When I heard that The Flash vs Arrow was going to be a thing, my first thought was, “Too soon?” I guess the idea was to attract viewers, for that is what crossovers are for. Maybe The CW thought that The Flash would need an early ratings boost, but the first episode got amazing ratings, and as far as I know they are still strong.
Nearly three years ago when I read that The CW was going to make a Green Arrow series, I thought it was one of the best ideas ever. As with most things I like, I was afraid that I was the only one who cared. Green Arrow is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters and I wanted this series to be a success.
I was aprehensive when I heard the direction the series was going to take, but my fears were mitigated when the producers referenced two of the best Green Arrow graphic novels: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock, and Mike Grell’s The Longbow Hunters. The series was to be a “five year origination story,” but that’s what the producers of Smallville said as well, and that series lasted ten seasons.
Arrow begins with the rescue of Oliver Queen after being stranded on an island for five years. The series is set in the present day, but there are flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island; sort of a reverse-Lost. Now that Oliver has returned to Starling City, he becomes a vigilante whose mission is to take down those who have failed his city. The flashbacks are influenced by Year One, and the present day story is somewhat like The Longbow Hunters in that Green Arrow becomes an urban vigilante. Arrow has some of the “grim and gritty” elements Grell included in his stories, but it’s not quite as dark. DC has been re-releasing Grell’s run of Green Arrow; The Longbow Hunters, Hunter’s Moon, and Here Be The Dragons are available now, and The Trial of Oliver Queen come out June 9, 2015. I highly recommend them, but they are not for younger readers.
I have enjoyed Arrow from the beginning, yet it has gotten better as time has gone by. There was an article in Entertainment Weekly about how the series took a bit of a downturn during season one, but made a recovery due in part to the writers and producers paying attention to fans via social media. Series star, Stephen Amell, is one of the most accessible celebrities on social media. He often posts behind the scenes pictures and hosts Q and A sessions. He has been known to speak his mind, which gets him in trouble from time to time, but that’s why we love him.
Normally, I subscribe to former NFL coach Bill Parcells’ belief that if you pay attention to the fans, you’ll soon be sitting with them. Arrow has proven that this isn’t always case, and maybe more shows should do the same thing.