The Arrow is one of the greatest Superhero TV Shows to have ever been created and aired in Television history. It is certainly the biggest show on CW network even after five seasons. It dared to foray into an uncharted territory of superhero TV show with a limited budget and it is responsible for superhero shows popping up everywhere. It achieved the unthinkable and gave comic-book genre the due respect it deserves on the small screen.
It has combined a solid character backstory, relentless plot twists and developments, awesome villains and dire circumstances to give the fans a realistic and symbolic portrayal of Oliver Queen, otherwise known in the comic books as the Green Arrow. CW’s Arrow is a matured, adult superhero drama that is racy, thrilling and embedded in the grounded universe.
Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow has been conceived along similar lines as Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Both of them are playboy billionaires turned crime-fighting vigilantes. In case of Bruce, he saw his parents die in front of his eyes at the hands of a street criminal in Gotham city, Oliver Queen turned into this person because his father gave him a diary of all the people who failed the Starling city and now it is his job to ensure justice.
In fact, Arrow season 3 had Ra’s Ahl Ghul as the villain who is actually the bad guy in Batman comics. Further, many references were made in the show hinting at Batman’s existence in the Arrowverse, recently Oliver Queen name dropped Bruce Wayne in the most direct reference.
For six seasons, Oliver has been the face of The Arrow and portrayed the titular superhero with style, vigor, and panache. Amell has been a loyal DC soldier who has carried the role of Arrow on his shoulders with a degree of class and grit. So when DC Comics is planning to cut off its ties to the Arrow TV Show, it might raise some eyebrows and a lot of questions.
But don’t get your knickers in a twist coz DC is not forsaking the show if that’s what you were worried about. Stephen Amell will be coming back as Green Arrow in the CW’s show for at least one full season, afterwards, if there is a story to tell, he would definitely love to return.
DC Comics has recently released Green Arrow #36. While there is no official connection between the show and the comic books, elements that have been seen in the TV screens also find their way into the comic books more often than not.
The reason for it would be to widen the appeal for both the shows. If people watched The Arrow, they would be interested in reading the comic book that most resembles it. If the comic book reader had never watched the show, he/she would be surely intrigued to watch it after reading the Green Arrow issues.
Even Arrow’s writers Andrew Kreisberg and Ben Sokolowski were brought in to write the stories for the comic books. The result was that Arrow’s shows and the comic book’s rating went off the charts. The show has a dedicated audience which makes show-makers to keep churning new seasons.
After the New 52 Initiative, The Green Arrow line was in dire straits. It was then decided that Green Arrow will be rebooted along the Rebirth saga and introduced anew. The new issues had elements that were new to the Queen Verse but lacked any form of cohesive direction.
Then Jeff Lemire was brought in to write the issues starting from Green Arrow #17. The comic no longer lacked cohesion but was faced with some criticism. The introduction of elements straight out of the TV Shows and use of liberties with the central plotline was what fans disliked the most.
The prelaunch was panned by a lot of fans for having too much on one plate. And so another reboot was ordered for the Emerald Archer. This is the version that we are talking about. It has got a storyline and characterizations that were critically and universally acclaimed.
Some of the plot elements include a more villainous Moira Queen and a more benevolent anti-hero form of Malcolm Merlyn.
Oliver now works with Roy ‘Arsenal’ Harper, played by Colton Haynes in the TV Show, to help clean the streets of Star City. Emiko Queen is another vigilante that works with the Green Arrow and is Oliver’s half-sister. In Green Arrow #36, Emiko sacrifices her life to save his brother from certain death.
Emiko Queen is the lovechild of Rober Queen and Shado (no not the TV show version… another one). Robert is part of a secret organization that revolves around collecting and utilizing ancient super weapons. On one of his searches for a mystic Arrow talisman, Robert meets Shado and Emiko is born.
Emiko is then kidnapped by Robert’s protégé Komodo and trained in all forms of Martial Arts. She is taught since childhood that the Queen Family is the enemy.
Emiko later realizes her true parents and switches sides. But it is this confusing plotline that has been the focal point of all complaints regarding the Green Arrow issues. Jeff Lemire tried to create a reflection of Thea Queen from the show but the result was haphazard.
Emiko just turned out to be a rip-off female version of Damian Wayne, the current Robin of DC lore who was also raised by assassins to kill the very guy he would join forces with later on.
As the series progresses, more and more elements from the comic books depart from the Show’s plotline. Moira is still alive and wants to kill Oliver at all costs; Tommy Merlyn is alive, still at large and number one in Green Arrow’s hit list; John Diggle has betrayed the team and joined forces with Malcolm Merlyn and now Emiko’s death could be the final nail in the coffin.
CW’s Arrow TV show has gone in a totally new direction, so much so that the two Oliver Queens in comics and TV are two different persons. On one hand, Arrow in comics is very reserved, his soul tormented and Starling city is his whole world. Once he refused to join Justice League despite major threat looming over mankind, it took Batman himself to persuade him. On the other hand, Arrow in TV show is more accommodating, adaptable and a team leader. He has worked with Flash, Supergirl, Legends multiple times to save Earth from Dominators and Nazis in a multi-verse.
There are a number of lessons that both comics and TV show can draw from each other. DC comics have never taken Oliver Queen as a person very seriously, CW’s show has shown Arrow’s vulnerabilities as he is just a human being at the end of the day without powers.
Will the Comic Books completely distance itself from the Arrow TV Show’s elements from its storylines in the future?? We sure hope they do. Let the comics stay independent of the Show. That is the only way both could bloom and blossom in their own creative ways. Hopefully, both will succeed in their own domains.