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May 12, 2012

Year of the arrow: Katniss, Hawkeye, ‘Brave’ point the way

Posted in: Games,Movies,TV

"Arrow": Stephen Amell is Oliver Queen, a mysterious vigalante in Starling City. (The CW)

Marvel's mega-hit "The Avengers" unites a god, a monster, a super solider and... that "Hurt Locker" dude with a bow and arrow? Yes, Hawkeye (along with Black Widow) is a mere mortal but he brings sharp edges to an all-star affair. “I love him," director Joss Whedon says, "because he really could not be less of a team player." (Marvel Studios / Disney)

The first Pixar princess doesn't have a glass slipper -- but if you perch that poison apple on your head she'll be happy to shoot it with an arrow. Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, is the impetuous daughter of King Fergus in the June 22 release of "Brave" that tells a tale of courage, magic and self-discovery. (Disney)

Katniss Everdeen is a rural rebel in an oppressed society of faceless citizens. How will she make her mark? That's right, with a bow and arrow (and, um, the flaming dress didn't hurt either). "The Hunger Games" has gone from bookshelf sensation to cinema sensation and the influence of Katniss can also be tracked in national surge in bow sales and archery class enrollment. (Lionsgate)

Director Tarsem Singh brought scenes of majestic mayhem to "Immortals" and among the most memorable was glowing arrows of the Epirus Bow, a weapon fit for the gods (or star Henry Cavill, shown above and the soon-to-be Superman). (Relativity Media)

Sure, "Game of Thrones" is a sword-and-shield show -- but arrows have some royal favor on the HBO series. Cruel King Joffrey likes the heft of this crossbow, which might be the same one his father had on that fateful boar hunt. (HBO)

"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" came out near the end of last year but it reached its pop-culture peak here in 2012 with a can't-miss meme: “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” Miss the point? Just Google it. (Bethesda Studios)

UPDATED: Thanks to reader Tom Adams who reminded us about the ominous interest in archery exhibited by the title character in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." The wrenching film premiered to acclaim at Cannes last year but got its widest release in mid-January. (Artificial Eye)

UPDATED: Reader Robert Todd reminded us of another flinty spirit: Daryl Dixon of "The Walking Dead," who sharpened his survival skills during a harsh Georgia childhood and now carves the wooden bolts he fires from his Horton Scout crossbow. (AMC)

If you want to know the weapon of choice in pop culture this year just follow the arrow. Click though the gallery above (be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option) to see why 2012 is a year with a big bull’s-eye on its back.

– Geoff Boucher

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