Looking back at the first season of the new show, Arrow, based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow Oliver Queen. The showrunners are basing this version on the Green Arrow Year One storyline from the comics and use it as their launching point where Oliver spends 5 years on the island and returns to Starling City to become the vigilante known as the hood. The version that Stephen Amell plays differently from Justin Hartley’s version from Smallville is a darker nascent version where he doesn’t go by the Green Arrow name and isn’t the hero we know him to be yet.
Oliver Queen is the main character who runs a nightclub and protects Starling City from the corrupted people who failed the city, according to the list his late father gave him. He goes after anyone in the list and that’s all it matters to him. While it was good at first for the first half of the season, it’s also getting repetitive with nothing moving forward as he was boxed in the list for awhile. He has his support team that consists of former army soldier, John Diggle, and his tech secretary, Felicity Smoak as they each serve a purpose to Oliver. Regardless of their differing methods, they all have the same goal – protect Starling City.
Dinah Laurel Lance is Oliver’s love interest who was in a relationship with his best friend, Tommy Merlyn, because of what happened to her sister, Sarah, when she went with Oliver on a yacht trip that went wrong and sent Oliver to the island. She is an attorney instead of running a flower shop like the comics. Her goal is to protect Starling City in her own way in contrast to Oliver’s methods. Out of all the characters, Dinah Laurel was the least interesting and least developed as nothing was moving forward with her. I don’t know if she’s moving forward to becoming the Black Canary and she went from Tommy to Oliver as I was concerned that it would be a repeat of Clark and Lana from Smallville. In the first few episodes, she was pretty active and now the rest of the season didn’t see her do much. However, she went from hating Oliver for her sister’s death to forgiving him.
Tommy Merlyn is the son of the show’s villain, Malcolm, and Oliver’s best friend. He was pretty interesting and became the audience viewpoint. Tommy went from carefree to being broke and making his own way in the world while he was having a relationship with Dinah Laurel. The friendship between he and Oliver took a turning point when Oliver showed Tommy his secret and things went downhill between them until the season finale, where Tommy died.
Rounding out the cast are Oliver’s mother Moira, Oliver’s sister Thea, Detective Quintum Lance, Oliver’s stepfather Walter Steele, and Roy Harper. All of these characters have moved forward in many ways in the bulk of the first season, especially Thea when she went from being antagonistic towards Oliver to finally understanding him, along with working at Dinah Laurel’s law office as an intern. Detective Lance wants to track down the vigilante and put him behind bars. Roy Harper was introduced to be Thea’s love interest and future sidekick to Oliver as their relationship is a nod to the younger viewers. Let’s not forget Dinah Laurel’s co-worker, Joanna.
Arrow has brought in many DCU moments such as bringing in Huntress Helena Bertinelli, Slade Wilson, a Deathstroke, Deadshot, China White, Royal Flush Gang, Count Vertigo, Firebug, Fyers, Shado, Yao Fei, Ted Kord, Kord Industries, Ferris Aircraft, Brion Markov, etc. This is to show that Arrow is part of the larger universe and what characters exists in Arrow. It’s what attracts DC Comics fans like myself. Out of these DCU characters, Huntress, Slade, Shado, and Yao Fei are the ones with the substantial roles than mere guest apppearances.
The main plot of the season was Malcolm Marlyn targeting the Glades and destroying for a personal reason that bestows a villain than mere money and power. The fights between the two are the centerpiece of the first season and future seasons. I hope Malcolm is not dead like Tommy was. Malcolm showed us what he can do as the Dark Archer, who is the villainous counterpoint to Oliver’s vigilante persona.
Did the first season succeed? Of course!! It has action, adventure, suspense, surprises, and drama that a DCU-based show should have and it has successfully filled the void left by Smallville for the CW. I look forward to the second season in the Fall.