By LyraFay 16 Comments
Arrow was one of the surprise hits of last fall season. Bring something new and something old to the television world. The premise was simple, adapt the DC comics billionaire emerald archer, Green Arrow/Oliver Queen into a CW soap opera which sees him take down the corrupt of Starling City via list given to him by deceased father.
Simple superhero origin story, yes, but does it stay true to its comic book origins and the way the character of Green Arrow/Oliver Queen and his own mythology. Well no. Through out this article I'll explore why Arrow is a poorly adapted version of the character and the ones who surround him and where they could improve that (because in all honesty I feel like none of the producers/writers have read a comic book or took advice from Bruce Timm/Paul Dini.
Green Arrow the progressive hero
One thing that has always strikes me about Green Arrow is his openness to impress his own political views on the DCU compared to the likes of Batman or The Flash. This is good thing because up to the 1950s, he had been seen as a Batman knock-off complete with a arrow-car, arrow-cave and a sidekick which was not far from being exact clone of Dick Grayson. However thanks to the hand of Dennis O'Neil, Green Arrow shifted from being this silly B-hero to one whose morals are based on the political period that the USA was going through between the 1960s and 1970s. He and Green Lantern went a road trip across America and saw the racism, drug use and political views. He also had to deal with his own sidekick going downhill with the abuse of drugs on himself. This progressive Green Arrow has never changed from this point onward even in the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini cartoons of JLA and JLU still used this model of Green Arrow, he tells Captain Atom that he probably would've protested him at College and in his appearance in The Batman series, he believes that he fighting against Bruce Wayne because people are getting sick by chemicals at his labs (it turns out that Bruce didn't know about it.) He's the big man fighting for the small. However I haven't seen none of this political openness in Arrow, in actual fact Oliver Green hasn't opened up to any politics or even mentioned it. Isn't politics allowed in the CW but allowed on HBO, that is odd. They could at least have some episodes that at least wouldn't turn into after school special where we dealt with his political spectrum but no this will probably ever happen.
He can take a joke and make light of a situation
Okay, I praise any character who has the heart to call DC iconic superheroes as the Hitler twins. And that he has no shame of saying this. Even in the animated versions of Green Arrow, he isn't ashamed of calling the JLA Watchtower "Olympus," which in all ways and less way it is.
He is also open to criticism such as well in the Injustice comics, when Harley Quinn complains that his cave cannot be called the Arrow-cave because they are immovable objects as opposed to Bats who actually live in the caves. Then suggests that it should he called the Quiver instead and he actually agrees to that.
Also in Injustice he also makes a comment "Yeah. Don't they know Alien invasions always start near famous monuments?" Not only is he making light of the already dark situation with Superman and Batman, he also proving that he human and understands the nature of the events at hand and sometimes stupid they are. And he's right on that point.
In Arrow, he does make these occasional light-hearted remarks but it seems that the producers want him closer to Nolan's Batman, which he is not. He isn't stoic, he often gets angry and cracks snarky jokes. One such example in JLU, he sings his own theme song while he takes people down on a ship. Not only is he making the situation funny but also poking fun at the stupid theme songs that his superheroes get. Arrow producers, he isn't Batman with bows. He is own character.
An Arrow for every need
There's one thing that makes Green Arrow that makes himself outside the billionaire playboy set, he has all of that money to create endless gadgets or armoured suit. And with all of this he uses one of humanity's basic and most successful weapons, arrows. But none of these are your run-of-the-mill arrows. They've got everything from bombs to as shown boxing gloves to nets created by five arrows to even arrows that provide you with food (donut arrow, bubblegum arrows) to the bizarre (bloodhound arrows anyone?) Nevertheless in Arrow, his arrows are ordinary. Plain in simple, twenty four in a quiver. I know network television must have a budget for these things but where is the fun in that if you can't see a boxing glove arrow at least make a cameo appearance!
She's one of the most popular characters in the DCU and has a favourite of numerous comic book artist and writers, animators and cosplayers everywhere. One of the few popular woman characters in the DCU to reach the same heights as Wonder Woman and Catwoman. And was even the inspiration for Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons's Silk Spectre. She would seem like a prime candidate to finally get a starring role within a television show. However the Black Canary has an confusing place within the Arrow universe.
Black Canary/Dinah Laurel Lance played by Katie Cassidy within the Arrow universe is a lawyer, not a crime fighter and has a past relationship with Oliver Queen just prior to him going to the island and has a sister. Black Canary is often a strong independent character, however due to weak writing and poor planning the Arrow universe version of the Black Canary has become something of a joke to non-comic reader/animated series fans of the series. And it doesn't help that they are actually introducing the Black Canary in the form of her sister. This is silly and makes no sense since there had been hints that the Laurel which eventual become here.
It also doesn't help that Laurel is past between two guys like she's a doll. That has never been her. Black Canary/Dinah Lance has always been independent even when she's with Oliver (okay maybe not in the wedding special but still). I honestly wished the producers looked at her Bird of Prey days or even the animated versions such as Young Justice where she's part den mother, trainer and psychologist to the Young Justice, sure she's still with Ollie but he's never there to control her and he only shows up if the team needs him.
Sure Green Arrow and company don't exactly has the most iconic enemies in the vain of Batman. But his enemies are gaining attention, but when it comes his villains they are less open to interpretation than Batman or Superman or even Spiderman's. One such villain who got such a bad makeover within the Arrow universe, is Count Vertigo. To me personally he is a older almost Hammer Christopher Lee figure who wants to attempt take over his homeland, Vlatava with his powers of Vertigo not a drug lord with a oddity of an accent. Seriously, where does he come from? I also disliked how he got the title of "the count," because he's like a vampire, that makes no sense even for a drug lord. Then there is also the Dark archer aka Merlyn. While I like John Barrowmen, I feel that they've undeveloped man and turned him Lex Luthor, he's a equal archer to Green Arrow, they duel often either one can win. That is how he should be. I can only hope that Deathstroke is going get his awesome orange and blue costume, eye patch and long white hair since he's only viable villain that has made sense in this Arrow universe.
It's called Star City not Starling City, and it ain't Gotham.
What could they do to improve this?
- Bring a politician which Oliver could potentially side with, influence political ideals.
- If you're bringing The Flash/Barry Allen then make Oliver weary of powers (he always has).
- Get rid of his family or better just make Thea as Mia Dearden
- Lose his fortune, he's far more interesting when he's lost it.
- Bring in Wild Cat/Ted Grant and get him to train Laurel.
- Cupid could be fun!
- CHECKMATE and Chesire to ruin Roy Harper and bring Lian Harper.
- GREEN LANTERN
Or maybe just make Chili