbers, and had assumed the secret identity of Ralph Payne, U.S. intelligence agent.


The Arrow is the first super-hero to use archery as a primary gimmick. He is also the third American costumed hero to appear in comic books (after the Clock and Superman).

Golden Age Appearances

  • Amazing Adventure Funnies #1
  • Arrow #1-3
  • Fantoman #2
  • Funny Pages vol. 2 #10-12, vol. 3 #1-10, vol. 4 #1, #35-42


See Also

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