Starling City: The Reasoning Behind The Name

There's been some complaining about the CW's new superhero series Arrow. I've heard complaints about cheesiness, about actors, but the complaint that had me the most intrigued was the city's name: why would they change the comics' perfectly good Star City into Starling City? So I did some digging. And some reading. And came up with a hypothesis. Those of you who have Mike Grell's 1987 Longbow Hunters run may have realized by now that Arrow is channeling Grell pretty directly. Longbow Hunters was keystone for a number of reasons. It was the first time comics saw Green Arrow deliberately take a life, making a blatant shift from his trademark gadget arrows to plain old broadheads designed for one thing. The character was never referred to as Green Arrow; in fact, the whole time Grell wrote the character there was no real mention of superheroes. If Ollie ever interacted with other characters from the DC universe (Hal, for example) it was on a man-to-man basis, not as heroes. He never wore a mask. And Grell decided to move the character to Seattle, a city notorious for its uncontrollable population of...starlings. So my theory is that, as a nod to Mike Grell and the way he helped shape the character, the CW has opted for a name that echoes the city we all associate with the character but has a referential connection to the setting Grell chose for the Emerald Archer.

5 Comments
5 Comments
Posted by Jake Fury

Pretty cool theory.

Posted by DH69

Cause a dude running around in a green hoodie exacting justice on "1%ers" is farfetched enough, having a city called star city as well thats just ridiculous.

Posted by Vitaeleous

@DH69: Perhaps we could keep in mind that it's based on a superhero comic, and therefore pretty much anything goes. We've seen no actual superpowers as yet, so it's reasonably grounded. And really, someone with a violent skillset and a sense of duty carrying out the wishes of a dead relative and knocking names off a list they were given, well, that's the sort of stuff that makes the evening news on a regular basis. Oh no, wait, I'm wrong; the stuff that makes the news is the real wingnuts who randomly shoot up schools...but nobody will make a show out of that because that's just crazy ;) It's all relative, my friend.

Posted by Vitaeleous

@Jake Fury: Thanks, man :)

Posted by Veshark

Interesting theory. I think that it's more likely they preferred the sound of 'Starling' rather than Star, but for all I know, your deeper connection might be true.

Honestly, I never got the complaints about the name-change. Starling City sounds fine by me, even if it does make me think of the little clones that the GL villain Evil Star has (they're also called starlings).